Victoria COVID LIVE updates: All first dose Pfizer shots paused; Two new cases linked to Southbank apartment

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Key posts

  • Spring Street weighs lifting outdoor mask rule, regional travel ban
  • South Melbourne Coffee shop, male toilets tier-one exposure sites
  • COVID danger means hotel, offshore detention must end, watchdog says
  • NSW Health investigating ‘identical viral sequence’ of COVID cases in quarantine hotel
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South Melbourne Coffee shop, male toilets tier-one exposure sites

A South Melbourne coffee shop and the male toilets at South Melbourne Central were added as tier 1 exposure sites on Tuesday night.

Anyone who attended Padre Coffee at South Melbourne Market on June 12 between 11.30am and 12.30pm and anyone who used the male toilets on level two of South Melbourne Central on June 12 between 1.45pm to 2.15pm needs to quarantine for 14 days.

Masks remained on at South Melbourne Market on Sunday.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Sakura Kaiten Sushi II on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne was also added to the tier 1 list for anyone who visited the site on June 13 between 12.30pm and 1.50pm.

A number of sites in South Melbourne and Port Melbourne were also added as tier-two sites so anyone who visited those locations on the stated times need to have a COVID-19 test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Among those tier 2 locations are Woolworths South Melbourne Central on June 12 between 1.44pm and 2.15pm, Mister Margherita on June 11 between 6.15pm and 6.35pm, Fruits on Coventry at South Melbourne Market on June 12 to 12.20pm to 12.50pm.

You can check the government’s updating list here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites

Spring Street weighs lifting outdoor mask rule, regional travel ban

The travel ban between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne could be lifted this week along with the requirement to wear masks outdoors with senior state government ministers meeting on Tuesday evening to consider easing coronavirus restrictions.

Under the plan to be thrashed out with Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s team, eight senior cabinet ministers led by acting Premier James Merlino will discuss moving Melbourne to the same settings as regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Thursday.

Three weeks into a “circuit breaker” lockdown, businesses are crying out for the regional travel ban to be lifted.Credit:Getty

That would include lifting the 25-kilometre travel bubble, allowing two visitors into homes and making masks mandatory only indoors.

As well as allowing Melburnians to move freely within the state, the government was expected to take steps to further relax rules in regional Victoria, two government sources told The Age.

A final decision will not be reached until the full cabinet meets on Wednesday morning, with an announcement likely later on Wednesday.

Victoria initially recorded zero new cases on Tuesday, but Health Minister Martin Foley revealed in the afternoon that two residents of a Southbank townhouse complex had tested positive and would be included in Wednesday’s numbers. The pair, both men, were primary close contacts of a fellow resident who tested positive over the weekend.

Read more: Spring Street weighs lifting outdoor mask rule, regional travel ban

South Melbourne Coffee shop, male toilets tier-one exposure sites

A South Melbourne coffee shop and the male toilets at South Melbourne Central were added as tier 1 exposure sites on Tuesday night.

Anyone who attended Padre Coffee at South Melbourne Market on June 12 between 11.30am and 12.30pm and anyone who used the male toilets on level two of South Melbourne Central on June 12 between 1.45pm to 2.15pm needs to quarantine for 14 days.

Masks remained on at South Melbourne Market on Sunday.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Sakura Kaiten Sushi II on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne was also added to the tier 1 list for anyone who visited the site on June 13 between 12.30pm and 1.50pm.

A number of sites in South Melbourne and Port Melbourne were also added as tier-two sites so anyone who visited those locations on the stated times need to have a COVID-19 test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Among those tier 2 locations are Woolworths South Melbourne Central on June 12 between 1.44pm and 2.15pm, Mister Margherita on June 11 between 6.15pm and 6.35pm, Fruits on Coventry at South Melbourne Market on June 12 to 12.20pm to 12.50pm.

You can check the government’s updating list here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites

COVID danger means hotel, offshore detention must end, watchdog says

The Australian Human Rights Commission says the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in immigration detention remains so severe that the government should immediately stop using Christmas Island and makeshift facilities at hotels.

But efforts by Home Affairs to put new detainees into 14 days of quarantine in sometimes “harsh and prison-like” units unnecessarily deprived them of their basic rights, the commission says, with reports of people with no toiletries or a spare change of clothes.

People detained at the Park Hotel in Melbourne wave to protesters in January.Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

The commission made the findings in its report, Management of COVID-19 risks in immigration detention, released on Wednesday, which also acknowledged that no immigration detainee had tested positive to COVID-19 in Australia though workers have.

The report said the risks were worst in hotel detention, such as the Park Hotel in Melbourne, and on Christmas Island, which does not have ventilators or acute medical care and should be immediately decommissioned.

A Tamil asylum seeker family detained on Christmas Island were moved to Perth on Tuesday after four-year-old Tharnicaa was evacuated due to sepsis caused by untreated pneumonia.

More than 200 people are still detained on Christmas Island, according to the most recent figures from the end of April. Those detainees were taken to Christmas Island last year to relieve pressure on the system while the pandemic limits deportations.

Read more: COVID danger means hotel, offshore detention must end, watchdog says

NSW Health investigating ‘identical viral sequence’ of COVID cases in quarantine hotel

NSW Health is investigating the source of a COVID-19 case in the Radisson Blu quarantine hotel in Sydney which has an identical viral sequence to two cases who were staying in an adjacent room.

The department on Tuesday night said it was “currently unclear how and where transmission occurred” between a couple and another traveller all staying on the fourth floor of the O’Connell Street hotel.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Sydney on O’Connell Street.Credit:Google Street View

All three cases have identical viral sequences of the Alpha coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7, arrived on the same flight from Doha to Sydney on June 1 and stayed in adjacent rooms of the quarantine hotel.

They have been transferred to the Special Health Accommodation where they will remain following their positive tests, NSW Health said.

Read more: NSW Health investigating ‘identical viral sequence’ of COVID cases in quarantine hotel

Good morning

Good morning, and welcome aboard today’s coronavirus blog.

We’ll be bringing you all the latest news and developments today as authorities keep trying to chase down primary contacts at that Southbank apartment complex and Victorians – both regional and here in Melbourne – hope to get some word on whether restrictions will be eased further.

School holidays start in little more than a week and whether or not those interstate and regional bookings will be used is a big topic of conversation.

Over at the national news blog my colleague Broede Carmody is covering everything non-COVID-19 related, it’s worth paying it a visit.

Thanks for joining us, let’s get started!

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