Victoria has broken its 61-day coronavirus-free streak, recording three new cases in the community.
The infections were revealed late on Wednesday as Victoria changed its border rules with NSW.
The cases are present in two women in their 40s and a woman in her 70s from the Melbourne eastern suburbs of Mitcham, Mentone and Hallam.
More than 40 primary close contacts are being supported to isolate immediately and extensive contact tracing is under way, Victoria’s Commander of COVID-19 response Jeroen Weimar said.
Mr Weimar said the active cases were a concern but everything was being done to ensure all relevant exposure sites and close contacts were identified.
“We have three cases that are self-isolating at home and are being supported and monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services,” he said.
“We have been in this position before and we are deploying our full outbreak approach around these cases.”
Mr Weimar said that contact tracing is ongoing overnight as the team confirms evidence of how these cases presented and more close contacts are expected to emerge.
“At this point, our priority is on making sure we’ve got the right supports in place for the close contacts (primary and secondary) and that people are getting themselves tested.”
High risk locations include:
27/12/20 – Mentone/Parkdale Beach – 10:00 – 16:30
28/12/20 – Century City Walk and Mocha Jo’s, Glen Waverley – 13:30 – 17:00
28/12/20 – Katialo restaurant, Eaton Mall, Oakleigh – 19:00-20:15
The DHHS was unable to comment on whether the cases are believed to be linked to the COVID-19 cases from NSW, which on Wednesday recorded another 18 cases, including nine linked to the northern beaches cluster.
Mr Weimar said the risk of locations will be updated as more information comes to hand.
It came as a NSW woman, 57, of Bateau Bay, was arrested after allegedly evading a COVID-19 checkpoint in East Gippsland on Wednesday.
Victoria Police alleges the woman – who is from a designated red zone – evaded the Chandlers Creek checkpoint by speeding past about 4am after an earlier attempt to enter Victoria, where she was directed to go back and make an permit application.
The woman was arrested in the afternoon without incident and taken to do 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Following that, she will be interviewed for offences including conduct endangering life, failing to stop on police direction and contravening chief health officer directions.
Under border changes unveiled by Victoria on Wednesday, those who have been in the Blue Mountains or Wollongong areas from Sunday will have until 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve to enter Victoria.
They’ll also have to apply for a new travel permit and get tested within 24 hours of returning as well as self isolate for 14 days from when they left.