Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mickleham COVID quarantine hub to close

Victoria’s purpose-built quarantine hub at Mickleham will soon cease operations, the state government announced today.

With Victoria through the worst of the winter COVID-19 peak, cases trending down and community vaccination rates high, Minister for Police Anthony Carbines said the hub had served its purpose in keeping Victorians safe from COVID-19.

“Its closure is another step in our recovery from the pandemic,” said Minister Carbines.

“Australia needed these facilities before the pandemic first hit – but this important facility now exists as an insurance policy in the event of a future pandemic, or to provide accommodation in emergencies like natural disasters.”

“I thank the staff of CQV for their dedicated work on the pandemic frontline since December 2020,” he said.

The Minister said the closure was consistent with other purpose-built quarantine facilities around Australia, and means the facility can be considered for other potential uses a few months ahead of schedule, including emergency accommodation ahead of summer.

The Mickleham hub remains an important asset should Victoria need appropriate quarantine facilities in the future to keep Victorians safe from rapidly transmissible diseases, said Minister Carbines.

The Victorian Quarantine Hub was built by the Commonwealth to replace hotels as quarantine sites and has housed 2168 residents since it opened in February, including international travellers, frontline workers and Victorian community members.

Since quarantine requirements for international arrivals were lifted, the Hub has continued to provide accommodation to Victorians needing a place to isolate safely with COVID-19.

The Hub will close next week, with staff supported to find and transition to other employment opportunities, the state government said in a statement. A small number will continue working to shut down the site before it is handed back to the Commonwealth, which owns it, on 1 January next year, it said.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria will also be wound up, transferring its remaining functions to the Department of Justice and Community Safety. CQV will cease to exist early next year.

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