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  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Tas tracing done from Brisbane hotel cluster

    All Tasmanian arrivals who completed their international quarantine at Brisbane's Grand Chancellor Hotel since December 30 have been tracked down by state health authorities. 14 travellers are in isolation and being tested again for coronavirus, despite…
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    Vic workplaces to return, mask rules eased -sharenews

    Victorian workers can start returning to offices from Monday as mask rules are also eased. But Premier Daniel Andrews says 18 people have returned to the state after they were quarantined in Brisbane's Grand Chancellor Hotel. They are being contacted and are…
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    Chief medic calms concerns about vaccine -sharenews

    Australia's chief medical officer has rejected calls to pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, insisting it is completely effective in preventing serious illness and death from coronavirus. Some doctors are concerned about the vaccine's efficacy rate,…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    NSW issues virus alert for Brisbane hotel -sharenews

    NSW has issued an alert for anyone who has been at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane, fearing a highly contagious strain of coronavirus may have spread across the border. The quarantine hotel is linked to six cases of the UK variant of COVID-19 and has…
  • coronavirus update

    US coronavirus deaths hit new daily high -sharenews

    Coronavirus deaths in the US have hit another one-day high at more than 4300. The country's overall death toll from coronavirus has eclipsed 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US recorded 4327 deaths on Tuesday, with Arizona and California…
  • coronavirus update

    NSW still trying to link 14 COVID cases -sharenews

    Four weeks on from discovering the northern beaches outbreak, NSW Health is still trying to link 14 recent coronavirus cases to known clusters. Five locally-acquired coronavirus cases were reported on Tuesday in NSW from just under 15,000 tests. The origins…
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    Numbers cut on three repatriation flights -sharenews

    Australians stranded overseas have been dealt another blow, with passenger numbers halved on three repatriation flights because of new caps on international arrivals. There are also reports some commercial flights have been abruptly cancelled without…
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    Aust Open qualifying hit by coronavirus -sharenews

    American Denis Kudla has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Australian Open qualifying tournament in Doha and has been sent to a quarantine hotel. Fourth-seeded Kudla downed Moroccan Elliot Benchetrit 6-4 6-3 but the match ended in controversy. The positive…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Virus cases low as states clash on borders -sharenews

    Border closures have sparked fresh tensions between state governments after the end of Brisbane's mini-lockdown led to more travel restriction tweaks. A snap shutdown ended on Monday night after three days aimed at stopping a highly contagious coronavirus…
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    Victoria introduces new traffic light system for interstate travel

    Victoria will reopen to regional NSW, with the introduction of a new "traffic light" system for interstate travel. Permits designating regions in other parts of Australia green, orange or red zones depending on coronavirus risk were to go live from 6pm…
  • coronavirus update

    Some Brisbane arrivals free to leave isolation

    Anyone who arrived in Tasmania from Greater Brisbane prior to 9am on January 8th can now leave quarantine. "...because they have not been identified as a close or casual contact of the [original] case," Health Minister Sarah Courtney said on Monday afternoon.…
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    Vic premier flags Qld travel advice change -sharenews

    Victorian travellers to Queensland have been warned they might not be able to return home, as Brisbane locks down for three days. Premier Daniel Andrews says it likely won't be possible for Victorians to travel to or return from the sunshine state once the…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    New border restrictions on travellers from Brisbane

    Tasmania is imposing new border restrictions on people entering from the Sunshine State's capital. The Queensland Government has announced a snap three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane, after a hotel quarantine cleaner test positive for the new more…
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    Brisbane to enter 3 day lockdown

    Greater Brisbane will enter a hard lockdown from 6pm on Friday after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19. Residents in the council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Redlands will be…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Vic virus clean sheet amid test blitz

    Victoria is still trying to identify the source of the state's first mystery COVID-19 case in more than two months, after recording no new infections. The state had no local, interstate or overseas acquired cases to report on Thursday - its first clean sheet…
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    Vic case attended Test, Boxing Day sales

    A Melbourne man infected with coronavirus attended the Boxing Day sales at Chadstone Shopping Centre and day two of the Australia-India cricket Test at the MCG. Just where the man acquired his infection is a mystery. Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said health…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    SA unlikely to move on Vic, NSW borders

    South Australia's transition committee is set to meet again but is unlikely to change coronavirus border restrictions with NSW or Victoria. The committee will meet on Tuesday to consider the latest in the fight against growing COVID-19 clusters in both Sydney…
  • Jacinta Allan 20201229001510917818 600x400

    Victoria's Black Rock cluster grows to 24

    Victoria's Black Rock coronavirus cluster now has 24 cases, as long queues again confront returned interstate travellers at testing sites across Melbourne. Acting Premier Jacinta Allan confirmed all three locally acquired COVID-19 infections reported on…
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    Aussies won't be locked down for Christmas

    Most Australians won't be locked down over Christmas after the NSW government eased coronavirus restrictions in Sydney. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Sydneysiders will be allowed to host limited visitors over Christmas, after just eight new…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Victorian returns from NSW with COVID-19

    A person who returned to Victoria after visiting the epicentre of Sydney's coronavirus outbreak has tested positive for the illness. Their infection was acquired within the northern beaches area, Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on…

NSW-Victoria border opens, flights resume

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The NSW-Victoria border is fully open for the first time in more than four months with flights between the states resuming.

The border opened a minute after midnight, allowing Victorians to freely visit NSW for the first time since July 8 without having to go into quarantine.

The first passengers arriving at Sydney airport on Monday were welcomed with free donuts, drag queens holding "welcome back" signs and topless male models dressed as lifesavers.

The border was closed by NSW in July to stop the spread of COVID-19 as Victorians hunkered down to deal with a second wave of the virus.

NSW is now the only state in the country with no hard border restrictions in place.

Qantas and Jetstar are operating 17 return flights between Sydney and Melbourne on Monday, carrying around 4500 passengers.

Virgin Australia will operate four return services per day, or 28 per week, between Melbourne and Sydney and plans to progressively increase flight frequency ahead of the Christmas holidays.

During the lockdown, flights on the route dropped as low as one flight per day for what is normally the busiest air route in the country.

Qantas and Jetstar sold more 25,000 seats in the first 48 hours after it was announced the border restrictions would be lifted.

Sydney Airport has issued new guidelines encouraging passengers and visitors to wear a face mask in areas where it is not possible to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others.

Sydney Airport's general manager for safety, sustainability and environment, Jane Rotsey, said queuing and congregating was unavoidable.

"From today our message to passengers and visitors is 'social distance if you can, wear a mask if you can't'."

Passengers could avoid some queuing by checking in online where possible and arriving one hour prior to domestic flights, and three hours for international flights.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited the border town of Wodonga on Sunday to thank the community for its efforts during the border closure.

"We never want to see this ever again," she said.

Ms Berejiklian admitted the border operation had cost several million dollars, with more than five million cars and 500,000 heavy vehicles passing through the checkpoint.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the enormous police operation at the borders had run over 138 days, involved 100,000 police shifts, 40,000 ADF shifts and five million vehicle movements, with police officers working away from home in five-day secondments.

The operation ran at 64 different sites, stretching for 1000 kilometres.

"The first rotation down there we needed to find 650 police to go and many of those threw their hands up to ... feel proud of what the COVID response was from the state of NSW," he told Sydney radio 2GB.

Meanwhile, QR codes are now also compulsory for thousands of businesses in NSW to record customer visits, with pen and paper no longer acceptable for record-keeping at hospitality venues, corporate functions, weddings and funerals.

And from Monday in NSW choirs of up to 30 people are also allowed to sing outside, and audiences and congregations may participate in the singing, but anyone 12 years or older must wear a mask.

In-person visits are also resuming for the 12,866 prisoners in NSW jails who have not had any visitors since the system was locked down in March.

There have been 145,000 video chats from jails, but from now on visitors will be able to see inmates in person with measures including temperature checks, masks, a limit of two visitors, and physical contact restricted to fist or elbow bumps.

NSW has recorded no cases of community transmission of COVID-19 for 15 days and Victoria has been COVID-free for 23 consecutive days.

© AAP 2020

Photo: By katacarix/shutterstock.com

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