Vic State Government Has Issued a Million Travel Permits Since Mid December

By AAP
January 30, 2021 Updated: January 30, 2021

The Victorian government has issued more than a million travel permits since virus border restrictions were imposed just over six weeks ago.

As of January 30, 1,014,787 permits had been granted for travellers to enter Victoria, an average of almost fifteen permits for every minute of every day since restrictions were imposed on December 16.

More than 20,000 applications were received in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.

But while plenty of visitors are being granted permits to enter the state, authorities have detected evidence of virus fragments at six different locations, including the popular tourist towns of Cowes on Phillip Island, and Castlemaine in the northwest.

Fragments have also recently been found in wastewater at the satellite Melbourne suburb of Pakenham, rural Gisborne, Hamilton in the state’s southwest and the South Gippsland town of Leongatha.

The health department is urging residents and visitors to these locations to get tested if they have even mild symptoms.

On Saturday Victoria notched up 24 days since its last locally acquired case of the coronavirus.

But one new case has been detected in Melbourne’s hotel quarantine system, an international airline crew member aged in her twenties.

Also on Saturday, the WA government announced Victorians can travel to Western Australia quarantine-free from next week.

Meanwhile Victoria’s chief health officer will allow up to 30,000 people to attend the Australian Open in Melbourne each day, about half the usual attendance numbers.

The last players and participants still in the hotel quarantine system are expected to leave on Sunday.

Liz Hobday in Melbourne