Victoria has recorded 13 new community cases of Covid-19, with all but one of those cases linked to identified clusters. The source of the remaining case is under investigation.
The spread of the virus in Victoria still appears to be contained, with only 13, 16, and 19 community cases recorded in the last three days.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced today the state's lockdown will be extended to Tuesday July 27 at midnight.
"We wish we could bring this in earlier, but we can't run the risk that there are cases out there that we don't know about," he said. "There are changes of transmission that are not yet contained that we don't know about and if we would open up we would see how quickly this runs, we see how challenging this can become in a very short space of time."
Victorians who have been in Sydney will also not be allowed to return to their home state under new border restrictions.
"The only people that will get a permit to travel from a red zone into Victoria are those who are authorised workers and those who apply for and get a compassionate exemption to the new rules I am announcing today," Andrews said.
Despite a lockdown extension and harsher border restrictions, Andrews said he was confident the strategy was working in stopping the Covid-19 Delta variant.
"We are keeping these case numbers low and the percentage of those cases that have been isolating for the entirety of their infectious period is growing," he said.
New case in Queensland
The outbreak in Victoria has also spread to Queensland, where a woman tested positive for the virus today after travelling home from Melbourne. She had been infectious in the community for about three days, Acting Premier Steven Miles said.
Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young said the fully vaccinated woman flew into the Sunshine Coast Airport from Melbourne on July 13.
She received an alert from Victorian health authorities on July 15, because she had been at the Young and Jacksons Hotel on July 10, which was determined a Tier 1 exposure site.
She immediately got a Covid-19 test, which returned a negative result. The woman then visited a number of sites around the Sunshine Coast Region.
While initially testing negative, she was later confirmed to have contracted the virus and has been deemed infectious from July 15.
On Monday, Andrews took aim at New South Wales for letting the virus run out of control and spread to other parts of the country.
"As soon as they get it under control, it takes a lot of pressure off us and Adelaide and Brisbane and the whole country," Andrews said, adding that the outbreak "has to be pulled up in Sydney".
Andrews said Victorian health authorities are closely monitoring test results in the labs as thousands of primary close contacts linked to outbreaks awaited results.
Half of 1800 close contacts to a positive case at an AAMI Park rugby match still have results pending, while 43 per cent of 2300 contacts at Trinity Grammar were also yet to receive results.
As of Tuesday morning, 10 Victorian schools have been exposed to the virus, forcing thousands of teachers, students and their families into isolation.
There are 15,800 people deemed close contacts isolating across the state and the list of exposure sites has topped 300.
Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton said yesterday the "real benefits" of the state's snap lockdown had only emerged on Monday, with all current cases in the outbreak linked to existing clusters, but health authorities needed more time to assess when the lockdown could be lifted.
"It is not a question of locking down for a short period of time versus life as normal," Sutton said. "Life as normal puts at risk hundreds of cases becoming thousands of cases, becoming tens of thousands of cases."
Andrews said the snap lockdown was the right decision, claiming "we know that if we had been open, we'd be just like Sydney with hundreds and hundreds of cases ... lifting restrictions now would not be the right thing to do."
He said the outbreak was "unfolding as hoped" with contact tracers able to link all new cases to existing clusters.
Public health expert Professor Bill Bowtell said the trajectory of Victoria's outbreak showed that the state's snap lockdown was more effective than NSW's method.
"The [cases] are all linked, so that is a tremendous achievement," he said. "Of course, they went into the lockdown to bring about this type of outcome. Short and sharp. And let's hope it can end very soon.
"I am sure they don't want what we are going through in Sydney now, which is this long, drawn out process to come to the inevitable conclusion that we should have moved quicker and faster and harder sooner."
Travel bubble pause between NZ-Victoria extended
The pause on quarantine-free travel between Victoria and New Zealand, which was set to end early this morning, has been extended by a further two days.
The travel bubble freeze with Victoria would be reviewed again tomorrow, as would the pause on travel from New South Wales after that state battles an ongoing outbreak across Greater Sydney.
The Ministry of Health said last night a better understanding was needed on the developing Covid-19 situation in the Australian state and the decision to extend the pause with Victoria was a "precautionary but necessary measure".
Anyone who had been in Victoria since July 8 was encouraged to keep checking the Victoria Health website for exposure sites - as the list of locations of interest continued to grow.
People who had been at an exposure site at the relevant time should immediately isolate at their home or appropriate accommodation and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing.