Department of Health

Media release - Coronavirus update for Victoria - 22 January 2021

Due to reduced levels of COVID-19 transmission in Sydney, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has now declared that only one Local Government Area (LGA), Cumberland in Greater Sydney, will remain as a red zone.


Due to reduced levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in Sydney, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has now declared that only one Local Government Area (LGA), Cumberland in Greater Sydney, will remain as a red zone.

If you have been in the Cumberland LGA in the past 14 days, other than for transit, you cannot enter Victoria without an exemption, exception, Specified Worker Permit or Freight Worker Permit.

From 6pm tonight (Friday 22 January 2021), a person who has been in all other areas of Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, can apply for an orange zone permit and enter Victoria, as long as the person has not been in the other currently listed red zone in the past 14 days and agree to the conditions of an orange zone permit – self-quarantine, get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test within 72 hours and remain in self-quarantine until receiving a negative result.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has now declared all areas in regional NSW outside of Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains and Wollongong and excluding the red zone of the Cumberland LGA to be green zones.

In addition, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has also declared all areas of Queensland to be green zones.

From 6pm tonight, a person who has been in Queensland and the regional NSW areas described above for the last 14 days can apply for a green zone permit. You cannot enter Victoria without a green zone permit unless an exemption, exception or Specified Worker Permit or Freight Worker Permit applies.

Victoria has recorded one new case of coronavirus since yesterday in a person in hotel quarantine. The case is a woman aged in her 20s.

There are no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria.

This is the 16th consecutive day where Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The number of active cases in Victoria is 31, made up of one locally acquired case linked to the Black Rock restaurant cluster, no change since yesterday, and 30 cases in travelers in hotel quarantine, a decrease of three since yesterday.

Given that Victoria has recorded 16 days of no community transmission, from 11.59pm tonight, and based on public health advice, we are re-introducing the pre-New Year’s Eve gathering limits in homes. The cap on private gatherings will rise from 15 to 30 visitors to your home.

We thank Victorians for their patience over the past three weeks for embracing the lower gathering limit. It has been challenging for many people but the reward for that sacrifice has been our reduction in cases and bringing the Black Rock cluster under control.

While we have increased the home gathering limits, this long weekend, we are asking people to stay sensible and celebrate Australia Day in a COVIDSafe way.

The movement of people is a main driver for the spread o coronavirus (COVID-19) and this virus can spread quickly, so we urge the people of Victoria to use common sense this Australia Day. We have invested too much in our fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) to let our guard down and become complacent.

Party-goers should continue to practice physical distancing, maintain good hygiene, wash their hands regularly and thoroughly or use hand sanitiser, don't share drinks, and stay home and get tested even if they have the mildest of symptoms.

Victoria’s ‘traffic light’ travel permit system is now in effect.

All areas in Australia are designated as red, orange or green zones based on the latest

COVID-19 advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. The latest information and advice,

including a description of the three zones, can be found on the Victorian Travel Permit System pageExternal Link .

This ‘traffic light’ system allows all residents and travelers wishing to enter Victoria from anywhere across Australia to apply for a permit via the Service Victoria online portal. It takes less than five minutes to complete a permit application which is processed automatically.

Since the portal went live on 11 January, 277,760 permits have been issued up to midday today. In the past 24 hours, 22,718 applications have been processed – an average of 15.8 permits issued each minute.

Applications can be made through the Service Victoria portalExternal Link .

Heat health alerts have been issued in the Mallee weather district on Saturday 23 January; and in Central, Mallee, North Central, North East, Northern Country and Wimmera weather districts on Sunday 24 January.

With high temperatures forecast and the elevated risk of bushfires, it is important to be aware of the following advice in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you are quarantining or isolating at home and begin to feel any symptoms that may indicate heat illness (nausea, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps), seek medical advice. Tell them that you are quarantining or isolating at home.

Additionally, if you are unable to keep cool at home, or need to evacuate due to a fire consider going to the home of a friend or family member. Please contact the Department of Health and Human Services on the number you have been provided as soon as you can.

Limit the risk of infection by washing your hands or using hand sanitiser before entering, wear a fitted face mask at all times, isolate yourself alone in a comfortable room, and close the door.

Everyone must comply with all coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and directions regardless of the high temperatures. This includes wearing a face mask where it is mandatory to do so.

Dizziness or a racing heartbeat are warning signs of heat exhaustion. If this happens, get out of the heat and seek medical advice. You may remove your mask in a medical emergency.

Masks may be ineffective when they become wet either from sweat or being immersed in water. When a mask becomes wet, it cannot act as an effective protection for yourself and others against coronavirus (COVID-19). A wet mask may also make it hard for you to breathe.

If you’re heading out on a warm or hot day, make sure you take a couple of spare masks with you. You should always use hand sanitiser or wash your hands before and after changing your face mask.

Given the current low levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) community transmission in Victoria, the Victorian Chief Health Officer has recommended that mask wearing is no longer necessary in certain settings. Masks are only mandatory:

  • on public transport
  • when riding in a ride share or taxi
  • inside shopping centres, including the retail stores inside shopping centres, such as clothing stores
  • inside indoor markets
  • in large retail stores (over 2000 sqm), such as department stores, electronics stores, furniture stores, hardware stores or supermarkets
  • on domestic flights to and from Victoria
  • at airports
  • in hospitals

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to. It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Yesterday 16,465 tests were processed, bringing the overall testing total in Victoria since the pandemic began to 4,338,030.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. If you are experiencing any symptoms, wear a fitted face mask when you get tested.

Please get tested at your nearest available testing location.

The department is publishing expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at Where to get tested.

Everyone should continue to monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop symptoms.

Information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website or by calling 1800 675 398.

Reviewed 21 January 2021


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