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Victorians urged to stay away from Melbourne CBD on New Year’s Eve

Despite recording 60 straight days without any new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, Victorians are being urged to stay away from the CBD on New Year’s Eve unless they have a booking at a hospitality venue. The strict rule – similar to a measure Sydney put into place after the northern beaches cluster exploded just before…

Despite recording 60 straight days without any new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, Victorians are being urged to stay away from the CBD on New Year’s Eve unless they have a booking at a hospitality venue.

The strict rule – similar to a measure Sydney put into place after the northern beaches cluster exploded just before Christmas – was announced on Tuesday by Acting Premier Jacinta Allan.

Speaking on behalf of Daniel Andrews who is taking a break, she told reporters the health advice was for people “only who have a booking at a hospitality venue” to venture into Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday evening.

“We have now seen how our hospitality venues have really strong COVID-safe practices in place … and that’s a really important way of helping with the testing and tracing should there be a case,” Ms Allan said.

“That’s why we’re wanting to see only people with bookings come in and out of the city.

“Other movement, we know, can cause risk of transmission, and particularly with the situation being so active in NSW, we want to make sure that we can minimise the risk here in Victoria and Melbourne.”

Victoria recorded its 60th straight day without any new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

Ms Allan said it was a “strong result” and urged Victorians not to go out and celebrate on New Year’s Eve if they had symptoms.

“Do not go out and celebrate New Year’s Eve if you have symptoms because it is only going to contribute to the spread of the virus,” she said.

“Even if you are on holidays and you do have symptoms, please do get tested at one of those 60 testing sites around Victoria … it is all part of keeping the community safe and holding on to those precious gains of no known local community transmission.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian banned any gatherings in Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve, with current COVID-19 restrictions to continue beyond December 30.

“You cannot come to the CBD on New Year’s Eve unless you have a booking from a hospitality venue. But even if you have a booking, you have to get a permit through Service NSW to prove you got that booking,” she said.

“You cannot just, unfortunately, pick up and go along to those frequently attended venues without a controlled and ticketed event.”

Only people with a New Year’s Eve pass from Service NSW will be allowed to enter designated zones around Circular Quay, North Sydney and the City.

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