I have removed Greater Melbourne from its listing as a Commonwealth hotspot, effective from 11:59pm on 17 February 2021.
I thank the people of Victoria for supporting the last five days of restrictions.
This action enabled public health officials to get ahead of the virus, backed up by consistent high testing numbers.
I especially want to thank the staff at the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria for their work to trace the contacts and test those who come forward, which has provided me with the confidence there is low risk of transmission of the variant B.1.1.7 in Greater Melbourne.
I declared this hotspot out of an abundance of caution because the variant B.1.1.7 is a new, more transmissible strain. The hotspot declaration triggered support from the Commonwealth to the response in Greater Melbourne.
Thank you to all Australians who continue to be magnificent in supporting our public health teams across the country and have done so throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.