Four new COVID cases connected to outbreak

New ACT health direction in place following Victorian cluster

Professor Sutton said there was "no immediate link" between today's case and that of a Wollert man who tested positive after leaving hotel quarantine in South Australia earlier this month.

New Zealand's COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the "travel bubble" with Victoria has been suspended for three days from Tuesday evening.

Thousands of people in Melbourne have been ordered to self isolate and undergo COVID-19 tests with health alerts issued for several sites, including one of the largest shopping centres in the country.

The new Melbourne case comes after Victorian officials announced on Monday that four people had tested positive to coronavirus, including a man in his 30s, a man in his 70s, a woman in her 70s and a preschool-aged child.

On Tuesday, gathering and mask restrictions were announced for greater Melbourne following the outbreak in the Australian city.

Professor Sutton confirmed the COVID-19 variant in the Whittlesea outbreak is B1617, which was first identified in India in October past year.

Schools and workplaces remain open and Victorians who live in greater Melbourne can still travel to regional Victoria.

Earlier: New exposure sites in Epping, Bundoora, Maribyrnong and Reservoir have been identified following four confirmed COVID-19 cases in the City of Whittlesea.

The operating hours of some 26 testing sites are also set to be expanded, including the Melbourne Showgrounds, which reached capacity after being open for five minutes on Tuesday. Contact tracing of the new cases is underway.

Australian officials are going on the assumption that the new case reported on Tuesday was infectious from about May 15.

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Melburnians are being warned the number of cases could grow.

"It's possible there's another missing link", Professor Sutton said.

Anyone experiencing symptoms is advised to get tested immediately.

"This is a responsible step that we need to take to get on top of this outbreak", James Merlino, Victoria state's acting premier, told reporters in Melbourne.

"An epidemiological link has yet to be determined between these cases and there is now no known link between people in the current outbreak and any of the exposure sites from Wollert [the May 11 case]", Hipkins said.

Private gatherings indoors will be limited to five people and public gatherings will be limited to 30 people.

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said the country would not be a "safe zone" until more than 15 million are inoculated.

As of Tuesday morning, contract tracers had listed 10 exposure sites including shopping centers, a swimming school, supermarkets, restaurants and a sports venue, where at least one of the COVID-19 sufferers had visited since becoming potentially infectious.

The ministry also recommends that anyone in New Zealand who has visited Melbourne since May 11 should monitor for symptoms and if any develop, seek advice on testing from Healthline.

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