Victoria’s dedicated quarantine agency is winding down operations in hotels as it shifts to a purpose-built facility.
The announcement came as the state also ended its “code brown” setting for hospitals and prepared to recommence elective surgery.
Operations at a new quarantine hub, located in Mickleham, will start later this month.
There will initially be 250 beds for people who aren’t vaccinated who are required to quarantine, or for eligible people who are positive and unable to safely isolate at home.
COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria commissioner Emma Cassar thanked all the staff who had worked in hotel quarantine during the past 18 months.
“I look forward to this next chapter as we begin operations later this month at the hub,” she said.
The federal government has funded the $200 million site, where 500 staff are being inducted and trained. A number of the staff have prior experience working in Victoria’s hotel quarantine program.
Meanwhile, the federal government will begin rolling out the protein-based Novavax vaccine on Monday, a week earlier than previously anticipated.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt said he anticipated the vaccine would drive up vaccination numbers further.
“Despite high vaccination rates in Australia, there has been a demand for a protein-based formula,” Hunt said.
“For some people, the arrival of Novavax will be the extra push they need to get their first jab and kick start their protection against COVID-19.”
The vaccine will be available in select general practices, community pharmacies and state clinics.