Victoria records three new coronavirus cases linked to a Thai restaurant as emergency restrictions are put on New Year’s Eve partygoers – and health chiefs are bracing for numbers to riseTwo Melbourne women in their 40s and a woman in her 70s tested positive  They are recorded in Thursday’s figures and are first cases for VIC for 61 days They are believed to be linked to Sydney’s outbreak through close contacts 

Victoria has recorded a further three coronavirus cases after reporting three last night.

There are now six locally acquired active cases in the state. 

The three new cases identified last night marked Victoria’s first locally acquired infections for 61 days and there are fears the number could rise.

They are two Melbourne women in their 40s and 70-year-old female relative. The cases are believed to be linked to a returned traveller from NSW.

Three of their close contacts tested positive on Thursday morning.  

The outbreak has prompted Victoria to re-introduce compulsory mask wearing and tighten restrictions for New Year’s Eve with private gatherings limited to 15, down from 30.  

Health Minister Martin Foley said: ‘This is a very serious situation that Victorians are facing, having sacrificed so much over the course of this year.

‘Victorians know how wildly infectious this virus can be.’ 

Victorian Police are seen patrolling checkpoints in Mallacoota after new border restrictions were placed with NSW, banning residents from Wollongong and the Blue Mountains

Tens of thousands of Boxing Day shoppers at a busy Melbourne Westfield have been ordered to isolate after six stores were visited by coronavirus patients 

Tens of thousands of Boxing Day shoppers at a busy Melbourne Westfield have been ordered to isolate after six stores were visited by coronavirus patients. 

Six stores in the Fountain Gate shopping centre were visited by an infected shopper during the massive day of sales, including Kmart, Big W, Target, Millers, King of Gifts, and Lacoste.

Anybody who visited these stores must get tested immediately and isolate until a negative result is given. 

Three new coronavirus cases have been recorded in Victoria late on Wednesday (pictured shoppers in Melbourne on Boxing Day)

VICTORIAN VENUES ON ALERT 

Anyone at these locations my get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result

Holy Family Parish Doveton Catholic – December 26, 4pm to 6pm

Kmart, Big W, Target, Millers, King of Gifts, Lacoste at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre – December 26, 9am to 11am

Mentone/Parkdale Beach – December 27, 10am to 4.30pm

Century City Walk and Mocha Jo’s, Glen Waverley – December 28, 1.30pm to 5pm

Katialo restaurant, Eaton Mall, Oakleigh – December 28, 7pm to 8:15pm

The women live in Mentone, Mitcham and Hallam, and authorities are scrambling to find out exactly how they were infected. 

The infected people hadn’t travelled to NSW recently but are believed to have contracted the virus through close contacts who arrived from north of the border.

People at several other locations around Melbourne must also isolate until they get a negative test result. 

The Holy Family Parish Doveton church and the Parkdale beach were also visited by confirmed cases.

The Century City Walk, Mocha Jo’s and the Katialo restaurant were also visited by infected residents. 

There are seven active cases in hotel quarantine in Victoria and a 15-year-old girl who is isolating at home after testing positive upon returning from NSW. 

The news comes as the state tightens its border restrictions with NSW after 18 new cases were recorded on Wednesday.

From 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve, Victoria will shut its borders to anyone from the Blue Mountains and Wollongong. 

Anyone who has visited these areas since December 27 will be locked out.

‘These new border measures have been introduced in response to 18 new cases of Covid-19 being reported in NSW, including six from a new cluster in the inner-west of Sydney,’ a statement from the state’s health department read.

‘The situation is highly dynamic and the red zone may continue to change at short notice – therefore Victorians are strongly advised not to travel to New South Wales as you may not be able to re-enter without undertaking hotel quarantine for 14 days.

‘Anyone intending to return to Victoria from these areas between midnight tonight and 11.59pm on December 31 must apply for a new travel permit through Service Victoria, must get tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria, and must self-quarantine at home for 14 days from when they last left the region.’  

The Westfield at Fountain Gate shopping centre was visited by infected shoppers on Boxing Day who went inside six different stores

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