agfest page header 2019

  • covid vaccine

    Health workers rush to get jabbed ahead of deadline

    Tasmania's Health Minister has declared 97 percent of workers in his sector have now met the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. That equates to 14,534 public health employees across the state who are jabbed, booked in to get the shot, or have an adequate exemption.…
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    Australia approves COVID-19 booster shot

    Aged care residents are expected to be the first people to receive a coronavirus vaccine booster shot after the medical regulator gave the green light. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Wednesday gave provisional approval for Australians 18 and over to…
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    Vic on the fast track to COVID freedoms

    Victoria is on track to reach its next major vaccination target ahead of schedule as Melbourne prepares to exit lockdown, meaning more freedoms are fewer than two weeks away. The city will emerge from its sixth shutdown at 11:59pm on Thursday, five days…
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    Victoria ends lockdown five days early

    Victoria will end its sixth long-running lockdown five days earlier than planned, as the state races to its 70 per cent fully vaccinated target. Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday, saying now was the time for Victorians to celebrate. "As…
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    "Not out of the woods yet", 51 casual contacts of infected teen

    The number of casual contacts linked to the COVID-positive Launceston teenager who breached quarantine has risen to 51. "They're mostly people who were at the airport at the same time as the case, or at the IGA. Those numbers have come up a little bit since…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    COVID case breached home quarantine without mask

    Investigations have revealed a COVID positive Launceston teenager left home quarantine without a mask to go to a local supermarket with his cousin. The IGA at Newnham between 2:20pm and 2:45pm on Saturday October 2 has been declared an exposure site. Anyone…
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    New Vic restrictions as Gutwein dismisses Flight Centre legal threat

    The Premier isn't fazed at threats of legal action from the Flight Centre boss about ongoing state border closures. Graham Turner has flagged suing lockout states including Tasmania if they don't reveal "reasonable" reopening plans in coming weeks Peter…
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    Vic roadmap unveiled, 7 day lockdown for Geelong

    Melbourne's controversial curfew will be scrapped, with people able to travel up to 25 kilometres and have a beer outside the pub once 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But the most substantial changes to the…
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    Regional Victoria exits COVID-19 lockdown

    A Lockdown will be lifted in regional Victoria, with the exception of the town of Shepparton which is still battling a coronavirus outbreak. The state has recorded 221 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, but most are in Melbourne. "Regional…
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    Virus 'ripping families apart': Syd nurse

    An intensive care nurse working in one of NSW's worst COVID-19 hotspots says the virus is "ripping families apart" and taking an enormous physical and emotional toll on healthcare workers. More than 870 COVID-19 patients are in hospital in NSW, with 143 in…
  • 20210828 SA Health Alert

    SA names sites linked to infected truckies

    South Australian authorities have identified petrol stations linked to truck drivers who travelled through three states in WA, before testing positive to COVID-19. The two drivers were tested as part of routine surveillance in NSW on Wednesday, but being…
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    Regional Victoria to return to lockdown

    Regional Victorians will re-enter lockdown at 1pm on Saturday as authorities scramble to contain a COVID-19 outbreak centred on the city of Shepparton. Victoria recorded 61 new locally acquired virus cases on Saturday, including 39 in the community while…
  • coronavirus update

    Launceston "clear" of COVID scare

    Tasmania's Director of Public Health says the coronavirus scare in Lauceston earlier this month is now well and truly behind us. A traveller from Sydney, who came without a border pass via Melbourne, tested positive in hotel quarantine at Peppers Seaport then…
  • coronavirus update

    Woman pinged for border breach

    There's a stark warning to travellers attempting to breach Fortress Tasmania. A woman who arrived in Launceston on a flight from Sydney at the weekend has become the first to receive the now-doubled fine of $1557. The Tasmanian, aged in her 70s, was fined…
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    Melbourne lockdown extended, curfew back

    Melbourne's lockdown has been extended by two weeks and a night curfew will be reimposed, in an effort to stamp out the state's latest outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant. Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday announced the extension, as well as a raft of…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    QR codes for taxis and Ubers after Launceston scare

    Tasmania is yet to detect any COVID cases after an infected man's brief stay in a Launceston quarantine hotel last week. A total of more than 6000 tests have come back negative in the five days after the man's positive test and the situation is now considered…
  • Aurora

    Hawks vs Pies in Launceston called off

    Collingwood's first ever AFL match in Tasmania has been abandoned after the state's first coronavirus case in 238 days sent hundreds of Launcestonians into isolation. The highly anticipated Sunday fixture at UTAS Stadium was a sell out, despite the crowd…
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    Vic to enter its sixth lockdown at 8pm

    Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown in an effort to contain a growing outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Melbourne's western suburbs. Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the lockdown will begin at 8pm on Thursday, after the state recorded eight new…
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    SA considers tougher Queensland rules

    South Australians in Queensland have been urged to consider returning as soon as possible as the Sunshine State continues to battle a COVID-19 outbreak. With southeast Queensland in lockdown, SA residents are still allowed to return provided they spend 14…
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    Victoria tightens border bubble with NSW

    Victoria is tightening the NSW border bubble, banning non-essential movement across state lines over the threat of Sydney's worsening COVID-19 outbreak. From 11.59pm on Tuesday, border bubble residents will only be able to cross state lines for six reasons…

PM's footy plans stun infection expert


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrision (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The prime minister is under fire for encouraging people to attend mass gatherings as coronavirus continues to spread in Australia.

Top infection control expert Bill Bowtell says Scott Morrison's stance is dangerous, and he cannot understand why there hasn't been a blanket ban on large, public events.

"Facts and evidence dictate that these mass gatherings should not take place," the professor, from the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity, has told the ABC.

"We must bring down the rate of new infections of coronavirus in this country. And we must do so in the next hours and days."

He said the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne should be cancelled, along with NRL and AFL matches, and even Anzac Day events.

He made the comments before Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said spectators would be banned from this weekend's Grand Prix, if the event went ahead at all.

Formula One bosses are expected to make an announcement on Friday morning.

Cricket Australia has moved to ban spectators from Australia's one-day series against New Zealand and will hold the series behind closed door.

And the AFL has said it's considering its position amid the outbreak.

Prof Bowtell expressed disbelief after the prime minister vowed to attend an NRL match this weekend, as Finance Minister Mathias Cormann proclaimed he would be happy to go to the Grand Prix.

"Are you really seriously suggesting that ministers should say to the Australian people it's business as usual, and go to the Grand Prix?" he said.

The prime minister refused on Friday morning to talk about blanket bans on large events, telling reporters that was a matter for event organisers.

He's repeatedly said the government is relying on the best medical advice, and so far that advice had not recommended shutting down large gatherings.

"Each of these organisations will make their own decisions about these events and the states themselves will act on the best medical advice in relation to these issues," Mr Morrison said as he headed into virus-focused COAG talks in Sydney.

"But I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow afternoon."

But states and territories are demanding clarity on the issue.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the states want to know when they should shut down mass gatherings.

"It is going to be on our agenda today - to have some thresholds that states can look at on advice from the national health officer about mass gatherings," she told the ABC ahead of the talks.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has called for federal parliament to be recalled next week to deal with the crisis, and to rush through a economic stimulus package to help businesses survive the crisis.

"Labor will expedite any passage of legislation through both houses of parliament," he told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.

Australian investors are bracing for more huge share market losses after Wall Street crashed, suffering its worst losses since Black Monday in 1987. European markets followed suit overnight, recording their worst day in history in the global rout.

The federal government is considering extending Australia's travel bans to more European travellers, as state and territory officials meet in Sydney to discuss virus containment efforts.

Australia has about 130 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including US actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson who remain in isolation in a Gold Coast hospital.

Mr Morrison has said 24 of those cases have been cleared, or are close to being cleared. Australia's death toll stands at three.

As of Thursday, there was 126 confirmed case of coronavirus in Australia, including three deaths. Most of the cases are in NSW.

© AAP 2020

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