Vic premier flags Qld travel advice change
Victorian travellers to Queensland have been warned they might not be able to return home, as Brisbane locks down for three days.
Premier Daniel Andrews says it likely won't be possible for Victorians to travel to or return from the sunshine state once the hard lockdown comes into effect for greater Brisbane from 6pm on Friday.
Health officials are liaising with colleagues in Queensland after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the UK's highly infectious, mutant strain of coronavirus.
Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk is expected to brief Mr Andrews on the seriousness of the situation during Friday's national cabinet meeting, before public health advice is updated.
"We'll get that advice and as soon as we can, confirm that," he told reporters on Friday.
"Not just for Victorians who might be wanting to go to Queensland - that won't be possible I would have thought - and also Victorians who are in Brisbane and want to come home during this three-day period."
A number of Victorians fled to Brisbane to escape Sydney's northern beaches outbreak, Mr Andrews said, but may not be permitted to leave this time.
"This issue about bolting home, that might not be one of the four reasons that you're allowed to leave where you're staying," he said.
The updated health advice is expected to be published on Friday afternoon.
It comes as Victoria marks a second-straight day with no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, a result marred by a hardware malfunction delaying thousands of test results.
The sole new infection recorded in Victoria on Friday was in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, bringing the state's active case total to 39.
But about 10,000 negative test results - mainly affecting those from regional areas - were held up on Thursday as Dorevtich Pathology experienced a technical fault.
Teams worked through the night to fix the outage, rectifying it by 3am on Friday.
Mr Andrews apologised for the delay and confirmed the results were beginning to be fed out to people on Friday morning and would appear in Saturday's figures.
It meant only 23,108 tests were received in the 24 hours to midnight on Thursday, down about a third on the 30,000-plus results seen daily over the past four days.
Victoria's total testing figure over the past week is almost 200,000, as the state tries to stamp out the Black Rock cluster.
The two-day streak with no reported community transmission has Mr Andrews upbeat that contact tracers are winning the fight against the 27 case outbreak linked to a Thai eatery in bayside Melbourne.
"There is a degree of confidence that we are close to running Black Rock to ground," he said.
The mystery case of a COVID-positive man in his 30s who attended Boxing Day sales at Chadstone Shopping Centre and the second day of the Test at the MCG is slightly tempering his optimism.
It has been linked to Sydney's northern beaches cluster, but authorities still aren't sure how the Melbourne man caught the virus.
If it weren't for that case, Mr Andrews said Victoria would potentially be further along in reopening the border to thousands of residents stranded in NSW.
He has flagged permit settings could change as early as next week or the week after, with only 579 exemptions granted thus far.
"Borders aren't shut for fun," he said.
"The moment that the health experts tell me it's safe to get those people back, that's exactly what we'll do."
Before discussing changes to international travel rules with fellow state and federal leaders, Mr Andrews urged them to learn from Victoria's "bitter" second-wave experience, which was sparked by the virus leaking out of hotel quarantine.
"The way we're doing it is the best way to go," he said.
© AAP 2021
Photo: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (AAP Image/Erik Anderson)