Victoria records ZERO new coronavirus cases overnight

Victoria has recorded zero new coronavirus cases after thousands of residents rushed to get tested after a mystery case emerged.

The figures, which were announced on Thursday morning, come after 32,767 tests were conducted.  There are 38 active cases in the state.

Victoria's cases are believed to be linked to the outbreak in Sydney's Northern Beaches, which may have escaped from hotel quarantine.

There are now calls for compulsory testing for passengers returning to Australia after fears were raised that the highly infectious UK mutant coronavirus strain may soon enter Australia. 

Travellers to Australia should be tested for coronavirus and return a negative result to board a flight, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says. Pictured, a returned Australian entering hotel quarantine in Melbourne

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Travellers to Australia should be tested for coronavirus and return a negative result to board a flight, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says. Pictured, a returned Australian entering hotel quarantine in Melbourne

Melburnians flooded testing centres on Wednesday after Victoria recorded its first mystery case in about three months without one.

A man in his 30s is believed to have caught the virus after attending sales at Chadstone Shopping Centre on Boxing Day and the second day of the test at the MCG a day later.

Tracing the source of the mystery case has been described by the state's COVID response commander Jeroen Weimar as a 'needle in a haystack exercise', presenting a challenge to contact tracing. 

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has led the calls after confirming three people in hotel quarantine in Perth have the more transmissible variant. 

NSW, Victoria and South Australia had all previously recorded cases in returned overseas travellers.

'I think it would be a great safety mechanism to ensure that people coming out of many countries around the world have a test and confirm they are negative before they board a flight with hundreds of other Australians,' Mr McGowan said.

'And I think that safety measure should be implemented. To me, this is a no-brainer.'

The UK variant is believed to be up to 70 per cent more infectious than the original, causing havoc in England and prompting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to order a new national lockdown until at least mid-February.

Victoria has also called for flight crews to not only be tested but quarantined across the nation. 

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Mandatory testing of Australians returning home is seen as important in keeping coronavirus out of the country. Pictured, a nurse tests a patient in Wollongong after Greater Sydney was put on high alert following a coronavirus outbreak

Mandatory testing of Australians returning home is seen as important in keeping

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