Victoria records zero new local cases as Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown lifts

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Victoria has recorded no new local cases for the first time in almost three weeks, with the state moving to eased coronavirus restrictions overnight.

One new case of COVID-19 was reported in hotel quarantine. There were more than 17,000 test results received across Victoria on Thursday.

Melburnians can now travel within a 25km radius from their home and hospitality venues have reopened after restrictions eased at midnight on Friday.

Home visits are still off the table, but those in metropolitan areas can now meet outdoors in groups of 10.

Masks are still required outdoors and indoors when away from home, including in workplaces where QR code check-ins are set to become mandatory.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said on Thursday that mask-wearing was a “small thing we can do to help prevent infection” while health authorities probe the four new cases in a Reservoir family which are not yet linked.

Victoria’s deputy chief health officer, Allen Cheng.Credit:Joe Armao

“Masks are obviously a very small thing to do and they are effective,” he said.

“We are still in early days at looking at this cluster in a Reservoir. I think we would be more comfortable if we could identify a link that would link it to another cluster, and therefore that would resolve that mystery as well.”

A Reservoir man in his 80s, along with three other members of his household – a woman in her 70s, a man in his 50s and a man in his 20s – tested positive on Thursday.

Schools in metropolitan Melbourne have reopened on Friday, but due to extreme weather, the Department of Health has closed a number of kindergartens and education facilities.

A number of new viral fragments have also been found in Melbourne suburbs between June 3 and 7.

Anyone in Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park, Pascoe Vale, Burwood East, Forest Hill, Glen Waverley, Scoresby, Vermont South, Wantirna South, Wheelers Hill, Balwyn, Balwyn North, Blackburn, Blackburn, North, Box Hill, Box Hill North, Bulleen, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Donvale, Mitcham, Mont Albert, Mont Albert North and Nunawading between those dates are being urged to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if the symptoms develop.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has signalled he wants to see a travel bubble with Singapore up and running “as soon as possible”.

“Singapore has managed COVID very effectively like Australia and we want to see an extension of the travel bubble arrangement that we’ve got with New Zealand, which has worked really well,” he said on the Today Show on Friday.

Mr Dutton said the bubble could be trialled by allowing international students from Singapore into Australia.

“It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but let’s work toward it as quickly as we can.”

With Daniella White

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