Border rule shake-up exposes contradictions as Victoria records 1993 new cases, seven deaths

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Victoria has recorded 1993 new local cases of coronavirus and seven deaths as changes to border rules mean vaccinated NSW travellers will be able to visit Victoria without quarantining before Melburnians can escape the city.

The latest cases came from 79,214 tests while 40, 386 people rolled up their sleeves for a COVID-19 jab.

More than 87.6 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have had one vaccine dose, while 63.8 per cent have had two.

There are now 21,647 active cases across the state.

The new cases come a day after the state government made changes to Victoria’s border controls that mean vaccinated NSW travellers will be able to visit Victoria without quarantining before Melburnians can go to Ballarat.

Health Minister Martin Foley, who announced the state would scrap 14-day quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated people entering from “red zones” on Friday, dubbed the changes a transitional anomaly brought on by new travel restrictions.

He said people arriving from areas of NSW designated red zones under the state’s border control system would instead need to test negative to COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before entering Victoria and then isolate, get tested again within 72 hours and stay isolated until they receive a negative test result.

At the same time, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that from November 1, quarantine will not apply to flights into Sydney by fully vaccinated international travellers, who will then be able to move on to destinations such as Melbourne.

More than 32,000 Singapore Airlines tickets for flights between Singapore and Sydney before Christmas will go on sale on Saturday afternoon, following NSW’s decision, which applies to fully vaccinated citizens, residents and their immediate family.

If Victoria reaches its 80 per cent double-dose target later than the forecast date of November 1, international visitors could visit regional Victoria before Melburnians.

Contact tracing in Victoria has also undergone a change as they look to narrow their focus on the most concerning cases instead of all cases as they did earlier in the pandemic.

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