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Victoria has downgraded some parts of the Greater Sydney area from “red” to “orange” as part of its coronavirus risk assessment, so some Victorians can return home from 6pm tonight

The Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Blacktown, Canada Bay, Burwood, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Inner West, Liverpool, Paramatta, and Strathfield remain Red Zones

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said all other zones in the greater Sydney area, as well as the Blue Mountains and Wollongong, would be classified as orange

Individuals coming to Victoria from orange zones must be tested and quarantined within 72 hours of arrival until they get a negative result

A number of border communities in New South Wales will also be reclassified from “orange” to “green” at 6:00 pm, which means people traveling to these communities will not need to be tested upon arrival in Victoria / p>

These LGAs are Albury, Balranald, Bega Valley, Berrigan, Broken Hill, Edward River, Federation, Greater Hume, Hay, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Wagga Wagga, and Wentworth

Anyone with a pending exemption application to enter Victoria from the Sydney red zones would not have to reapply, Andrews said

Brett Sutton, chief health officer, said the 10 LGAs in Sydney that are still classified as red zones contained exposure sites and were located where the remaining cases and transmissions were

Professor Sutton said people in Melbourne who recently traveled from parts of Sydney and were downgraded to orange zones at 6:00 p.m. could end their 14-day quarantine early if they had a negative test result

“Just as we previously allowed people who were quarantined in Melbourne to receive this negative test and be released, we will do the same for those who may have come from a previously red zone in Melbourne, New South Wales when they were quarantined in Victoria, “he said

Mr Andrews said he had previously texted New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian to notify them of the downgraded zones

“I announced that I would announce at 10:00 am that all but 10 LGAs would switch from red to orange,” he said

On Sunday, Ms Berejiklian suggested that Victoria’s border restrictions were not proportionate to the Sydney outbreak

Mr. Andrews said that the health ministers and departments of Victorian and NSW were in frequent contact and declined any suggestions he needed to personally discuss the situation with Ms. Berejiklian anytime there was a change

“I am not going to get permission from other political leaders in other states to bring Victoria to safety,” he said

Previously, COVID-19 quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar had said that Victoria could offer more places in the international hotel quarantine after the Australian Open by using staff who were recruited and trained for the Grand Slam tennis tournament

Ms. Cassar said that once the Australian Open was over, more than 1000 people hired for the tournament were used to increase the capacity for returning international travelers

“After they [the staff] have their final tests to make sure they are safe, we will try to increase our daily caps,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne

“We will have a well-trained pool of people who can increase this daily cap so we can bring back more Victorians in less time after the Australian Open”

She said authorities were still working on exactly how many more spots would be available, but she hoped to have a number by the end of the week

Mr. Andrews confirmed that he had agreements with the Prime Minister to release Victoria’s hotel quarantine

“Tennis Australia is essentially paying for a system that means that a whole range of staff are trained and that we are able to accommodate more returning travelers than we would otherwise take,” he said

Victoria is 12 years old Recorded days in a row with no new locally acquired coronavirus cases as most offices were able to take in up to 50 percent of their on-site staff due to simplified restrictions

He stated that authorities would further investigate the cause of the Black Rock outbreak and a mysterious case that visited the MCG and Chadstone on Boxing Day

But he said the direct run of a dozen “donut days” gave authorities confidence that they were in control of the situation, and he did not expect more cases from the Black Rock outbreak to emerge

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Professor Sutton said the key to the state’s success in suppressing the outbreaks was to quarantine not just close contacts, but their contacts as well

“That meant that at the peak of 4500 people were in quarantine, “he said

“But it also means that we were always ahead of these contacts. They were always quarantined

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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Victoria restrictions

World News – AU – Victoria downgrades coronavirus risk for parts of Greater Sydney from red to orange

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-18/victoria-downgrades-parts-of-greater-sydney-red-zone/13066188