Victoria records ZERO new coronavirus cases as thousands battle to apply for Dan Andrews’ draconian border permits to enter the state – or risk being slapped with $5000 fines
Victoria has gone six days without a locally-acquired case of coronavirus as thousands of residents trapped interstate battle to apply for Premier Daniel Andrews’ border permits.
The state recorded zero infections on Tuesday morning after 18,139 tests were recorded. There are 38 active Covid-19 infections across Victoria.
The latest data comes as 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.
Regional NSW has been classified orange, while Greater Sydney and Greater Brisbane remain red.
But the Victorian government website crashed just minutes after the new measure came into place due to a technical glitch.
Despite the border changes coming into effect at 6pm, the permit system wasn’t available on the Services Victoria website until about 8.55pm.
‘Service Vic and DHHS are very sorry for the delay and any inconvenience,’ the health department tweeted after the page went live.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton also took to social media to deny reports the nearly three-hour delay stemmed from the new public health directions not being signed on time.
Service Vic said in a statement that its staff and DHHS worked as quickly as possible to get the permit system up and running as they worked to draft directions but ‘experienced some technical issues’.
Apart from Victorian-NSW border community residents, anyone arriving into Victoria from 6pm without a permit faced a $4957 fine.
The new system allows Victorians left stranded in regional NSW to return, but the state still remains off-limits for those in Greater Sydney and Greater Brisbane.
Travellers from regional NSW in hotel quarantine are now also permitted to leave quarantine if they have tested negative.
More than 4000 exemption applications have been lodged by Victorians after the sudden border closure to NSW on New Year’s Day.
Those still in the area who haven’t been in a red zone over the last 14 days will now only need a permit, and must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result if granted one.
Mr Andrews said the permit system will remain in place for as long as the state of emergency lasts, with Victorians embarking on interstate travel told to be aware their plans could change.
More to come