Victoria records no new COVID-19 cases as Australia prepares for vaccine rollout

Victoria has recorded no new cases of coronavirus in the community or in hotel quarantine the day before Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program begins.

It is the second day in a row there have been no new locally acquired cases recorded in Victoria.

The last time the state recorded locally acquired cases was on Friday, when there were three new cases confirmed, all linked to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn outbreak and in people who had been told to self-isolate by contact tracers.

There are currently 25 active COVID-19 cases in Victoria. This number remains unchanged since yesterday.

There were 10,339 tests for the virus carried out on Saturday. Test numbers have decreased each day since Wednesday, the last day of the state’s five-day lockdown, in which there were a record number of almost 40,000 test results processed.

The good news comes a day before Australians start to roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 jab.

Dedicated vaccination clinics will be set up at all of Melbourne’s quarantine hotels in a bid to have thousands of medical staff, cleaners and other front-line quarantine workers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within about 10 weeks.

About 300 airline flight crew, customs workers, cargo handlers and other airport workers are also expected to receive the vaccine each day at the new vaccination hub at Melbourne Airport, run by Western Health.

And the one-way trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia has resumed, with Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly saying cases in Auckland pose a “low risk” of spreading into Australia.

The travel bubble, in which travellers from New Zealand can arrive in Australia without quarantining, was suspended on February 15.

Australians still need an exemption to travel to New Zealand, and must complete 14 days’ quarantine on arrival.

With Aisha Dow, Melissa Cunningham and Ashleigh McMillan

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