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  • covid vaccine

    Health workers rush to get jabbed ahead of deadline

    Tasmania's Health Minister has declared 97 percent of workers in his sector have now met the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. That equates to 14,534 public health employees across the state who are jabbed, booked in to get the shot, or have an adequate exemption.…
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    Australia approves COVID-19 booster shot

    Aged care residents are expected to be the first people to receive a coronavirus vaccine booster shot after the medical regulator gave the green light. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Wednesday gave provisional approval for Australians 18 and over to…
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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…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    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…
  • 20210828 SA Health Alert

    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…
  • coronavirus update

    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…
  • coronavirus update

    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…
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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…

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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