Victoria records zero new cases of COVID-19

Victoria has recorded no new COVID-19 cases a day after negative tests were returned for the 17 close contacts of a hotel quarantine worker who tested positive.

There were no new locally acquired cases or new infections registered in hotel quarantine as 23,227 tests were completed in the past 24 hours.

The Victoria Department of Health said all of the close contacts linked to the positive Grand Hyatt COVID-19 case in Melbourne this week have tested negative.

On Friday, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the man’s close contacts could still test positive, but all would remain in 14 days isolation.

Health authorities had earlier confirmed the 26-year-old man was infected with the more virulent UK variant of the virus.

Tennis officials have also confirmed all 507 players and staff tested for COVID-19 in Melbourne on Thursday returned negative results.

The negative results came as authorities continue to investigate the apparent airborne transmission of the virus in hotel quarantine, when a family of five with a high viral load in the room possibly infected a returned passenger across the hallway.

Spectators watching the tennis at the Australian Open will still have to wear masks when the roof is closed at major courts Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena.

The Victorian government confirmed late on Friday that indoor mask rules which came into effect late on Wednesday night would include “stadiums and other event venues”.

“In the context of the Australian Open, when the roof is closed at its venues with retractable roofs, these venues are deemed to be indoor spaces under the restrictions and masks use is required by all spectators and officials,” a government spokesman said.

When venue roofs are open, masks will not be needed.

Tennis players will be exempt from these restrictions as they are undertaking strenuous exercise.

More to come

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