Greater Brisbane’s “red zone” status downgraded

Victoria will loosen its border restrictions on people travelling from Greater Brisbane from 6pm on Saturday.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the region would be downgraded from a red to an orange zone after Queensland appeared to have contained the spread of the latest COVID-19 cluster.

Mr Andrews said Victorians wanting to return home and visitors would be able to apply for a permit and then travel freely after they took a test within 72 hours of arriving, and received a negative result.

The new permit system for all domestic travel, introduced earlier this week, is based on a traffic light system.

Travellers who visited “red zones” in the past 14 days are not permitted to enter the state, unless they have an exemption.

“It is a condition of entry and it is a condition of staying safe and staying open. So we will boost our testing capacity, but again there will be queues, there will be lines, just like there is every single day,” Mr Andrews said.

He suggested plans to travel to Brisbane be postponed.

“This virus moves so fast, so rapidly and we have to follow the advice and be as risk-averse as we have been,” he said,

“We simply can’t allow outbreaks. We can’t do anything that would make it more likely that we finish up with community transmission.”

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the situation in Greater Brisbane was “looking good”.

“There has really been no community transmission beyond the cleaner and her partner,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“There has been extensive testing of the many close contacts of those who had already left hotel quarantine.”

Prof Sutton said travellers who developed COVID-19 symptoms after receiving a negative result should be retested.

He added there was no change to borders restrictions with Greater Sydney because there were still cases of community transmission being recorded.

Mr Andrews said he was “hopeful” an announcement would be made in a couple of days and would be based on health advice.

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was notified of a “very low positive result” the day prior.

It said multiple follow up tests returned negative results and strongly suggested that the original result was either a false positive or persistent shedding from a historic infection.

“The case is not linked to a known case or public exposure site,” the DHHS said.

“Final test results are expected (on Friday) and these results will be reviewed by the Expert Review Panel to make a final determination on the case classification.”

There were no new locally acquired cases recorded on Saturday, but there were three new infections from overseas travellers who are hotel quarantine.

There are currently 26 active cases in the state.

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