Victorians in Brisbane urged not to leave

Victorians in Brisbane urged not to leave

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has called on residents who happen to be in Greater Brisbane to stay put for a few days, in line with the National Cabinet agreement to declare the Queensland capital and its surrounds a hotspot.

The move comes as other states and territories put in place varying quarantine and isolation requirements for people who have arrived, or will be arriving, from Greater Brisbane.

In Western Australia's case, this means a hard border not just for Brisbane but all of Queensland

The approach from Victorian health authorities has been to put more onus on the individual and hopefully avoid any last-ditch attempts to beat the Brisbane lockdown.

"Anyone who has been in, visited or travelled through the local government areas of Brisbane City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, Redland, Ipswich or Logan city councils since 2 January should not leave those areas until at least Monday," the DHHS said.

"The Queensland Government has ordered a three-day lockdown of the area.

"All Victorians in these areas are advised to follow the guidance of the Queensland Government and any Victorian with plans to travel to these areas should cancel them."

As is the case in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales, anyone in Victoria who has been in the local government areas (LGAs) concerned since the relevant date will need to get tested.

While other jurisdictions' advice ranges from a fortnightly self-isolation to just urging social distancing, authorities in Victoria are asking these people to stay at home until Monday when a further assessment will be made.

"We are working with our counterparts in other jurisdictions to address this matter which is obviously of national concern. The department is working through the implications for our current permit system and will provide more information on this shortly," the DHHS said.

"The border with NSW remains closed and the department is working though more than 4000 exemption applications for travel to Victoria for compassionate and medical reasons. 

"579 exemptions have been granted so far and staff are processing the most urgent cases first with priority given to Victorian residents. 

"Every exemption is assessed on a case-by-case basis and is being processed as quickly as possible."

The number of active cases in Victoria is now 39, made up of 28 locally acquired cases which is no change since yesterday and 11 cases in hotel quarantine, an increase of one in the past 24 hours.  The number of active cases linked to the Black Rock Restaurant cluster remains at 27.

Updated at 4:52pm AEDT on 8 January 2021.

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