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Victoria To Open Quarantine Hub, Cases Rise In WA

The impact of Australia's pandemic is varying widely across the country as Victoria prepares to open a quarantine facility, Queensland mulls easing restrictions and COVID-19 cases rise ahead of WA's border opening.

The country recorded another 45 virus deaths on Saturday, all in the eastern states aside from two in South Australia and one in Tasmania.

More than 22,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday, with most coming from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, where infection rates are generally coming down.

Western Australia reported a daily record high of 257 new local infections on Saturday, a day after Premier Mark McGowan announced a return to quarantine-free travel when the border opens on March 3.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Quarantine Hub, which will replace hotels and become the state's only quarantine site from April, will officially open to residents on Monday.

"The Omicron variant has shown us we must continue to be flexible in our pandemic response - and the purpose-built Victorian Quarantine Hub will be vital to how we manage pandemics today and into the future," Police Minister Lisa Neville said on Saturday.

The hub's cabin-style accommodation includes entry and exit points via outdoor decks to prevent the virus spreading through shared corridors.

Queensland has its own purpose built 500-bed quarantine centre near Toowoomba, which is likely to house unvaccinated international arrivals.

The state is considering whether to ease restrictions within its borders.

Mandatory quarantine is required for virus cases and isolation for close contacts.

Face masks are mandatory indoors and double-vaccination is required for venues such as cafes and bars, cinemas and sports stadiums.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday said she would discuss possibly easing some of those mandates with the chief health officer in the next couple of days.

"I will definitely let Queenslanders know before the end of the month about what restrictions will be eased," she told reporters.

AAP with The Project