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  • Victoria to ease Brisbane border restrictions

    Author: AAP

The few Brisbane travellers still stuck in Victorian hotel quarantine will soon be freed as the state eases its hardline border rules.

From 6pm on Thursday, the Greater Brisbane area will be reclassified from a "red zone" to an "orange zone" under Victoria's traffic light permit system.

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Byron Shire in NSW and Queensland's Gladstone Region will remain orange zones.

The move follows Greater Brisbane's snap, three-day lockdown ending at midday after Queensland reported just one new locally acquired case of coronavirus.

The status change will allow all those observing red zone permit conditions to be released from 6pm, as long as they have returned a negative test result since arriving.


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However, Victoria's Department of Health stressed any primary close contacts linked to Queensland and NSW exposure sites must continue self-isolating.

AAP understands just a handful of interstate arrivals remain in hotel quarantine.

At least 45 air passengers from Brisbane landed in Melbourne on Monday night after the area was declared a red zone.

Some said they received conflicting advice from health officials about whether they would be forced into hotel quarantine if their flight departed before the 6pm cut-off time.

It comes as the state government warned businesses across Victoria that authorities would be on the hunt to ensure they are maintaining COVID-safe practices over the Easter break.

About 3900 businesses will be visited over the next three weeks, with authorised officers checking each has an up-to-date COVID-safe plan and that their QR code check-in system is being used properly by staff and customers.

The operation began with seafood, meat and poultry businesses this week in the lead up to Easter, as well as supermarkets.

Retail, hospitality and licensed venues as well as warehouses, distribution centres and commercial cleaning services will also be targeted.

An emphasis will also be placed on popular Victorian tourism destinations such as the Mornington Peninsula, Surf Coast and the Yarra Ranges.

Individuals found to be breaching the rules can be fined $1652 on-the-spot, and businesses $9913.

"Every Victorian should be proud of just how far we've come with tackling this pandemic.

This blitz is about making sure we can keep the community safe while focusing on social and economic recovery," Acting Police Minister Danny Pearson said in a statement on Thursday.

There have been more than 15,500 coronavirus-related physical visits carried out across the state, along with almost 7000 virtual enquiries.

Some 825 compliance notices have been issued.

Victoria reached 34 consecutive days without a locally acquired case of coronavirus on Thursday, following 19,430 tests.

There is just one active case in the state - a member of an international flight crew, who is currently in quarantine.


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