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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…
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    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…
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    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…
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    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…
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    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…
  • Launceston streetscape

    Qld arrivals nabbed for flagrant COVID rule breach

    Police appear to have finally lost patience with those flouting Tasmanian Health's stay-at-home orders in the wake of the Queensland COVID-19 Delta outbreak. Two people who recently arrived in Launceston from south east Queensland have been fined $774 each.…
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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…
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    No new virus infections in South Australia

    South Australia will end its COVID-19 lockdown on schedule after reporting no new virus infections. Premier Steven Marshall says the result is a "huge relief" and will allow the shutdown to end at one minute past midnight on Wednesday. "So a massive thank you…

Australia's virus tally pushes 2000

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Australia's coronavirus tally could hit 2000 cases by the end of the day as authorities develop new rules about who can get tested.

NSW and Victoria reported 205 new cases on Tuesday morning, taking the national tally to 1914. Australia's death toll stands at seven, all but one in NSW.

Other states are yet to add their new cases. They include Queensland which recorded 60 fresh positive results on Monday - it's highest daily increase so far.

The World Health Organisation warned overnight that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, with more than 300,000 cases now confirmed and thousand upon thousands of deaths.

It took 67 days from the first reported of the virus to hit 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, and just four days for the third 100,000.

WHO says it's still possible to change the trajectory of the pandemic, urging countries to adopt rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies.

Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says testing criteria for coronavirus will change as a result of sweeping travel bans that have lessened the risk of imported disease.

Current rules require tests for people who fell ill within two weeks of returning from overseas, or had contact with such a person.

But Prof Kelly has indicated a rule change that's more focused on community transmission, telling the ABC the traveller component would be removed.

"There will be announcements about that over the coming days," he told the ABC's Q&A program on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, NSW reported 149 new cases, taking its tally to 818. Victoria added another 56 people to its list of infections, taking the state tally to 411.

Queensland has recorded 319 cases since the outbreak began, but won't reveal how many new cases it's had in the past 24 hours until later on Tuesday.

In Western Australia, police and Australian Border Force officers will ensure passengers do not leave a cruise ship that has docked at Fremantle Port.

Premier Mark McGowan says no one will be allowed ashore while the vessel refuels before heading for Dubai, amid fears at least 250 peope are suffering an upper respiratory illness.

The operator of the ship, which left Italy in January, has denied reports of widespread illness, but Mr McGowan isn't taking any chances after dozens of people with coronavirus disembarked from a cruise ship in Sydney.

Political and health authorities are ramping up the message for people to stay home and implement social distancing, as states including WA and Queensland announce more cash to help workers and businesses survive.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state is now at a critical stage, and people needed to self-isolate where necessary, stay home if they can, and social distance.

"This is a difficult time for us, but I am confident NSW will control as much as we can the spread of this virus, so long as everyone steps up and does what they need to do," she told reporters on Tuesday.

She warned that people would face harsh penalties if they were told to self-isolate but didn't.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott has called the decision to let passengers leave the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney was a "monumental stuff up". At least 50 people from that vessel have the virus.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made another appeal for people to grasp the gravity of the situation.

"Turn your TV on - have a look at Italy, have a look at Spain, have a look at France," Mr Andrews told Triple M Melbourne on Tuesday.

Some states have closed their borders while others are tussling over school closures amid fears the pandemic could affect Australia for months to come.

Border controls are now in place for South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, with only freight and essential travel exempted. Queensland will close its borders on Wednesday.

Schools remain open in South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland.

NSW is also keeping schools open but Ms Berejiklian has told parents to keep their children home if possible.

Victoria and the ACT have moved to early holidays to give schools time to set up online and distance education arrangements, while private schools are making up their minds.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned Australians face six months of severe but necessary restrictions, with pubs, bars, nightclubs, cinemas and other indoor venues forced to close.

Supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies remain open.

He also warned of a dire year ahead for many, including thousands of Australians who have or are expected to lose their jobs.

Huge queues began forming early on Tuesday outside Centrelink offices as many people who lost their jobs on Monday apply for welfare payments.

The MyGov online portal also crashed on Monday after it was overwhelmed by jobless Australians.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says no one could have predicted the spike in demand, even though the government shut down entire sectors of the economy.

The government has since asked people trying to register with Centrelink to wait a few days.

"We are asking for patience and calm ... What we saw yesterday was heartbreaking," Senator Ruston said.

© AAP 2020

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