Victoria has recorded 10 new locally acquired coronavirus cases overnight, all linked to a Thai restaurant. 

Victorian Minister for Health Martin Foley announced on Saturday the new cases brought the state total to 29. 

There were two cases recorded in hotel quarantine while all 10 locally acquired cases have been linked back to the Thai restaurant in Black Rock, Melbourne.

Mr Foley revealed a Victorian couple, who crossed state borders to visit a pub in regional NSW, had returned to Melbourne to isolate. 

The pair had been identified as close contacts of a case linked to the outbreak at Thai restaurant in Black Rock.

They were warned by contact tracers – and told to isolate and get tested – though still travelled from Melbourne into regional NSW to enjoy a night away.   

The two Victorians visited the Great Southern Hotel in Eden, in the southern region of NSW, on December 30 from 5pm to 6.30pm. 

The pair then ate at Bermi’s Beachside Cafe in Bermagui from about 9am to 10am on December 31. 

Victoria has recorded 10 new Covid-19 cases overnight after it was revealed two close contacts of a Covid-19 positive case ignored calls to self-isolate and crossed state borders to visit a New South Wales pub (pictured, Melbourne resident on New Year's Eve)

Victoria has recorded 10 new Covid-19 cases overnight after it was revealed two close contacts of a Covid-19 positive case ignored calls to self-isolate and crossed state borders to visit a New South Wales pub (pictured, Melbourne resident on New Year's Eve)

Victoria has recorded 10 new Covid-19 cases overnight after it was revealed two close contacts of a Covid-19 positive case ignored calls to self-isolate and crossed state borders to visit a New South Wales pub (pictured, Melbourne resident on New Year’s Eve)

The two Victorians visited the Great Southern Hotel in Eden, in the southern region of NSW, on Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm

The two Victorians visited the Great Southern Hotel in Eden, in the southern region of NSW, on Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm

The two Victorians visited the Great Southern Hotel in Eden, in the southern region of NSW, on Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm

They had been contacted by health workers to tell them they were close contacts on December 30 when they were still in Victoria, and they later sought testing when in NSW.

‘Please be advised we have been contacted by NSW Health and a confirmed Covid case visited the cafe for breakfast December 31 between 9-10am,’ the cafe wrote on Facebook on Friday. 

Staff at the cafe are in isolation and will be tested for Covid-19. 

‘We are very confident in our Covid safety plan and have followed all rules in enforce these rules to help keep everyone safe,’ the cafe said.  

Officially, five new cases were recorded in Victoria on Friday, but had been announced on Thursday, taking the state’s new unexpected cluster linked to a Thai restaurant to eight.

But just hours later, another two cases were recorded – taking the cluster to ten.

Earlier on Friday, Victoria’s testing chief Jeroen Weimar said 170 close contacts of the new coronavirus cases have been identified and are in self-isolation. 

Hundreds of drivers are facing lengthy queues to get back into the state from NSW before the hard border closure comes in at midnight. 

The border region also became a major point of contention on Friday, with the NSW far south coast towns of Eden and Bermagui also now on high alert.

The pair then ate at Bermi's Beachside Cafe in Bermagui from about 9am to 10am on Thursday

The pair then ate at Bermi's Beachside Cafe in Bermagui from about 9am to 10am on Thursday

The pair then ate at Bermi’s Beachside Cafe in Bermagui from about 9am to 10am on Thursday

The Melbourne coronavirus cluster grew to ten infections on Friday. The outbreak is linked to Sydney

The Melbourne coronavirus cluster grew to ten infections on Friday. The outbreak is linked to Sydney

The Melbourne coronavirus cluster grew to ten infections on Friday. The outbreak is linked to Sydney  

Hundreds of drivers are facing lengthy queues to get back into Victoria from NSW before the hard border closure comes in at midnight

Hundreds of drivers are facing lengthy queues to get back into Victoria from NSW before the hard border closure comes in at midnight

Hundreds of drivers are facing lengthy queues to get back into Victoria from NSW before the hard border closure comes in at midnight

Victorians had been warned to not enter New South Wales.

In the state’s west at Genoa one motorist on Friday reported a wait of almost six hours as a line of hundreds of cars snaked through a checkpoint. 

Growing coronavirus case numbers in NSW on Thursday prompted Victorian authorities to impose a hard border from midnight Friday. Anyone arriving after that time must spend a fortnight in quarantine.

The news sparked an urgent dash for the border by many Victorians holidaying outside the state.

Anyone crossing back on Friday needs to have a border permit and must isolate at home for 14 days.

Victorians are facing lengthy queues to cross the NSW border into their home state, as a COVID-19 quarantine deadline looms. Pictured: Police officers patrol and check for entry permits to Victoria at a border checkpoint on December 29, 2020

Victorians are facing lengthy queues to cross the NSW border into their home state, as a COVID-19 quarantine deadline looms. Pictured: Police officers patrol and check for entry permits to Victoria at a border checkpoint on December 29, 2020

Victorians are facing lengthy queues to cross the NSW border into their home state, as a COVID-19 quarantine deadline looms. Pictured: Police officers patrol and check for entry permits to Victoria at a border checkpoint on December 29, 2020

Two women in face masks are seen in Melbourne's CBD on Thursday ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations

Two women in face masks are seen in Melbourne's CBD on Thursday ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations

Two women in face masks are seen in Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations 

Those still making their way home have until 11.59pm Friday to cross before being forced into hotel quarantine as the state scrambles to avoid a third wave of the deadly virus. 

There were 13,801 coronavirus tests conducted across Victoria in the 24-hour period to midnight on New Year’s Eve. 

Martin Foley thanked Victorians who have come forward for testing.

‘It is the most important thing you can do,’ he said on Friday.  

The latest cases, which first emerged on Wednesday night, ended a 61-day streak without infections for Victoria.

All are directly or indirectly linked to the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock on December 21, which was attended by a NSW returned traveller.

That traveller returned before border permits were in place and was being tested on Thursday.

‘The NSW link is still our primary line of investigation for this outbreak,’ Mr Foley said.

One of the active infections in Victoria is someone from Leongatha in southern Gippsland (pictured)

One of the active infections in Victoria is someone from Leongatha in southern Gippsland (pictured)

One of the active infections in Victoria is someone from Leongatha in southern Gippsland (pictured)

It was also revealed on Friday that wastewater samples taken from Lakes Entrance on December 29 recorded traces of the virus, prompting calls or anyone in that area with symptoms to get tested.

One of the active infections in Victoria is someone from Leongatha in southern Gippsland. 

The person was a close contact of one of the three women who dined at the Thai restaurant and they are in isolation. 

Mr Weimar said the latest cluster was ‘not just a Melbourne issue’.

‘We have returning people from NSW across our entire state,’ he said.

‘If you have symptoms, go to your nearest testing station regardless of where you are in Victoria.’ 

Revellers say goodbye to 2020 and ring in the New Year at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne

Revellers say goodbye to 2020 and ring in the New Year at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne

Revellers say goodbye to 2020 and ring in the New Year at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne

On Thursday, Acting premier Jacinta Allan apologised for the border closure but said Victorians who are in NSW should not be surprised.

‘We have been sending a very strong message for the better part of a week-and-a-half … advising people to think very carefully about their travel to NSW,’ Ms Allan said.

‘These difficult decisions are about protecting the community.’

Masks are also mandatory indoors and the number of visitors allowed in Victorian homes is down to 15 from 30, she said. 

Mr Weimar thanked the ‘thousands of people’ who quickly packed up and returned to Victoria. 

‘I know we saw some very long waiting times in queues at border crossings last night and during the early hours of this morning,’ he said.

‘We are expecting another very busy day today at the border.  

‘If you’re in NSW and you want to be back in Victoria you need to leave now. 

‘Please prepare for a lengthy wait at the border so make sure you have fuel, water, food and whatever you need to isolate safely when you get home.’ 

COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan. 
  • Victoria – A hard border has been put up, with the entire state of NSW declared a red zone. If people cross into Victoria before 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve, they must self- isolate until they test negative. If they enter before 11.59pm on New Year’s Day, they must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of test results. If they cross into the state after January 1, they must spend two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine.
  • Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
  • South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
  • Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate. 
  • ACT – Anyone who has been in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast or Wollongong must quarantine for 14 days in a government facility. 
  • Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.  
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Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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