Coronavirus

Daniel Andrews foreshadows easing of COVID-19 restrictions as Victoria records zero new cases

Daniel Andrews will remain in intensive care for the coming days after he slipped and fell on wet stairs while getting ready for work on Tuesday. Source: AAP

Victoria is set to ease restrictions on Friday after the state recorded a sixth day with no new cases of coronavirus and a drop in active infections.

Premier Daniel Andrews is "very confident" restrictions will ease in Victoria on Friday, after the state recorded a sixth consecutive day with no new cases of coronavirus.

Mr Andrews confirmed there were no new local or overseas acquired cases recorded on Thursday, following 18,282 tests.

The number of active cases in the state has also dropped from 25 at the start of the week to 16.

However, thousands of people remain in self-isolation after coming into contact with cases linked to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn outbreak.

A total of 22 cases have been traced back to a family of three staying on the third floor of the quarantine hotel in early February, who contracted the highly-infectious UK strain of the virus overseas.

Fears the virus would spread into the community led to a five-day "circuit-breaker" lockdown, which ended on 18 February.

Some restrictions, including mask-wearing and strict gathering limits, will remain until Friday when the last close contacts end 14 days of isolation.

"Through an abundance of caution we had to pull together and make some very difficult choices, but Victorians were equal to that challenge; that's what makes you so proud," Mr Andrews told reporters on Thursday.

"No state's been through as much as our state, and the people of this great state have pulled through and I think tomorrow will be a positive day for all of them."

He said he was "very confident tomorrow will be a day of good news", with restrictions likely to return to COVID-safe summer settings that were in place at Christmas.

The changes will likely come into effect at 11.59pm on Friday.

It comes after 808 frontline health workers and hotel quarantine staff received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.

A total of 2063 Victorians have had the jab since Monday's rollout began, excluding residents in aged care, who are being vaccinated by mobile units overseen by the federal government.

The premier said he was aware two aged care residents in Queensland had been given an incorrect dose of the vaccine and said it was a matter for the federal government.

"There are some serious issues that come out of that experience in Queensland and hopefully everybody will learn from that," he said.

Healthcare Australia, which managed the doctor who administered the incorrect dose, is also involved in Victoria's hotel quarantine program.

But Mr Andrews said the incident had "nothing to do with programs run in Victoria".

"It happened in Queensland, and the obligations on that person is not as an employee, but as a registered medical practitioner, as a doctor," he said.

Meanwhile, Victoria has also tightened its border with New Zealand due to a growing outbreak in Auckland.

The Health Department late on Wednesday night declared Auckland a 'red zone', meaning anyone who arrives from the city will be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Those who landed on Tuesday have been asked to get a COVID-19 test immediately and quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

At least eight cases have been linked to a cluster at a high school in Auckland, triggering a three-day lockdown.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction's restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania

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