Victoria scales back hotel quarantine

·3-min read

Victoria will end its quarantine arrangements with seven Melbourne hotels before the end of this year, as fewer international arrivals now require the accommodation.

The state's COVID-19 numbers jumped by more than 200 on Friday after recording 1273 new infections, up from 1007 the previous day.

Almost all remaining coronavirus restrictions lifted just before midnight on Friday, as Victoria inches closer to 90 per cent full vaccination in those aged over 12.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar has confirmed hotel quarantine will be wound back in coming weeks, as the state learns to live with the virus.

"The combined impact of the reduction in demand for quarantine accommodation and staff attrition means that we are able to reduce the number of hotels in the program sooner than anticipated," she said.

"This is part of the transition to living with COVID-19, and is a good outcome for Victoria."

The Mantra Tullamarine, Four Points Hotel, Holiday Inn Airport, Novotel South Wharf and Intercontinental Hotel will no longer be used as quarantine facilities from November 30.

Novotel on Collins and the Stamford Plaza will cease their quarantine arrangements on December 27.

Seven hotels, including health hotels the Holiday Inn on Flinders Street and Pullman in Albert Park, will remain open until a staged exit between February and April 2022.

The changes were brought forward, saving about $100 million, due to a reduction in returned overseas travellers and aircrew needing to quarantine.

Fully vaccinated travellers and aircrew can now quarantine at home when they arrive in Victoria.

AAP understands all hotel quarantine workers will keep their jobs, with some redeployed to other hotels, until the Mickleham quarantine facility for non-vaccinated travellers is built next year.

Meanwhile, the state government is battling to get its pandemic legislation through after days of protests on parliament's front steps.

Right-wing extremists have joined protesters, who brought out gallows and chanted that they wanted to "hang" and "kill" Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this week.

On Friday afternoon, Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick, a key crossbencher, said his daughter was in hospital after being attacked in Fitzroy.

"I have reason to believe that this could be linked to my role as an MP and the positions I have taken on the pandemic response," he said, in a statement on Twitter.

Mr Andrews took aim at Scott Morrison, after the prime minister said state governments should step back to allow "Australians to take their lives back".

"I have sympathies for Australians who have had a gutful of governments telling them what to do over the last two years," Mr Morrison said on Friday.

Mr Andrews, asked about his relationship with Mr Morrison in an interview on the Nine Network, said: "It will be a lot better when he stops double speaking to extremists."

Issues around Victoria's changed restrictions are beginning to emerge, with health officials conceding parents cannot add their children's vaccination certificates to the Services Victoria app.

Non-essential retail, hospitality and events have restarted for all people aged over 12 years and two months who are fully vaccinated, unless they have a valid exemption.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar told 3AW parents should carry a printed version of their child's certificate or immunisation history until the app was updated "in a couple of weeks".

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the state government needed to be "clearer on its rules" to avoid further confusion.

SNAPSHOT OF VICTORIA'S CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK:

* Active COVID-19 cases: 13,813

* New COVID infections reported on Friday: 1273

* Deaths reported on Friday: 8

* Death toll across the pandemic: 1248

* COVID-related patients in hospital: 330, -7

* Seven-day hospitalisation average: 371, -13

* Actively infected patients in ICU: 57

* Cleared patients in ICU: 58

* ICU patients on a ventilator: 30

* Tests administered on Thursday: 73,020

* Vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs: 5842

* Vaccination rate in over-12s: 88 per cent.

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