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More Victorian COVID cases expected to emerge in Melbourne linked to Sydney outbreak

Major retailers at a Melbourne shopping centre on Boxing Day have been added to exposure sites linked to three new COVID cases in Melbourne.

Health authorities expect more COVID cases to emerge in Melbourne after it was revealed at least one of the three new cases identified yesterday visited a shopping centre on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Key points:
  • Victoria has not recorded any additional cases this morning
  • Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in Melbourne's south-east has been added to a list of exposure sites
  • Restrictions on travellers from Wollongong and the Blue Mountains come into force from midnight

Dozens of close contacts are isolating in suburban Melbourne after being linked to the three new cases, which yesterday brought Victoria's 61-day run of zero locally acquired cases to an end.

The cases, in the suburbs of Mentone, Hallam and Mitcham, are believed to be linked to the outbreak in Sydney and do not involve people in hotel quarantine.

They include two women aged in their 40s and a woman aged in her 70s, who are now self-isolating at home.

Contact tracers are working to identify anyone connected to the women, and have already identified 40 people, who have now been told to self-isolate.

People wearing masks and carrying shopping in an arcade in Melbourne's CBD.People wearing masks and carrying shopping in an arcade in Melbourne's CBD.
Thousands of Melburnians turned out to hunt for bargains on Boxing Day.(ABC News: Patrick Rocca)

A number of major retail outlets at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in Melbourne's south-east on the morning of Boxing Day have been included in exposure sites linked to the cases.

The Department of Health and Human Services has so far confirmed five exposure sites linked to the new cases, and it was likely contact tracers would identify more exposure sites.

The five exposure sites include:

  • Century City Walk and Mocha Jo's in Glen Waverly between 1:30pm and 5:00pm on December 28.
  • Katialo restaurant in the Eaton Mall at Oakleigh between 7:00pm and 8:15pm on December 28.
  • Mentone/Parkdale Beach at Mentone between 10:00am and 4:30pm on December 27.
  • Holy Family Parish Doveton between 4:00pm and 6:00pm on December 26.
  • Kmart, Big W, Target, Millers, King of Gifts and Lacoste stores at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre on December 26 between 9:00am and 11:00am.

Anyone who has visited the locations during the times indicated is advised by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested if symptoms occur.

Victoria's commander of COVID-19 response, Jeroen Weimar, said health authorities were providing support to the three women.

"Extensive contact tracing is underway and as a result there are currently more than 40 primary close contacts that are being supported to isolate immediately," he said.

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The three new cases bring the total number of active cases in Victoria to 10, including those previously identified in hotel quarantine.

DHHS said 13,097 test results were received yesterday.

LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic.Victoria further restricts travellers from NSW
A sign at the Victorian border saying permits are required for entry.A sign at the Victorian border saying permits are required for entry.
Further restrictions on travellers from Wollongong or the Blue Mountains entering Victoria come into force from midnight.(ABC News: Mikaela Ortolan)

The Victorian Government last night added further restrictions for people travelling to Victoria from Wollongong and the Blue Mountains regions.

The Government said travellers who had visited either region from December 27 would have until midnight on New Year's Eve to enter Victoria.

Travellers would need to apply for a new permit, be tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria and self-quarantine at home for 14 days from when they left the Wollongong or Blue Mountains region.

Travellers from those regions would not be able to enter Victoria from January 1, the Government said.

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The Victorian Government is also asking anyone in Victoria who has been in Wollongong or the Blue Mountains since December 27 to get tested and stay at home until they have their result.

Victoria has already closed its border to travellers from the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, Greater Sydney and the NSW Central Coast.

The Victorian Government said the new restrictions had been introduced in response to 18 new cases of COVID-19 being reported in NSW, including six from a new cluster in Sydney's inner west.

A health worker in a blue smock and face mask speaks to a person in a vehicle.A health worker in a blue smock and face mask speaks to a person in a vehicle.
Victoria's run of 61 days without a locally acquired case of coronavirus has come to an end.(AAP: James Ross)
Police arrest NSW woman who allegedly sped through checkpoint

Police have arrested a woman from a NSW red zone who allegedly tried to evade police at a COVID-19 checkpoint in East Gippsland on Wednesday morning.

The 57-year-old woman allegedly sped through the Chandlers Creek checkpoint at 4:00am in a station wagon.

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In a statement, Victoria Police said officers initially chased the woman but stopped because of the risk to the community.

She was spotted by an off-duty police offer near Nhill at 5:00pm, allegedly on her way to South Australia.

Police said officers used a tyre deflation device on the Western Highway to stop the woman's car and she was arrested without incident.

The woman was taken to a quarantine hotel by DHHS and will be interviewed after her 14-day quarantine ends.

Police said the woman had tried to enter Victoria earlier and had been turned away.

The woman is from Bateau Bay on the NSW Central Coast.

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