Victorians celebrate a full week of no new cases of coronavirus and no further deaths, likely allowing for further restrictions to be eased from Sunday night.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from Monday, New Zealanders will be able to fly into Melbourne directly. Mr Andrews said he had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to say the state would join the trans-Tasman bubble, after seven days in a row of zero new COVID-19 cases.
“Whilst we inadvertently found ourselves in the bubble … New Zealanders will now be able to travel directly into Melbourne,” he said.
“Now’s the time, because cases are so low and we’re opening up, we can have flights directly into our city and our state. There will be no quarantine (for people from New Zealand).”
There were 18,671 test results processed on Thursday, which Mr Andrews said was a “very strong number”.
“We need to keep that going so we know what’s out there and what isn’t,” he said at a press conference underground in the Metro Tunnel construction site on Friday morning.
“This Sunday we will make really significant announcements about taking further steps around 25km limit, the ‘ring of steel’ with regional Victoria and some expansions for different settings – bars, restaurants and cafes,” Mr Andrews said.
“We’ll also map out for Victorians what the rest of November looks like – some further steps we’d like to take a couple of weeks after this Sunday.
“That is all on track, and these numbers are very impressive. With commitment and vigilance, we need to keep going, we can’t pretend seven days of zeros are like a vaccine against this virus … If we all do our best, we can see these numbers low, we can open up and importantly stay open.”
There is now just one healthcare worker with COVID-19 in Victoria. Two people remain in hospital with the virus, but neither are in intensive care.