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New Gathering and Mask Restrictions Have Been Introduced in Victoria Ahead of New Year's Eve

The state's 61-day streak of no new locally acquired cases has come to an end.
By Samantha Teague
December 31, 2020
By Samantha Teague
December 31, 2020

Victoria's 61-day run of no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases has come to an end with the state recording three new cases in the 24 hours leading up to midnight on Wednesday, December 30. As a result, the Victorian Government has introduced new gathering and mask restrictions ahead of tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations.

As of 5pm today, Thursday, December 31, gatherings at private homes will be limited to 15, which is down from the previously allowed 30. Which means, you may need to quickly reassess your plans for this evening.

Additionally, masks will be mandatory in all indoor settings — except from when you are eating and drinking — from 5pm.

"If you are planning to leave your home at the moment, we ask people to carry their masks with them, we are now asking them to wear a mask if they are indoors in any location which is not their private home," Acting Premier Jacinta Allen said in a press conference today.

The Victorian Government has also announced new border restrictions, with Victorians located in Wollongong and the Blue Mountains having until 11.59pm tonight Thursday, December 31 to return to the state. On return, they will need to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the result of the test.

After this time, Victorians that have visited these areas — as well as the previously announced Greater Sydney area, the Central Coast and the northern beaches — in the last 14 days cannot enter Victoria. You can find out more about Victoria's border restrictions at the Victorian Government website.

The Government has also strongly urged Victorians to reconsider plans to visit NSW.

"Do not go to New South Wales, if you are in Victoria," said Minister for Health Martin Foley. "If you are a Victorian in New South Wales, well beyond Wollongong and the Blue Mountains, come back. Do not want to be caught on the wrong side of a rapidly evolving situation."

All three cases recorded yesterday dined at Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock on Monday, December 21, and anyone who visited the restaurant on that date must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative test result. The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services has also released a list of additional venues that have been linked to positive cases on its Twitter page and website.

More locations are expected to be added across the day, too.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria and current restrictions, head to the DHHS website

Published on December 31, 2020 by Samantha Teague


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