No new locally acquired virus cases in Victoria, but seven in quarantine

No new locally acquired virus cases in Victoria, but seven in quarantine

People will only need to wear a mask at supermarkets, public transport, domestic flights, commercial passenger vehicles, hospitals and large indoor shopping centres after Victoria recorded its eighth day in a row of zero locally transmitted cases from more than 16,000 tests on Thursday.

"That person has had multiple tests over the last 24 hours, all of which have been subsequently returned negative", Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters on Friday.

As Victorians stranded in Brisbane start to return home, tensions are rising again over the border restrictions preventing travel between Victoria and parts of NSW.

Mr Andrews said he had no announcements to make on Thursday but added the "red zone" in Sydney could be reduced to local government areas rather than the entire city.

The state's health department said those released travellers must get tested and quarantine at home until they receive a negative result, after six people staying at the hotel contracted the more infectious United Kingdom strain.

The variant of the virus is causing havoc in the United Kingdom with thousands of new cases reported daily and forcing the country to slam borders shut to travellers - particularly to South America where yet another highly contagious variant has been discovered.

"Let's be clear, there's nearly 200 cases circulating in the Greater Sydney community since December the 16th, not just on the northern beaches", Mr Foley said. "To have 18 people who could be infected with the novel strain, that highly infectious strain out of the United Kingdom is of concern to us".

Greater Brisbane, which emerged from a three-day lockdown earlier this week, also remains a red zone.

The city was placed on alert after six cases of the United Kingdom strain of coronavirus were discovered in January linked to hotel quarantine.

Mr Foley said Sandgren's positive test was reviewed by health authorities and determined to be viral shedding.

From Monday the private sector will allow to operate at 50 per cent of its workforce working from the office and the public sector will be at 25 per cent.

As thousands of Victorian remain stranded interstate and overseas, worldwide tennis stars began arriving in Melbourne on Thursday night to start their quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.

Returning travellers must have a permit and self-isolate until they return a negative COVID test.

The American tweeted he was not contagious and had "totally recovered" from the virus after first testing positive in November.

'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.

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