Vic border and visitor restrictions eased

Premier Daniel Andrews has eased Victoria's border restrictions with NSW and Queensland.
Premier Daniel Andrews has eased Victoria's border restrictions with NSW and Queensland.

More Victorians stranded interstate will be able to return home after the state government further eased border restrictions.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced all of Greater Sydney's local government areas currently deemed red zones will become orange as of 6pm on Friday, with the exception of Cumberland.

People travelling to Victoria from an orange zone will need to apply for a permit online, get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result.

People from Cumberland will only be able to travel into Victoria if they have an exemption or essential worker permit, although Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is confident the restrictions will change soon.

"The fact that you've got consecutive days with no new cases and the previous cases really being in known close contacts is all encouraging," he said.

"It might only be a matter of days before there's a change to that status."

Greater Brisbane and regional NSW, with the exception of Wollongong and the Blue Mountains, will shift from orange to green at 6pm, allowing for unrestricted travel.

From 11.59pm, the visitor cap in Victoria will also increase from 15 to 30.

The smaller limit on home gatherings had been introduced on New Year's Eve, as the state recorded a number of new cases linked to a Black Rock Thai restaurant.

The premier said the cluster has been "run to the ground".

The state recorded a 16th consecutive day without a new locally-acquired case on Friday, although Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa has tested positive in hotel quarantine.

"I'm feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I'll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors," the world No.67 tweeted.

"I've been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored. Thanks for your support. We'll be back stronger."

It has been reported the 23-year-old travelled to Melbourne on the same flight from Abu Dhabi as the coach of US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Sylvain Bruneau.

Bruneau was the first person on a tournament charter flight to test positive, with infections later detected on flights from Doha and Los Angeles.

The cases forced 72 players into hard lockdown, unable to leave their rooms for two weeks.

Badosa was among players who complained about the strict quarantine.

"At the beginning the rule was the positive section of the plane who was with that person had to quarantine. Not the whole plane," she wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

"Not fair to change the rules at the last moment. And to have to stay in a room with no windows and no air."

Professor Sutton said Badosa's infection "proved" the need for strict measures.

"You need to manage each and every case with a great deal of precaution," he said.

The health department on Friday confirmed there was a new case in hotel quarantine, but it is unclear if it is Badosa or another person.

There are 31 active cases in the state, three fewer than Thursday.

Meanwhile, Victoria will receive 1500 seasonal farm workers from the Pacific Islands, who will quarantine in Tasmania before travelling to the mainland.

The Tasmanian government has committed to the program for the first half of 2021, with the cost of the farm worker quarantine shared by the Victorian government and the agricultural industry.

In return, 330 Tasmanians who are stranded overseas will undergo 14-day quarantine in Victoria's hotel quarantine system, paid for by the Tasmanian government.

Australian Associated Press