Australia

Australia Covid news live: Victoria, NSW, Qld lockdown restrictions, freedoms and cases


NSW residents have been freed from a widely hated Covid restriction, following a surprise change to the public health orders yesterday.

Welcome to Friday’s coverage of Australia’s Covid-19 situation.

Victorians have woken up to a raft of new freedoms for fully vaccinated residents after reaching its 70 per cent double vaccination goal yesterday.

It comes as the state recorded its second highest number of Covid cases on Thursday, with 2232 infections and 12 deaths.

NSW saw a slight rise in cases yesterday, with 372 new infections and one death.

Queensland is also on high alert after a rideshare driver was infectious in the community for 10 days. Authorities said the man is “so sick” he can barely speak with contact tracers.

Follow below for today’s top updates. Keep refreshing the page for the latest news.

You can find yesterday’s blog here.

Annoying rule scrapped in NSW

NSW residents have been freed from a widely hated Covid restriction, following a surprise change to the public health orders yesterday.

Gym-goers will now no longer be required to wear a mask during group classes, with Health Minister Brad Hazzard scrapping the rule following a raft of complaints, NewsLocal reports.

Many people had complained that the requirement was not practical and wearing a mask during a workout class made it difficult to breathe.

Residents can now remove their masks during indoor gym and dance classes, though they are still required it be worn in other areas of the gym, such as the reception area and change rooms.

Sports Minister Natalie Ward told the publication the change was a “step forward” for fully vaccinated gym-goers.

“It’s important people are able to exercise in as much comfort as possible, so I’m really pleased it will no longer be a requirement for masks to be worn during an indoor gym or dance class,” she said.

Vic set for major international travel announcement

Victoria is reportedly set to follow in NSW’s footsteps and remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated international arrivals.

This means people who arrive in Victoria from overseas will not have to go into hotel or home quarantine.

According to the ABC, travellers will need to need to be fully vaccinated and present a negative Covid-19 test.

It is believed the change will likely come into effect from November 1, the same day quarantine requirements will be scrapped in NSW.

The announcement is expected to be made during Victoria’s Covid press conference today.

It comes after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed last week that quarantine would be scrapped for international arrivals from November 1.

“Those people returning to Australia … and those who want to come back, who want to visit Australia and come to Sydney, hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past,” he said.

“Hotel quarantine, home quarantine is a thing of the past. We are opening Sydney and New South Wales to the world, and that date will come in on November 1st. This is a significant day for our state”.

When asked earlier this week whether Victoria would follow NSW’s lead, Premier Daniel Andrews suggested international arrivals to his state would still be required to quarantine at home.

“What Dominic announced the other day is he is getting rid of hotel quarantine, we will do a similar thing, it will be home-based particularly for those who are double-dosed,” he told Sunrise.

Victoria eases Covid restrictions

Victorians are waking up to eased restrictions this morning, with vaccinated residents now able to enjoy a number of new freedoms.

The changes came into effect at 11.59pm last night after the state reached its 70 per cent double dose vaccination milestone on Thursday.

The new freedoms include:

• Removing the Melbourne lockdown and curfew

• Up to 10 visitors to a home per day, including dependants

• 15 people can gather outdoors in Melbourne (20 in regional Victoria)

• Community sport training returns

• Pubs and clubs can open to 20 vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors. Entertainment venues can open to 50 vaccinated people outdoors

• In regional Victoria, Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open indoors to 30 vaccinated people

• All school students return onsite at least part time in Melbourne and full time in regional Victoria

• Funerals and weddings are allowed with 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors in Melbourne and 30 indoors and 100 outdoors in regional Victoria

• Hairdressing, beauty and personal care services can open to five vaccinated people indoors

Qld’s new Covid case a ‘wake up call’

Queensland recorded one new community Covid-19 case on Thursday, with authorities saying they are “concerned” about the new infection detected on the Gold Coast.

“Now this is a wake up call for the Gold Coast,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“The issue with this gentleman is that they were not vaccinated. They were potentially infectious in the community for up to 10 days.”

The Premier urged anyone with the slightest symptoms to go and get tested.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young revealed the unvaccinated man in his 30s is a rideshare driver, saying he had become so sick that he was struggling to even speak with contact tracers.

“He is so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him Dr Young said.

The man lives at an apartment complex in Broad Beach and is understood to have been in Melbourne on October 10 before coming back to Queensland.

“He started to develop symptoms on October 11, which means his infectious period goes back to October 9, but we believe he was in Melbourne at that stage,” Dr Young said.

“He became increasingly unwell, presented to the emergency department.”

Authorities are working closely with Uber to get information about whether the man had passengers during his infectious period.

Dr Young also revealed the man hadn’t used his QR code check in system when visiting venues since September.

“It is hard to work out where he has been in the community, “ she said.



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