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Victoria does not register new cases of coronavirus, will resume the hotel quarantine program in December

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Victoria will begin accepting international arrivals again from December 7, after suspending flights for more than four months to restore the state hotel quarantine program.

The State government said it had requested an initial cap of 160 passengers per day, which could be increased over time.

“Victoria has asked the Commonwealth for a brief extension of the suspension of international flights landing in Melbourne from November 22 to December 6 to allow final preparations to be made for the Victoria quarantine program for returning passengers,” he said. a government spokesman.

International flights to Melbourne have been suspended since early July after it emerged that the second wave of the state was caused by violations in the hotel quarantine program.

Full details of how the reorganized program will work have not yet been released, but yesterday Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said staff would be tested frequently and “advanced contact tracked”.

For example, a cleaner might not get a job in the hotel quarantine if he were to live with someone working in elderly care, Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“We will go through a rigorous questionnaire and mapping process where the entire workforce that is in place at the quarantine hotels is engaging with the wider community,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne. “Especially in those high-risk countries [like] care for the elderly “.

Mr Andrews also said all employees in the program would either work for the State Government, or be contracted exclusively to work in the hotel quarantine.

“The government will release further details about the program and our response to the interim report of the Hotel Kuarantine Inquiry soon,” the government spokesman said.

Victoria hits three weeks with zero cases, but a test under investigation

The international flight announcement comes as Victoria registers its 21st consecutive day with no new cases of coronavirus or death.

There are now two active cases in Victoria, out of three on Thursday.

The Department of Health and Human Services said fragments of the coronavirus had been discovered in the sewage collected near Altona, west of Melbourne.

People who were in the area between Monday and Wednesday this week should be tested even if they have only mild symptoms.

Other suburbs in that catchment area include Altona Meadows, Laverton, Point Cook and Sanctuary Lakes.

Health authorities received 18,474 test results as of Thursday’s update.

A poor positive result was obtained late Thursday, but DHHS said it was under investigation and could be a false positive or a historical infection.

Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino said the possible case was an elderly woman who was asymptomatic and had nothing to do with known cases.

“Late yesterday DHHS was reported a poor positive test result for a woman in her 80s,” he said.

“This case was reviewed as part of the pre-surgical review.”

A photograph of three masked women walking in Melbourne CBD.
Victoria has not registered a new case of coronavirus for three weeks.(ABC News: Darryl Torpy)

DHHS said preliminary public health actions were in place as the matter was being investigated.

The Deputy Prime Minister said achieving a three-week benchmark without new infections was a historic moment that Victorians could be proud of.

“The arrival of 21 days today is quite significant and reflects the sacrifice and responsibility that every Victorian has taken,” he said.

Establishment of the temporary closure of the Victoria-South Australia border

Victoria has closed its border with South Australia for 48 hours in a bid to stop the spread of the Adelaide coronavirus outbreak in the state.

As of Friday, entry to Victoria from South Australia is restricted to truck drivers transporting goods, people with medical, emergency or animal welfare matters and people authorized by law.

A permit system will be introduced Saturday to allow people to enter Victoria for specific reasons, such as shopping or medical care.

Health officials say the decision was made to close the border due to evidence of community transmission in South Australia and the discovery of viral fragments in sewage in Portland and Benalla.

Portland Health Chief executive Chris Giles says the discovery of viral fragments does not mean there is an active case in the region.

“It’s less likely that we have active cases than someone who has visited who is removing the virus, but that said, it’s really important that Portlanders do exactly what they did when we had active cases in the community. come out and be tested, “she said.

Mr Andrews will reveal on Sunday which restrictions will be eased as the state moves to the next stage on the map towards reopening.

Earlier this week he suggested there could be changes to the state’s mandatory mask rules.

He suggested that people might not be required to wear a mask if they were alone outside.

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