NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has declared councils in that state will be allowed to host Australia Day ceremonies and celebrations after no new locally acquired COVID0-19 cases were recorded yesterday.
NSW saw 20,437 tests in the past 24 hours with no new local cases and two overseas acquired cases in hotel quarantine.
Given the result and the looming celebrations of Australia Day on January 26, Minister Hazzard said NSW Health was prepared to go ahead with Australia Day ceremonies.
"If councils wish to have Australia Day ceremonies of up to 500 people, they can do so without any major concerns," the Minster said.
"If they wish to have more in structured environments, they can have up to a couple of thousand."
Minister Hazzard said NSW Health would have guidelines available online for local councils within the next 72 hours.
The state government has announced rules for wearing masks inside will be eased from this Sunday night.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the rules would return to those in place at Christmas, when masks were only required in some settings, such as when people were inside a supermarket or using public transport.
He said the change could be made because no new locally-transmitted cases had been recorded in the state.
"To produce eight days of zero [new cases]... is a credit to our public health team and to all the Victorians who've played their part," he said.
Mr Andrews also announced that from Monday private sector employers will be able to have up to 50 per cent of staff working from the office.
For public sector offices the cap will be 25 per cent.
Victoria's streak of days without new COVID-19 community transmission continues for an eighth day.
There are also no new infections from interstate or overseas.
The number of known active cases of the virus in Victoria has dropped to 29, with 16,533 test results received. There were 35 known active cases of COVID-19 in the state on Wednesday.
The Victorian government yesterday changed its rules regarding returning travellers from Queensland, after an increase in the number of cases of the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19 in that state.
In a statement on social media, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said anyone who was in the Queensland "red zones" of Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Logan and Ipswich from December 30 should get tested and self-quarantine until they received a negative result.
"Previously we had asked people to get a test and quarantine at home if they'd been in any of these areas on or after January 2," the premier's post said.
Anyone who had been in Queensland's "red zones" in the past 14 days would not be allowed to enter Victoria without an exemption, exception or permitted worker permit.
"Victorians have been so quick to act every step of the way. Up to the challenge, each and every time - no matter what's thrown at us. And I know this will be no different," the premier's statement said.
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The Department of Health and Human Services has again clarified COVID-19 screening requirements for travellers from New South Wales.
Returned NSW travellers who have already tested negative to the virus are not required to get a day 11 test, the department said on Wednesday.
The department on Monday said all travellers returning to Victoria from a "green zone" on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day were required to get tested on day 11 - 12 of their quarantine, and travellers should have been advised of the requirement during their initial test and via a text message.
Monday's clarification was prompted by reports of confusion about whether there was a retesting requirement, after Bendigo's drive-through screening clinic was moved to the Prince of Wales showgrounds in anticipation of a spike in demand from returned travellers from NSW.
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