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Coronavirus Australia live update: SA couple rescued in outback after changing travel route due to Covid restrictions Coronavirus Australia live update: SA couple rescued in outback after changing travel route due to Covid restrictions
(32 minutes later)
NSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border. Follow all the updates, liveNSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border. Follow all the updates, live
A racing pigeon that survived a 13,000km Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to Australia now faces being euthanised as a quarantine risk.
Kevin Celli-Bird said he discovered that the exhausted bird that arrived in his Melbourne backyard on Boxing Day had disappeared from a race in the US state of Oregon on 29 October.
Experts suspect the pigeon that Celli-Bird has named Joe, after the US president-elect, Joe Biden, hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific.
Celli-Bird said the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service called him on Thursday to ask him to catch the bird, after its arrival was reported in the media.
Air conditioning has been raised as a possible cause of transmission in the Queensland Grand Chancellor Covid-19 cluster, prompting more questions about the safety of using hotels to quarantine returning travellers.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the air conditioning would be one aspect examined as part of a major investigation into how four travellers, who were all staying on the same floor, a hotel cleaner and her partner became infected.
Health authorities are particularly concerned because those infected have the B117 variant of the virus, which was first identified in the UK and is highly transmissible.
Outbreaks in the community linked to hotel quarantine have now occurred in several states including Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, where more than 20,000 cases and 800 deaths have been reported throughout the pandemic.
Hotel quarantine was “of national concern, not just to Queensland, but everywhere else” Palaszczuk said. In the meantime, the Grand Chancellor has been closed and more than 120 people staying there have been moved to other accommodation to restart quarantine.
The Australian Open’s organisers have released a statement about their decision to allow US player Tennys Sandgren to board one of its specially organised charter flights to Melbourne despite testing positive to Covid-19 on Monday.The Australian Open’s organisers have released a statement about their decision to allow US player Tennys Sandgren to board one of its specially organised charter flights to Melbourne despite testing positive to Covid-19 on Monday.
The statement essentially reiterates comments made from the tournament’s official Twitter account on Thursday afternoon, saying Sandgren’s infection was historic and that authorities have cleared him as no longer being infectious.The statement essentially reiterates comments made from the tournament’s official Twitter account on Thursday afternoon, saying Sandgren’s infection was historic and that authorities have cleared him as no longer being infectious.
You can read more about the situation in this report from my colleagues Luke Henriques-Gomes and Christopher Knaus:You can read more about the situation in this report from my colleagues Luke Henriques-Gomes and Christopher Knaus:
The four people found dead at a Melbourne home were three children and their mother, Victoria police have confirmed.The four people found dead at a Melbourne home were three children and their mother, Victoria police have confirmed.
Speaking about the discovery at the Tullamarine home, Victoria’s police chief commissioner, Shane Patton, says the situation is “heart-wrenching”.Speaking about the discovery at the Tullamarine home, Victoria’s police chief commissioner, Shane Patton, says the situation is “heart-wrenching”.
The body of the mother, who was 42 years old, was found along with the bodies of her seven-year-old-daughter, five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.The body of the mother, who was 42 years old, was found along with the bodies of her seven-year-old-daughter, five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.
The 48-year-old father of the family was at the home when ambulance crews arrived at the Burgess Street home about 12.20pm today.The 48-year-old father of the family was at the home when ambulance crews arrived at the Burgess Street home about 12.20pm today.
Police say he is assisting detectives with inquiries and they are not seeking anyone else in relation to the deaths.Police say he is assisting detectives with inquiries and they are not seeking anyone else in relation to the deaths.
Patton says:Patton says:
Asked if the deaths had been a murder-suicide, Patton says: “That could possibly be relevant to this particular event.”Asked if the deaths had been a murder-suicide, Patton says: “That could possibly be relevant to this particular event.”
Asked if the father is considered a suspect, Patton says it would be “grossly unfair” to “draw any conclusions” about the father’s culpability.Asked if the father is considered a suspect, Patton says it would be “grossly unfair” to “draw any conclusions” about the father’s culpability.
Patton also says he doesn’t expect to be laying charges this evening.Patton also says he doesn’t expect to be laying charges this evening.
Police say there was no history of violence within the family and there is no further threat to the public from the incident.Police say there was no history of violence within the family and there is no further threat to the public from the incident.
The Flying Doctor is urging Australians to take extra precautions when driving in outback areas after the rescue of a couple from Adelaide who drove through remote South Australia because their planned route was changed due to Covid-19 restrictions.The Flying Doctor is urging Australians to take extra precautions when driving in outback areas after the rescue of a couple from Adelaide who drove through remote South Australia because their planned route was changed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The engaged couple had planned to drive from Cairns home to Adelaide through New South Wales, but opted to drive through remote South Australia after a hard border was reintroduced to stop coronavirus spread from NSW.The engaged couple had planned to drive from Cairns home to Adelaide through New South Wales, but opted to drive through remote South Australia after a hard border was reintroduced to stop coronavirus spread from NSW.
Jose, 29, and Nicky, 32, were travelling with their puppy when their Toyota RAV4 became stuck in sand on 3 January.Jose, 29, and Nicky, 32, were travelling with their puppy when their Toyota RAV4 became stuck in sand on 3 January.
They abandoned their car and, without phone reception, walked more than 40km while scrawling “SOS” in the dirt.They abandoned their car and, without phone reception, walked more than 40km while scrawling “SOS” in the dirt.
At one point, Jose resorted to drinking his own urine.At one point, Jose resorted to drinking his own urine.
The pair spent two days without food or water until Craig, a remote worker from Santos, found them at a satellite station after seeing their SOS notes in the roadside. Their dog Loki also survived.The pair spent two days without food or water until Craig, a remote worker from Santos, found them at a satellite station after seeing their SOS notes in the roadside. Their dog Loki also survived.
Craig says he only takes the road once every six weeks, and the pair were 25km from the nearest town, Innamincka.Craig says he only takes the road once every six weeks, and the pair were 25km from the nearest town, Innamincka.
Jose says:Jose says:
They said they “hardly spoke” to each other because their mouths were so dry.They said they “hardly spoke” to each other because their mouths were so dry.
Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened over the past few hours:Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened over the past few hours:
Four people have been found dead at a home in Tullamarine in Melbourne’s north-west.Four people have been found dead at a home in Tullamarine in Melbourne’s north-west.
US tennis player Tennys Sandgren appears bound for Melbourne after Tennis Australia reportedly intervened so he could board a charter flight despite testing positive for coronavirus.US tennis player Tennys Sandgren appears bound for Melbourne after Tennis Australia reportedly intervened so he could board a charter flight despite testing positive for coronavirus.
A man has been seriously injured after being bitten on the leg by a two to three-metre bull shark while swimming in Perth’s Swan River.A man has been seriously injured after being bitten on the leg by a two to three-metre bull shark while swimming in Perth’s Swan River.
Australia has recorded zero community transmission in the most recent day of reporting – when almost 750,000 cases were recorded around the world.Australia has recorded zero community transmission in the most recent day of reporting – when almost 750,000 cases were recorded around the world.
The Australian treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has conceded that some businesses will not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis, as he defended the planned end of the federal government’s jobkeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.The Australian treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has conceded that some businesses will not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis, as he defended the planned end of the federal government’s jobkeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.
Western Australia has recorded no new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19.Western Australia has recorded no new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19.
However, the WA Department of Health has reported two new cases of Covid-19 – both returned international travellers who tested positive while in hotel quarantine in Perth.However, the WA Department of Health has reported two new cases of Covid-19 – both returned international travellers who tested positive while in hotel quarantine in Perth.
Four recent travellers to South Australia may have quarantined at Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor hotel, now shut down over a Covid-19 scare, AAP reports.Four recent travellers to South Australia may have quarantined at Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor hotel, now shut down over a Covid-19 scare, AAP reports.
SA Health says two people who were at the hotel and later travelled to South Australia are no longer in the state.SA Health says two people who were at the hotel and later travelled to South Australia are no longer in the state.
It says checks are still being made to confirm if two more people from the hotel had recently arrived in SA via Victoria.It says checks are still being made to confirm if two more people from the hotel had recently arrived in SA via Victoria.
The information comes after the Grand Chancellor was shut down when six people linked to the quarantine facility tested positive for the more contagious UK coronavirus variant.The information comes after the Grand Chancellor was shut down when six people linked to the quarantine facility tested positive for the more contagious UK coronavirus variant.
A cleaner and her partner, who are among the six, were contagious while in the community and triggered a three-day lockdown in Brisbane last weekend.A cleaner and her partner, who are among the six, were contagious while in the community and triggered a three-day lockdown in Brisbane last weekend.
South Australia’s chief health officer, Nicola Spurrier, says if any people who stayed at the Grand Chancellor are found to be in SA, they will be required to return to quarantine.South Australia’s chief health officer, Nicola Spurrier, says if any people who stayed at the Grand Chancellor are found to be in SA, they will be required to return to quarantine.
South Australia reported no new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, leaving the state with 11 active infections, all returned travellers in hotel quarantine.South Australia reported no new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, leaving the state with 11 active infections, all returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
The decision to push ahead with the Australian Open has angered Australians still stuck abroad.The decision to push ahead with the Australian Open has angered Australians still stuck abroad.
News about the remarkable effort going into hosting the tournament – including charter flights for staff and players and extra resources for hotel quarantine – is not going down well in Facebook groups like Aussie’s Abandoned Abroad, where users share horror stories about cancelled flights, family turmoil, stress and heartbreak.News about the remarkable effort going into hosting the tournament – including charter flights for staff and players and extra resources for hotel quarantine – is not going down well in Facebook groups like Aussie’s Abandoned Abroad, where users share horror stories about cancelled flights, family turmoil, stress and heartbreak.
One user described the stress of repeated flight cancellations as he attempts to return to Australia before his daughter gives birth to twins.One user described the stress of repeated flight cancellations as he attempts to return to Australia before his daughter gives birth to twins.
Another user posted a link to a news article about Victoria’s quarantine plans for the tournament, saying only:Another user posted a link to a news article about Victoria’s quarantine plans for the tournament, saying only:
Others wondered how it was that Tennis Australia was able to manage charter flights to bring players and staff to Melbourne from all over the world for quarantine, when the federal government could not.Others wondered how it was that Tennis Australia was able to manage charter flights to bring players and staff to Melbourne from all over the world for quarantine, when the federal government could not.
Four people have been found dead at a home in Melbourne’s northwest, AAP reports.Four people have been found dead at a home in Melbourne’s northwest, AAP reports.
A man is assisting homicide detectives, while a crime scene has been set up at the Tullamarine property.A man is assisting homicide detectives, while a crime scene has been set up at the Tullamarine property.
Police say there is no ongoing threat to the community.Police say there is no ongoing threat to the community.
The Australian Open’s organisers are scrambling to defend their decision to allow American tennis player Tennys Sandgren to board one of its charter flights to Melbourne despite testing positive to coronavirus.The Australian Open’s organisers are scrambling to defend their decision to allow American tennis player Tennys Sandgren to board one of its charter flights to Melbourne despite testing positive to coronavirus.
Sandgren, who also tested positive to Covid-19 in November and recovered, is understood to have returned a positive result after taking a PCR test on Monday.Sandgren, who also tested positive to Covid-19 in November and recovered, is understood to have returned a positive result after taking a PCR test on Monday.
Sandgren initially tweeted “at least I get to keep my points”, suggesting he had been barred from flying to Melbourne under the organisers strict travel program for players and their entourages.Sandgren initially tweeted “at least I get to keep my points”, suggesting he had been barred from flying to Melbourne under the organisers strict travel program for players and their entourages.
Minutes after tweeting that his plane had left the departure gate at Los Angeles airport without him, the world No 49 said he was on the plane, and praised tournament director Craig Tiley as a “wizard”.Minutes after tweeting that his plane had left the departure gate at Los Angeles airport without him, the world No 49 said he was on the plane, and praised tournament director Craig Tiley as a “wizard”.
The Australian Open’s official Twitter account has since replied to questions on the social media site, suggesting Sandgren had been allowed on the flight because Monday’s test result had picked up virus still in his system, and that he is not currently infectious.The Australian Open’s official Twitter account has since replied to questions on the social media site, suggesting Sandgren had been allowed on the flight because Monday’s test result had picked up virus still in his system, and that he is not currently infectious.
Sandgren’s has previously generated controversy over his Twitter presence, with the player forced to deny he subscribed to alt-right views after tweeting evidence of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy.Sandgren’s has previously generated controversy over his Twitter presence, with the player forced to deny he subscribed to alt-right views after tweeting evidence of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy.
Guardian Australia has contacted Tennis Australia for comment.Guardian Australia has contacted Tennis Australia for comment.
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has described the deadly storming of the US Capitol building last week as an abhorrent, despicable attack on democracy.The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has described the deadly storming of the US Capitol building last week as an abhorrent, despicable attack on democracy.
Frydenberg was asked today to comment on Donald Trump becoming the first president in US history to be impeached a second time. The sole article of impeachment – which charged the defeated president with “inciting an insurrection” – was backed by 10 House Republicans.Frydenberg was asked today to comment on Donald Trump becoming the first president in US history to be impeached a second time. The sole article of impeachment – which charged the defeated president with “inciting an insurrection” – was backed by 10 House Republicans.
Frydenberg, the deputy Liberal party leader, said it was not for him to provide a running commentary on political and democratic processes in the US – but he was notably stronger in his language than that used by Scott Morrison last week.Frydenberg, the deputy Liberal party leader, said it was not for him to provide a running commentary on political and democratic processes in the US – but he was notably stronger in his language than that used by Scott Morrison last week.
Australia’s acting prime minister, Michael McCormack, earlier this week touched on Trump’s own role in inciting the violence, describing Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the presidential election and his inflammatory tweets as “unfortunate”.Australia’s acting prime minister, Michael McCormack, earlier this week touched on Trump’s own role in inciting the violence, describing Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the presidential election and his inflammatory tweets as “unfortunate”.
But McCormack drew flak for comparing the deadly riots to the Black Lives Matter protest movement and saying “all lives matter”.But McCormack drew flak for comparing the deadly riots to the Black Lives Matter protest movement and saying “all lives matter”.
Overnight, Human Rights Watch urged the Morrison government to treat the deadly mob assault on the US Capitol as “a wake-up call” and for Australian security agencies to be vigilant in countering the growth of rightwing extremism at home.Overnight, Human Rights Watch urged the Morrison government to treat the deadly mob assault on the US Capitol as “a wake-up call” and for Australian security agencies to be vigilant in countering the growth of rightwing extremism at home.
The Australian director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, said: “The Australian government should speak plainly and consistently in condemning the actions of those who undermine democracy, even when it is the president of the United States.”The Australian director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, said: “The Australian government should speak plainly and consistently in condemning the actions of those who undermine democracy, even when it is the president of the United States.”
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, says some businesses will not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis, as he defends the planned end of the federal government’s jobkeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, says some businesses will not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis, as he defends the planned end of the federal government’s jobkeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.
During a visit to a cafe in Torquay, Victoria, today, Frydenberg said the government intended to allow the jobkeeper program to conclude in line with its currently legislated end date. The government also had “no plans to change the major parameters of the jobkeeper program” despite calls for it to continue for harder hit industries.During a visit to a cafe in Torquay, Victoria, today, Frydenberg said the government intended to allow the jobkeeper program to conclude in line with its currently legislated end date. The government also had “no plans to change the major parameters of the jobkeeper program” despite calls for it to continue for harder hit industries.
Frydenberg played down concerns of a fiscal cliff at the end of March, instead pushing a more upbeat message:Frydenberg played down concerns of a fiscal cliff at the end of March, instead pushing a more upbeat message:
Pressed on whether he expected to see a wave of insolvencies, Frydenberg said:Pressed on whether he expected to see a wave of insolvencies, Frydenberg said:
Frydenberg said it was “always the case that some businesses would not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis” but the government’s focus had “always been to give every business the best chance of getting to the other side”.Frydenberg said it was “always the case that some businesses would not make it to the other side of the Covid crisis” but the government’s focus had “always been to give every business the best chance of getting to the other side”.
The government has cited figures indicating an additional $200bn is sitting on household and business balance sheets compared to the start of last year. Frydenberg said it was not for him to tell people when or how to spend these savings, but he was “confident that people will spend that money across the economy – that will help generate economic activity”.The government has cited figures indicating an additional $200bn is sitting on household and business balance sheets compared to the start of last year. Frydenberg said it was not for him to tell people when or how to spend these savings, but he was “confident that people will spend that money across the economy – that will help generate economic activity”.
Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan has thanked kayakers who helped to rescue a man who was bitten by a bull shark in his state earlier today.Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan has thanked kayakers who helped to rescue a man who was bitten by a bull shark in his state earlier today.
Paramedics responded to reports of a shark bite at Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River, shortly after 8am (local time) on Thursday.Paramedics responded to reports of a shark bite at Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River, shortly after 8am (local time) on Thursday.
The man, who was swimming at the time of the bite, was taken to Royal Perth Hospital before 9am, and is understood to have suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg.The man, who was swimming at the time of the bite, was taken to Royal Perth Hospital before 9am, and is understood to have suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg.
McGowan said:McGowan said:
Thanks for bringing us the morning’s developments Matilda.Thanks for bringing us the morning’s developments Matilda.
I’m Elias Visontay and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the afternoon.I’m Elias Visontay and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the afternoon.
If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can contact me via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com or via Twitter @EliasVisontay.If you see anything you think I should be aware of, you can contact me via email at elias.visontay@theguardian.com or via Twitter @EliasVisontay.
With that, I might leave you and hand you over into the safe hands of Elias Visontay.With that, I might leave you and hand you over into the safe hands of Elias Visontay.
Just a bit more on that shark attack in Perth.Just a bit more on that shark attack in Perth.
It’s understood that a man has suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg when swimming at a popular spot Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River.It’s understood that a man has suffered a serious injury to his upper right leg when swimming at a popular spot Point Walter Reservoir, along the Swan River.
Paramedics were called to the scene at 8.05 am this morning and he was treated at the scene including receiving CPR.Paramedics were called to the scene at 8.05 am this morning and he was treated at the scene including receiving CPR.
He was transported to the Royal Perth Hosptial at 8.49 am as “Priority One”, which means he was in a serious condition.He was transported to the Royal Perth Hosptial at 8.49 am as “Priority One”, which means he was in a serious condition.
I’ll bring you an update on his condition as soon as I can.I’ll bring you an update on his condition as soon as I can.