Sydneysiders will soon be reunited with friends and family in Melbourne as Dan Andrews plans to shrink ‘red zone’ to only worst-affected suburbs – as Victoria records a ninth day of zero cases
Victoria has recorded no new local or interstate coronavirus cases for a ninth day in a row, as authorities hope to scale back border restrictions for Greater Sydney.
Two Covid-19 cases, however, have been recorded in hotel quarantine.
Premier Dan Andrews has brought up opening the Victorian border to some local government areas in Sydney after previously removing border restrictions for regional NSW on Monday.
Victorian premier Dan Andrews said the state is considering opening the border to some Sydney local government areas (Pictured: Travellers make a quick dash out of Sydney on December 18 before border closures kicked in caused by the Northern Beach outbreak)
Victoria has introduced a ‘traffic light system’ for residents and travellers who try to cross the Victorian border (Pictured: Police at a border checkpoint stop vehicles on January 1)
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services also received notification of a very low positive result on Thursday.
‘Multiple follow up tests have returned negative results and strongly suggest that the original result is either a false positive or persistent shedding from a historic infection,’ the DHHS tweeted on Friday.
Some 15,010 people were tested for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours in the state.
Since Victoria rushed to close its border to Greater Sydney just before Christmas amid an outbreak on the Northern Beaches, thousands of Victorians had been stranded in the region for more than two weeks.
Under the state’s traffic light permit scheme the area was designated a red or ‘high risk’ zone.
Mr Andrews said the government was looking to reduce the red zone declaration to local government areas rather than preventing the entire Greater Sydney region from travelling to Victoria.
Brisbane, which emerged from a three-day lockdown earlier this week, also remains a red zone.
‘I understand it’s not easy,’ the premier said on Thursday.
The Victorian government expanded its ‘traffic light’ scheme to the whole of Australia on Monday, designating regions as green, orange or red zones based on their coronavirus risk profile
‘I just want to assure all Victorians, and particularly those that want to come home but can’t because it’s not safe right now, you will be in this circumstance for not a moment longer than the public health experts tell me you have to be,’ Mr Andrews said.
As thousands of Victorian remain stranded interstate and overseas, international tennis stars began arriving in Melbourne on Thursday night to start their quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.
Among them is world no.50 Tennys Sandgren, who is at the centre of controversy after it was revealed he was allowed on a chartered flight to Melbourne despite testing positive.
The American tweeted he first tested positive to the virus in November.
Victorian Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville also took to Twitter to confirm Sandgren’s positive test was reviewed by health authorities and determined to be viral shedding.
‘No one who is Covid positive for the first time – or could still be infectious – will be allowed in for the Aus Open,’ she wrote.