January 20, 2021

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Service Victoria website crashes as state forces every Australian to obtain a permit before entering

The Victorian government website crashed due to demand after the state enforced new strict rules for...

The Victorian government website crashed due to demand after the state enforced new strict rules for anyone wanting to enter the state.

Anyone wanting to enter Victoria must now apply for a permit which will be coloured red, orange or green, based on the Covid risk in the area they’ve arriving from.

This applies to every arrival in the state, even those from Covid-safe states and territories which have experienced no virus outbreaks in months.

Travellers can expect a hefty $4,957 fine if they turn up to the Victorian border without a permit.

Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement just four hours before the new rules came into effect at 6pm on Monday.

The news sparked confusion for many as they scrambled to log onto the Service Victoria website to obtain a permit.

But the permit system wasn’t available on the Services Victoria website until 9pm, leaving travellers unable to log on for nearly three hours. 

Anyone wanting to cross the Victoria border from 6pm Monday must have a permit or be fined $5,000. Pictured are young Melburnians in St Kilda recently

Anyone wanting to cross the Victoria border from 6pm Monday must have a permit or be fined $5,000. Pictured are young Melburnians in St Kilda recently

Anyone coming from or has been in a red zone will not be allowed to enter Victoria without an exception or exemption, which currently includes only the Greater Sydney and Brisbane areas. 

An orange zone means you can apply for a permit but need to take a coronavirus test within 72 hours upon arrival in Victoria and self-isolate until a negative result.

A green zone means you will be able to apply for a permit and enter Victoria but should remain alert for symptoms once they cross the border.

Regional NSW areas, including the Central Coast north of Sydney will be reclassified from a red zone to orange at 6pm Monday.

It means residents, as well as Victorians holidaying in these areas, will be able to enter Victoria if they isolate upon their arrival, get tested and stay home until they receive a negative result.

Premier Andrews described the new traffic light system as ‘common sense’.

‘It serves as advice for any Victorian travelling to other parts of the country. This is based on public health advice and gives to our public health team and every single Victorian clarity about what the status of every other part of our nation is,’ he said.

Returned Victorian travellers arriving by plane or by water without a valid reason or exemption will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days and will receive a fine of $4,957. 

The new Victorian permits will be coloured red, orange or green, based on where you're coming from and where you've been. Pictured are passengers being checked upon arrival at Melbourne Airport

The new Victorian permits will be coloured red, orange or green, based on where you're coming from and where you've been. Pictured are passengers being checked upon arrival at Melbourne Airport

The new Victorian permits will be coloured red, orange or green, based on where you’re coming from and where you’ve been. Pictured are passengers being checked upon arrival at Melbourne Airport

Interstate residents presenting at an airport or seaport without a valid reason or exemption will also be fined $4,957 and returned to their destination on the next available flight.

Substantial penalties apply for anyone who turns up to the Victorian border without a permit.

‘If you turn up here and you should not be here, if you have not bothered to apply for one and you were rejected and turn up the face that $5,000 fine, that is significant because we don’t want a situation where people are not playing the part, everybody has to play a part this,’ Mr Andrews said.

Greater Sydney remains a red zone, as does Brisbane, despite a three day hard lockdown ending at 6pm Monday. 

COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES:

  • Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan. 
  • Victoria – Regional NSW was declared an ‘orange zone’ on January 11, and locals will be allowed into Victoria from 6pm with a permit. Anyone from Greater Sydney, still deemed a red zone, must spend two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine.
  • Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
  • South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
  • Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate. 
  • ACT – Anyone travelling to the ACT from a Covid-19 hotspot in NSW will now require an exemption. People from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be legally permitted to enter the ACT without a valid pass from midday on Saturday January 2.
  • Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.  
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‘The public health team is not 100 per cent confident we can have people from Brisbane returned to Victoria,’ Mr Andrews said.

‘We will again monitor that each day, there are still many close contacts that have not been tested, it’s a relatively new outbreak we are very pleased for our friends in Queensland with such positive results over the weekend, many tests and no additional cases. 

‘But the public health team are not yet in Victoria, comfortable to have people from the greater Brisbane area coming back or travelling to Melbourne regardless of where they might live.’

He thanked those in current red zone areas for their patience in the last fortnight and hopes to provide more promising news later in the week.  

Pictured are passengers at Melbourne Airport on Friday after arriving from Brisbane, which remains a red zone

Pictured are passengers at Melbourne Airport on Friday after arriving from Brisbane, which remains a red zone

Pictured are passengers at Melbourne Airport on Friday after arriving from Brisbane, which remains a red zone

It’s understood the traffic light system could be remain in place for much of 2021.

‘Until we have a vaccine, we’ll need to continue to react and respond to changing circumstances. This system will make sure we can do just that, while supporting the rapid response of our contact tracing team,’ Mr Andrews said.

The announcement comes after Victoria recorded zero new locally acquired coronavirus cases for a fifth consecutive day on Monday.

Just one new case was recorded, which was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

Around 18,660 tests have been conducted across the state in the last 24 hours.

Victoria currently has 40 active cases, down from 45 on Sunday.

Health authorities are now confident contact tracers are winning the battle against the recent 27-case outbreak linked to a Thai eatery in bayside Melbourne, which sparked fears of a third coronavirus wave for Victoria.  

A new 'traffic light' system  will be introduced for anyone looking to cross the Victorian borders. Pictured is a motorist passing through a border checkpoint in Mallacoota in the state's East Gippsland region

A new 'traffic light' system  will be introduced for anyone looking to cross the Victorian borders. Pictured is a motorist passing through a border checkpoint in Mallacoota in the state's East Gippsland region

A new ‘traffic light’ system  will be introduced for anyone looking to cross the Victorian borders. Pictured is a motorist passing through a border checkpoint in Mallacoota in the state’s East Gippsland region

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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