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  • coronavirus update

    946 new cases, debate on restrictions

    The Premier is resisting calls to tighten up restrictions and mask rules in Tasmania, in response to the latest COVID numbers. Another 946 cases were reported in the latest 24-hour period, while 21 people are being treated specifically for the coronavirus in…
  • LGH

    LGH pressure, no new COVID deaths

    Tasmania has recorded a second straight day without any COVID-related deaths. 899 new cases have been reported in the latest figures from Public Health, down from 913 on Tuesday. There are now 51 COVID-positive cases in hospital, but only 22 of them are being…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    913 new cases, hospital numbers steady

    Tasmania has recorded 913 new cases of coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health. It's an increase on yesterday's number of 723. No new COVID-related deaths have been reported in that 24-hour period, while 26 people are still…
  • coronavirus update

    Pandemic death toll up to 71

    A woman in her late 80s in the state's north is the latest Tasmanian to fall victim to coronavirus. Her death takes the overall number of pandemic fatalities here to 71. Public Health has recorded 723 new cases on Monday, with active infections now sitting…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    New death, 1179 new cases

    Another Tasmanian has lost their life to COVID-19, taking the state's pandemic death toll to 67. Wednesday's update from the Department of Health showed 1179 new cases, down slightly from 1216 on Tuesday. The number of patients in hospital being treated…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Tas COVID toll rises to 56

    A man in his 70s has died with COVID-19 at the Royal Hobart Hospital, taking the state's pandemic toll to 56. 1078 new cases have been recorded, a slight decrease on yesterday. There are 50 COVID-positive patients in Tasmanian hospitals, 24 of those being…
  • coronavirus update

    New death, cases trend up

    Another Tasmanian has died from coronavirus, taking the state's pandemic toll to 55. Premier Jeremy Rockliff has confirmed a man in his late 70s has passed away at a residential aged care facility in the south. 1096 new cases were recorded in the latest daily…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Three new COVID-related deaths

    Tasmania's pandemic death toll has risen to 54. Three new COVID-related fatalities have been confirmed from the weekend in the latest figures from public health. "These persons, whose deaths were caused or contributed to by COVID-19, were two men and one…
  • coronavirus update

    Pandemic death toll up to 33

    Tasmania's pandemic death toll has risen to 33 on the death of a man aged in his 90s with coronavirus at the Royal Hobart Hospital. 1885 new cases were added to the state's tally in the latest figures from Public Health, with 1963 recovered and released from…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    New death and highest infection rates in nation

    The Department of Health has revealed Tasmania has one of the highest per-capita rates of COVID infection in the country. 2408 new cases and a new death were recorded in Wednesday's numbers, taking the state's pandemic toll to 32. Health Minister Jeremy…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Daily cases remain inflated amid subvariant wave

    The state's daily COVID infection count remains high in the latest 24-hour reporting period. 1779 new cases were recorded across Tasmania and the active case count has surged further from around 8500 to 9105, the highest since the pandemic began. The number…
  • coronavirus update

    853 new cases, vax rules ease

    Tasmania has recorded 853 new cases of coronavirus in the latest data form Public Health. It's a similar figure to the previous day, while active infections are now up to nearly 4300. 12 people are in hospital with COVID, two more than yesterday, but only 3…
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    Free rapid tests for Vic childcare kids

    Children aged three to five will be able to take free rapid antigen tests, with Victoria expanding its voluntary school COVID-19 testing program to early childhood services. While Victorian primary and secondary students have been asked to take twice-weekly…
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    Vic to manufacture 50m rapid tests a year

    A manufacturing plant to produce rapid antigen tests will be set up in Melbourne, with the capacity to make 50 million of the sought-after test kits per year. RATs have been in scant supply in the state, with the lack of tests for COVID-19 leading to…
  • 20211130001601556814 Greg Hunt 600x400

    Omicron has peaked in some states: Hunt

    The health minister has declared the Omicron wave of COVID-19 cases has peaked in several jurisdictions. Greg Hunt said the peak of infections had passed in NSW, Victoria, the ACT and South Australia. It comes as Australia's leading advisory group on vaccines…
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    Back-to-school RATs for Tasmanian children

    Tasmania will give students a back-to-school pack containing two coronavirus rapid antigen tests as part of the plan for returning to the classroom on February 9. Students should only be tested if symptomatic and further rapid tests would be provided to…
  • 20211220001607894578 COVID booster 600x400

    Vic drops booster interval to three months

    Victorians can now get their COVID-19 booster shot sooner, with the government shortening the interval from the second dose down to three months at state hubs. The state recorded 20,769 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths on Wednesday, 10,726 from PCR tests and…
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    Restrictions return after Omicron surge

    Multiple states and territories have brought back in some pandemic restrictions in a bid to suppress the spread of the infectious Omicron variant. As case numbers continue to climb across the country, NSW has moved to suspend elective surgery, while singing…
  • 20211229001609591611 Martin Foley 600x400

    New rules as Vic records 21,997 new cases

    Restrictions on the number of people allowed in cafes, bars and restaurants are returning to Victoria after the state recorded 21,997 new COVID-19 cases. Density limits will be reintroduced from Friday, Health Minister Martin Foley announced on Thursday. The…
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    South Aust posts spike in COVID-19 cases

    South Australia has reported 25 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily figure for more than 18 months, amid concerns over delays in naming exposure sites. Premier Steven Marshall revealed the new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily number since April last…

Vic on the fast track to COVID freedoms

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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 earlier than planned after hitting its 70 per cent full vaccination target.

The regional town of Mildura will also exit its lockdown at midnight, a day earlier than planned.

Analysts predict the next target, 80 per cent double dose, may be reached by October 30, a week ahead of the original November 5 estimate.

At that point the metropolitan/regional border will come down, mandatory masks outdoors will be dumped, all retail reopens and up to 150 fully vaccinated patrons can be inside venues.

Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said the state has 500,000 second doses left to get to 80 per cent.

"We are doing everything we can to hit our next vaccine milestone as quickly as we possibly can. But to also make sure that nobody is left behind," he said.

When stay-at-home orders are repealed, Melbourne residents will have spent 77 full days in their current lockdown, and a world record total of 263 days since the beginning of the pandemic.

Under new rules from Friday, people can leave their homes for any reason and travel anywhere within Melbourne, the 9pm curfew is scrapped and home gatherings of up to 10 are permitted.

Businesses including hairdressers, beauticians and hospitality will reopen for the fully vaccinated.

However, in a last-minute change to plans, all workers reopening to double-dosed patrons will need to be fully vaccinated themselves.

Hospitality venues now have the task of enforcing the vaccination status of patrons and staff.

Terry Casey, owner of the Terminus Hotel in Wycheproof, which is participating in regional trials of the vaccine passport system, agrees with the change.

"You can't expect your patrons to be fully vaccinated and not have the staff," he told AAP.

"We had to have a chat to one staff member and say, until that changes you just have to seek employment somewhere else...or we're more than happy to take you back on board once you've been vaccinated."

It is unclear how the new rules will be policed, with the union saying officers will have to wait until the last minute to find out that detail from the government.

"Our members will be coming on shift tonight and wondering what to do. I don't blame Victoria Police for not having the answers to this," Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said.

AAP has approached Victoria Police for comment on the issue.

Deputy Premier James Merlino told reporters on Thursday there are more than 100 teams of authorised officers making sure businesses "are doing the right thing", but did not comment on how it will be enforced.

Victoria notched up another grim milestone on Thursday, surpassing 1000 COVID-related deaths as it reported a further 12 fatalities and 2232 fresh local infections.

It is the state's second highest daily case tally of the pandemic.

Professor Cowie warned "thousands more cases" could emerge as the city reopens and urged people to continue to wear masks and socially distance.

© AAP 2021

Photo: Victorian Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie (AAP Image/James Ross)

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