Australia COVID live updates: Victoria to announce updated reopening plan, NSW hits 80% vaccination target

Australia COVID live updates: Victoria to announce updated reopening plan, NSW hits 80% vaccination target

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Key posts

  • NSW hits 80% target, pushes for students and tourists to return
  • Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will announce extra freedoms today
  • Good morning and welcome to today’s coverage
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Church, spa among new exposure sites in Victoria

The Greek Orthodox Church of Thomastown in Melbourne’s north is among the latest additions to the COVID-19 exposure sites list.

The Transfiguration of Our Lord church had a case visit on October 10 from 8.30am to 1pm, so anyone who was at the church during that time needs to get a COVID-19 test and isolate for 14 days.

The Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa in Hepburn Springs is on the list as a tier one site after a case attended the spa on October 10 between 1pm to 2.30pm.

Bendigo Wholefoods has also joined the list as a tier one site after a positive case attended the store on October 9 between 7am and 4.30pm.

NSW hits 80% target, pushes for students and tourists to return

NSW government ministers will press their federal counterparts to allow the state to open up to overseas students and tourists as a matter of urgency after the state hit its much-anticipated 80 per cent double dose vaccination target yesterday.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said “summer in NSW is looking good” as he confirmed the state would ease restrictions on Monday to allow 20 visitors in people’s homes, the return of community sport, as well as indoor dancing and drinking while standing at pubs.

Masks will still be required in most indoor settings, but vaccinated people will no longer need to wear masks in the office.

“Feels great to break this news. Huge thanks to all the nurses and vaccination hub staff at NSW Health, the GPs, the pharmacists, and each and every person who rolled up their sleeve to get us here,” Mr Perrottet tweeted. “Been a long wait but we’ve done it.”

In an attempt to revive a state economy battered by a near four-month lockdown, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said he wanted international students and tourists back in the state “as quickly as possible”, after the federal government intervened to stop that happening on Friday.

Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said overnight from London the federal government hoped to have students, tourists and working holidaymakers freely entering Australia by Christmas.

Read the full story here.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will announce extra freedoms today

Lockdown restrictions will be eased sooner than expected and Victorians could be granted additional freedoms from next weekend, Victorian state political editor Annika Smethurst is reporting this morning.

Premier Daniel Andrews is set to outline an updated reopening plan later today, after a meeting of his COVID-19 crisis council late yesterday.

We will bring you further details when they are available, but changes to home gatherings and travel limits are among those being considered.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.Credit:Scott McNaughton

Three senior cabinet ministers, who spoke to this masthead on the condition of anonymity, confirmed cabinet had been asked to tick off on the additional freedoms, which were originally set to be banned until 80 per cent of the state’s population aged 16 and over had received both vaccine doses.

“We’ve been wondering what else we could do to bring forward some freedoms earlier,” one minister said.

More than 88 per cent of the state’s population aged 16 and over have received one dose and 65 per cent are double-dosed.

The state is scheduled to hit its 70 per cent double-dose threshold as early as Friday, four days ahead of schedule, triggering the reopening of outdoor dining and hairdressers for fully vaccinated customers. The curfew will be lifted, and weddings and funerals will be permitted but capped at 50.

Read the full story here.

Good morning and welcome to today’s coverage

Good morning and welcome to today’s blog. My name is Natassia Chrysanthos and I’ll be with you until the early afternoon. Before we begin our live news coverage, here’s what you might have missed yesterday:

  • Victoria recorded 1993 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, and a 15-year-old girl with virus and other health conditions was listed among seven Victorians who died. Victoria Police also arrested 57 people in connection to anti-lockdown and anti-mandatory vaccination protests at Princes Park in Melbourne’s inner north.
  • NSW officially hit its 80 per cent vaccination target, while recording 319 new locally acquired cases and two deaths. A second round of restrictions will now ease from Monday, including 20 visitors being allowed at homes and the resumption of community sport.
  • The ACT recorded 20 new cases of COVID-19, 14 of which were linked to known cases.
  • Queensland recorded zero local cases and three from the international quarantine hotels.
  • Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urged the Victorian government to ease restrictions in the same way NSW has when double-dose vaccinations pass 70 per cent.
  • The White House on Friday said it would lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals from November 8, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the United States.
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