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Check-in app to alert exposure site visits


By Benita Kolovos in Melbourne
Source: AAP

The QR code check-in app Victorians use to register at cafes, shops and even playgrounds will also be able to let them know if they have visited an exposure site.

An update to the Service Victoria app will mean it can notify people if they have visited a tier one exposure site, according to the Chief Health Officer’s update on Tuesday.

Previously, Victorians had to keep a close eye on government exposure site listings, which can run to hundreds of locations, or wait for health authorities to contact them directly.

“This new feature is another way Victorians can be aware if they have visited a Tier 1 exposure site, allowing them to isolate faster to protect the community,” the update said.

Meanwhile, from 11am on Wednesday Victorian businesses can apply for one of 7000 vouchers to help prepare them for reopening at the end of the week.

Restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars are being offered $2000 vouchers ahead of further restriction easing on Friday, to hire or purchase furniture and equipment.

In Melbourne’s northwest, coronavirus cases continue to fall after record growth in vaccination rates.

In the local government area of Hume, once the centre of the state’s COVID-19 outbreak, about 70 per cent of people are fully vaccinated, an increase from 35 per cent four weeks ago.

The southeastern LGAs of Greater Dandenong and Casey have overtaken Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs for new infections, and there is also an increasing number of cases in Albury Wodonga on the Victoria-NSW border.

Victoria recorded 1510 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Tuesday, bringing the toll from the state’s latest outbreak to 234.

About 90.8 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have had one COVID-19 vaccine dose while almost 76 per cent are fully vaccinated, paving the way for restrictions to ease further at 6pm on Friday.

The encouraging numbers come as new laws giving the premier the power to declare a pandemic have been introduced to parliament.

The bill includes penalties for people or businesses who fail to comply with the rules despite knowing it would lead to a “serious risk” to the health of others.

Based on the proposed penalty units, individuals could face a jail sentence of two years or a $90,000 fine, while businesses could be fined more than $450,000.

The opposition has described the proposed laws as “the most extreme, dangerous and excessive laws ever brought before our state”.

The bill is expected to pass the lower house with support from the crossbench when it is debated on Thursday.

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