Victoria Has Shut Its Borders to Greater Brisbane in Response to the New COVID-19 Strain
The closure came into effect overnight, but includes anyone who has been in the area since January 2.
With Brisbane recording the first local Australian case of the new, more contagious B117 variant of COVID-19, Australia's internal borders have become a hot topic yet again — because that wasn't just a 2020 trend. Since the new case initially came to light on Thursday, January 7, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared the Greater Brisbane region a national hotspot, and a number of states have changed their border arrangements. As of late last night, on Friday, January 8, that includes Victoria, with the state closing its borders to all of Greater Brisbane.
Victoria has declared the five local government areas currently under a three-day lockdown in Queensland — the Brisbane, Redland, Ipswich, Moreton and Logan local government areas — as red zones, effective at 11.59pm on Friday, January 8. This means folks from these areas are "cannot travel to Victoria unless an exemption applies", with exemptions "only granted in limited circumstances".
The red zone declaration may have only come into effect overnight, but it covers anyone who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since Saturday, January 2. Accordingly, anyone who has visited the region in the past week and since left still won't be allowed entry into Victoria.
As previously announced yesterday, Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services also advises that anyone who has already arrived in Victoria from Greater Brisbane since January 2 needs to get tested immediately — even if you don't have any symptoms — and remain at home or wherever you're staying until 6pm on Monday, January 11. You'll be under stay-at-home conditions, as if you were still in Greater Brisbane. A further assessment about the situation in Victoria will be made on January 11.
As for how long the border ban on folks from Greater Brisbane will be in place, an end date hasn't been given. Victoria's borders are also closed to New South Wales, in response to the latter state's northern beaches cluster.
As at Friday, January 8, Victoria has 39 active cases of COVID-19.
For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria, head to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website.
Published on January 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward