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Melbourne NYE revellers urged to avoid CBD

Victorians are being urged not to venture into Melbourne’s CBD to celebrate New Year’s Eve unless they have a booking.

Acting Premier Jacinta Allan on Tuesday said while the state had racked up its 60th day without any locally-acquired transmission of coronavirus, it was crucial to minimise movement into the city on December 31.

Although Victorian hospitality venues had demonstrated strong COVID-safe practices, she said “other movement” could cause risk of transmission.

“The only people allowed into the cbd oil controlled substance over the New Year’s Eve period are those people that already have a booking at a hospitality venue in the city,” Ms Allan told reporters.

“There’s still plenty of opportunities for people to celebrate New Year’s Eve and we want people to … reflect on the year that has gone before us but it’s to do it in a really safe way.”

There are seven active cases in the state – six returning travellers in hotel quarantine and a teenage girl isolating at home after contracting the virus in NSW.

Victoria had 6899 tests in the previous 24 hours, while its NSW border remains closed.

Ms Allan said Victoria would continue to follow public health advice regarding the border closure but added there was no time frame available yet.

“We’ve got 60 days of no local community transmission – it’s a really big and important achievement – and we can’t risk that by prematurely moving to open borders,” she said.

NSW authorities are frustrated at repeated breaches of gathering restrictions over the Christmas holiday period.

Sydneysiders also have been mostly banned from watching the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks from the harbour after the foreshores were shut for the first time.

The NSW government is telling people to stay home and watch the shortened seven-minute show at midnight on television.

The federal government has also warned it could punish backpackers or expatriates who breach of public health orders with deportation.