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Coronavirus Australia live update: NSW records no new Covid cases; Qld to consider quarantining returned travellers in mining camps Coronavirus Australia live update: NSW and Victoria record no new Covid cases; Qld considers quarantine in mining camps
(32 minutes later)
NSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border; Victoria and Queensland record no new Covid cases. Follow all the updates, live NSW issues alert for Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor amid fears UK virus strain may have crossed border. Follow all the updates, live
A few more bits and pieces from that NSW press conference:
a positive result recorded at an Ulladulla sewerage treatment plant in recent days is now considered to be negative;
restrictions in Illawarra/Wollongong are likely to continue, despite a string of days without cases;
Health minister Brad Hazzard said we had to get used to new variants popping up, as the UK variant becomes prevalent in hotel quarantine. NSW deputy chief health officer Dr Jeremy McAnulty said there had been 18 “variants of concern” detected since November; and
Hazzard also said he was comfortable with current arrangements regarding working from home, which largely leaves the decision to workplaces
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard has absolutely slammed people who are not wearing masks in the state, saying those who do not do so are “kidding themselves” and should have “the full weight of the law thrown at them”.
Here is what will change with masks in Victoria from midnight Sunday. They will only be mandatory in: airports/on flights, hospitals, on public transport or taxis/ride share vehicles, supermarkets and shopping centres.
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard is asked again whether a regional hotel quarantine model may work better because it requires staff to stay on site, reducing the possible leakage of the virus into the community. He used the question as an opportunity to again point out that NSW is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to international arrivals.
There are 18 people in Victoria who were in the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane and have been chased up, premier Andrews confirms.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has flagged that the government is working to reduce red zones to certain local government areas in Sydney, rather than the entire greater Sydney region. This would make travel between the places far easier. He said no announcement on this was likely today.
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard has ruled out any change to the hotel quarantine system in the state, after Queensland said they were considering relocating some quarantine facilities to regional areas.NSW health minister Brad Hazzard has ruled out any change to the hotel quarantine system in the state, after Queensland said they were considering relocating some quarantine facilities to regional areas.
He makes some very fair points, so I’ll include the bulk of them:He makes some very fair points, so I’ll include the bulk of them:
NSW has recorded no new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. The last time there were no locally acquired cases in NSW was the 24 hours to 8pm on 6 January.NSW has recorded no new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. The last time there were no locally acquired cases in NSW was the 24 hours to 8pm on 6 January.
Two cases were recorded in returned travellers, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,854.Two cases were recorded in returned travellers, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,854.
There were 20,437 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 20,664.There were 20,437 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 20,664.
A staged return to work in offices will start in Victoria next week, premier Dan Andrews has confirmed in a press conference which is going on now (at the same time as a press conference in NSW). Mask restrictions will go back to what they were before the recent outbreak of cases in Victoria (shopping centres, public transport, but not all indoor settings). A staged return to work in offices will start in Victoria next week, premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed in a press conference which is going on now (at the same time as a press conference in NSW). Mask restrictions will go back to what they were before the recent outbreak of cases in Victoria (shopping centres, public transport, but not all indoor settings).
The first tennis players arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open are set to land on a flight today. All had to return a negative Covid test before travelling to Australia, have to have daily tests while here, and can only train with one support person. Here’s some more of the restrictions that will apply during their time here:The first tennis players arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open are set to land on a flight today. All had to return a negative Covid test before travelling to Australia, have to have daily tests while here, and can only train with one support person. Here’s some more of the restrictions that will apply during their time here:
Here’s a story on those people who had to move from the Hotel Grand Chancellor to other hotels and spend another fortnight in quarantine (potentially less, if Queensland Health find the source of infection).Here’s a story on those people who had to move from the Hotel Grand Chancellor to other hotels and spend another fortnight in quarantine (potentially less, if Queensland Health find the source of infection).
So the big thing that had to happen in Queensland last night was the massive task of moving 129 (potentially very infectious) returned travellers from the Grand Chancellor hotel to other facilities.
Health minister Yvette D’Ath spoke about this effort:
Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young is speaking now:
Young commended the cleaner who was originally affected at the quarantine hotel with the UK variant.
Palaszczuk has been pretty worried about hotel quarantine systems in Australia, especially now that the highly contagious UK variant is out and about.
Yesterday she was speaking vaguely about talking to national cabinet about big changes to the program, but this morning she had gone into greater detail:
And would you look at that Queensland’s Annastacia Palaszczuk is speaking now:
In case you were wondering when our great leaders will be speaking today NSW’s Glady’s Berejiklian is expected to stand up in the next little while. She will be chatting about the new direction for anyone in NSW who visited a quarantined hotel in Brisbane to re-quarantine and get tested. (This comes after a small cluster of the highly contagious UK variant of Covid-19 was discovered there).
Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Dr Allen Cheng will be speaking at 11.
Josh Frydenberg has spoken this morning, saying he believes households have sufficient savings for the economy to continue its recovery even when jobkeeper ends in March.
The federal treasurer jumped on new figures showing households and businesses have amassed more than $200bn in savings during the pandemic.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data shows household deposits increased by around $113bn between January and November last year.
Non-financial businesses saved $104bn over the same period.
Unsurprisingly, the shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers disagrees.
Competition regulator Rod Sims has foreshadowed possible further legal cases against tech groups as a result of inquiries into mobile phone app stores and how ads are sold online.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which Sims chairs, has been investigating so-called “ad tech”, where search engine Google is a major player, and the stores both Google and competitor Apple use to sell mobile phone apps, as part of its broader agenda to examine the power of tech companies.
Sims handed a report detailing the findings of his inquiry into ad tech to the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, on 31 December, and the government is expected to release it before the end of the month.
You can read the full story below:
I’ve just heard back from Cathay Pacific about how that airline is managing the reduction in the hotel quarantine caps, which affect its commercial flights coming into Sydney and Brisbane.
They have not said how they are selecting which passengers will fly as scheduled and which will be bumped, but said they are “committed to supporting our customers as best we can during this challenging time”.
And Etihad said this:
The buzz call of the cicada is a familiar sound of the Australian summer and this season is what David Emery calls a “super year for our summer chorusing friends”.
A veterinary immunologist at the University of Sydney and cicada expert, Emery has been monitoring the insects for decades and, along with many residents of coastal New South Wales and beyond, has registered that the volume is more ear-splitting than usual.
In NSW, Victoria and South Australia, more cicadas have emerged this summer than in recent years.
Emery says one reason is the abundance of winter and summer rainfall Australia has received.
“You often see a good emergence after drought and that may be due to plant regeneration and growth inspired by the rain,” Emery said. “After the fires, we see that regrowth as well.”
You can read the full story below: