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  • plane passenger

    New quarantine deal for Tas/Vic

    The Tasmanian and Victorian governments have arranged a quarantine-swap deal. Tasmania has agreed to quarantine farm workers heading for the Victorian harvest, while Victoria will provide quarantine facilities for overseas Tasmanians wanting to return home.…
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    Vic border and visitor restrictions eased

    More Victorians stranded interstate will be able to return home after the state government further eased border restrictions. Premier Daniel Andrews announced all of Greater Sydney's local government areas currently deemed red zones will become orange as of…
  • coronavirus update

    NSW premier teases easing of restrictions -sharenews

    NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised eased COVID-19 restrictions in a week's time, if all goes well, after the community heeded her call to drive up testing numbers. Almost 20,000 people were tested for coronavirus in NSW in the latest reporting…
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    More COVID cases linked to Australian Open -sharenews

    Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has rejected calls to shorten men's matches at the grand slam as the number of coronavirus cases linked to the tournament rises to nine. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says three of four new COVID-19 cases in the state…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    US, China clash at WHO over Wuhan mission -sharenews

    The United States has called on China to allow an expert team from the World Health Organisation to interview "care givers, former patients and lab workers" in the central city of Wuhan, drawing a rebuke from Beijing officials. The team of WHO-led independent…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Easing restrictions for Greater Brisbane

    The Tasmanian Government has moved to allow people from Greater Brisbane to travel here. Travellers from the region are now able to come to Tasmania but must still quarantine when they arrive into the state, effective immediately. Premier Peter Gutwein says…
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    Victoria eases borders for parts of Sydney -sharenews

    Thousands of stranded Victorians will be able to return home following the easing of border restrictions with the NSW Blue Mountains, Wollongong and parts of Sydney. Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday that 25 of Sydney's 35 local government areas…
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    Overseas travel remains unlikely this year -sharenews

    The head of Australia's health department believes it is unlikely international borders will substantially reopen this year, even if most people are vaccinated against coronavirus. Brendan Murphy downplayed the prospect of a widespread easing of border…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Vaccine may be ticket to NSW venue entry -sharenews

    The NSW premier says her government will consider permitting venues to ban entry to those who decline to take the COVID-19 vaccine. NSW reported six new local cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, five of which were household contacts of a previously-confirmed case in…
  • 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…
  • airport covid pexels anna shvets 3943882

    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.…

Victoria's Black Rock cluster grows to 24

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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 Monday are linked to the outbreak, which was seeded by NSW's northern beaches cluster.

An additional separate case was diagnosed in hotel quarantine, taking the total number of active cases in Victoria to 36.

There were 32,468 tests processed on Sunday, up from 22,477, and about another 10,000 are already in the laboratory.

"It's a very strong set of numbers," Ms Allan told reporters, noting NSW also had gone without a new locally acquired coronavirus case over a 24-hour span for the first time in almost three weeks.

The jump in testing figures came even as some sites temporarily closed while struggling to cope with a surge in demand driven by returning Victorians.

More than 60,000 Victorians rushed back from NSW as a hard border between the two states came into effect on Friday night. All of them needed to be tested.

It has led to long lines at testing facilities, forcing some sites to extend hours and the recalling of staff from holidays.

The total number of sites has increased back beyond 200 on Monday, and Ms Allen said the increased capacity was starting to ease delays.

But half a dozen facilities including the Alfred Hospital, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and several Monash Health sites were reporting wait times of more than two hours by Monday afternoon.

In many cases, Ms Allen said those arriving at busy sites were being turned away and sent to nearby locations.

Meanwhile, thousands of Victorians who missed the brief window to return to Victoria before the NSW border slammed shut are still waiting to hear back from authorities.

Ms Allen said 2200 applications have been received for an exemption to cross the NSW border, but just 175 have been processed to date.

They are taking 24 to 48 hours to consider, with priority given to emergency medical and compassionate cases.

Despite Monday's encouraging figures on either side of the border, Ms Allan indicated Victoria would not rush to reopen to NSW.

Agriculture workers who live and work between NSW and Victoria and are not covered by existing border bubble arrangements can now apply for a permit.

The Victorian government on Monday announced the immediate rollout of the permit, with those workers only allowed to leave their accommodation for takeaway, bathroom stops, medical care, coronavirus testing or an emergency.

The state's list of coronavirus exposure sites also continues to grow, with Puffing Billy joining the watchlist.

A case visited the popular tourist attraction's Lakeside Station at Emerald Lake on New Year's Eve from 3pm to 5pm.

Anyone who attended the site at those times should monitor for symptoms, and undergo testing and isolate if they develop.

The same advice applies to worshippers who visited a Sikh temple at Keysborough in southeast Melbourne on New Year's Day from 2pm to 5pm.

© AAP 2021

Photo: Acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan. (AAP Image/James Ross)

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