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One Vic virus case in hotel quarantine

Victoria has recorded one new case of COVID-19 in its revamped hotel quarantine system but no new cases in the community.

The state has now reached 44 days without local COVID-19 transmission.

The hotel quarantine case is the sixth recorded COVID-19 case since the Victorian government resumed its hotel quarantine program earlier this week.

Five of those COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday, from a total of 6233 tests.

The case reported on Sunday was that of a boy aged under five. His parents were on Saturday among the five people confirmed to have COVID-19.

There were 735 international arrivals in quarantine hotels by 11pm on Friday, according to the state government, including 55 with symptoms or complex health needs at the Novotel “hot hotel” in Melbourne’s South Wharf.

Those who test positive to COVID-19 are obliged to remain in hotel quarantine until they have tested negative and been cleared by officials.

Symptomatic and non-symptomatic arrivals into Melbourne are separated almost immediately at the airport, with major precautions in place for those who are symptomatic.

“These positive results are to be expected and our quarantine system has been designed on the premise that we would have return travellers test positive,” Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said in a statement on Sunday.

“While we’d all prefer there were no active cases, changes made to strengthen the system will ensure that we manage this in a way that keeps returning travellers, the workers caring for them and the Victorian community as safe as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Victorian government on Saturday pledged that new $200 regional travel vouchers would be made available to residents after the first 40,000 vouchers offered through the scheme ran out.

An extra 30,000 vouchers for the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme will be made available from midday on Monday to January 22.

Business Victoria’s website on Friday morning crashed within minutes under the weight of applicants for the voucher program. The department said its website received 800,000 visits by 5pm on Friday.

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