agfest page header 2019

  • 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…
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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.…

Vic premier flags Qld travel advice change -sharenews

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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 hard lockdown comes into effect for greater Brisbane from 6pm on Friday.

Health officials are liaising with colleagues in Queensland after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the UK's highly infectious, mutant strain of coronavirus.

Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk is expected to brief Mr Andrews on the seriousness of the situation during Friday's national cabinet meeting, before public health advice is updated.

"We'll get that advice and as soon as we can, confirm that," he told reporters on Friday.

"Not just for Victorians who might be wanting to go to Queensland - that won't be possible I would have thought - and also Victorians who are in Brisbane and want to come home during this three-day period."

A number of Victorians fled to Brisbane to escape Sydney's northern beaches outbreak, Mr Andrews said, but may not be permitted to leave this time.

"This issue about bolting home, that might not be one of the four reasons that you're allowed to leave where you're staying," he said.

The updated health advice is expected to be published on Friday afternoon.

It comes as Victoria marks a second-straight day with no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, a result marred by a hardware malfunction delaying thousands of test results.

The sole new infection recorded in Victoria on Friday was in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, bringing the state's active case total to 39.

But about 10,000 negative test results - mainly affecting those from regional areas - were held up on Thursday as Dorevtich Pathology experienced a technical fault.

Teams worked through the night to fix the outage, rectifying it by 3am on Friday.

Mr Andrews apologised for the delay and confirmed the results were beginning to be fed out to people on Friday morning and would appear in Saturday's figures.

It meant only 23,108 tests were received in the 24 hours to midnight on Thursday, down about a third on the 30,000-plus results seen daily over the past four days.

Victoria's total testing figure over the past week is almost 200,000, as the state tries to stamp out the Black Rock cluster.

The two-day streak with no reported community transmission has Mr Andrews upbeat that contact tracers are winning the fight against the 27 case outbreak linked to a Thai eatery in bayside Melbourne.

"There is a degree of confidence that we are close to running Black Rock to ground," he said.

The mystery case of a COVID-positive man in his 30s who attended Boxing Day sales at Chadstone Shopping Centre and the second day of the Test at the MCG is slightly tempering his optimism.

It has been linked to Sydney's northern beaches cluster, but authorities still aren't sure how the Melbourne man caught the virus.

If it weren't for that case, Mr Andrews said Victoria would potentially be further along in reopening the border to thousands of residents stranded in NSW.

He has flagged permit settings could change as early as next week or the week after, with only 579 exemptions granted thus far.

"Borders aren't shut for fun," he said.

"The moment that the health experts tell me it's safe to get those people back, that's exactly what we'll do."

Before discussing changes to international travel rules with fellow state and federal leaders, Mr Andrews urged them to learn from Victoria's "bitter" second-wave experience, which was sparked by the virus leaking out of hotel quarantine.

"The way we're doing it is the best way to go," he said.

© AAP 2021

Photo: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (AAP Image/Erik Anderson)

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