Coronavirus Australia live news: Victoria considers hotspot lockdowns as Queensland’s border announcement looms

With an increase in community transmission rates linked to 10 hotspots in Melbourne, the decision to lock down some suburbs is looming large on the minds of Victoria’s leaders.

Follow today’s events as they unfold.

Live updates

By Emily Sakzewski

Key Event

NSW Premier says anyone from Victoria’s coronavirus hotspots should not travel

    

  

With NSW set to host major events from next weekend, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Victorians will not be able to purcahse tickets to those events. 

     

The Premier said given the rate of community transmission, anyone in hotspots or greater Melbourne should not be travelling, especially interstate. 

  

Here’s what Ms Berejiklian had to say:

 

« So whilst we obviously allow any player to play NSW so long as they have been through those strict COVIDSafe measures… all the codes have been applying the strict Covid Safe plans which is what they should be doing, we don’t mind you playing in this state but unfortunately Victorians aren’t welcome to purchase tickments given the rate of community transmission down there. »

 

« We feel that the warnings we have put out, the directions we have put out, the fact that we have proactively worked with major event organisers to prevent Victorians from purchasing tickets, the messages we have sent to local residents about not welcoming friends and family from those hot spots or broader Melbourne at this time, they might sound like tough things to ask people to do but that’s what will keep us safe in New South Wales. »

 

On the matter of borders 

   

Premier Berejiklian encouraged the the Qld Premier to open the borders. 

  

« Ironically we’ve already had people from Queensland and WA bring the disease to New South Wales, so we’ve already experienced that level of interstate transmission, if you like, and we’ve dealt with it.

 

« That’s why I say to all the other states, we’ve welcomed all the overseas travellers that live in other states, we’ve even welcomed people who’ve come across your own borders to New South Wales, who had the disease, and we’ve managed that. »

By Emily Sakzewski

Key Event

SA Premier says border with Victoria will remain closed

   

 

Premier Steven Marshall says South Australia will not reopen it’s border with Victoria on the planned date of July 20.

 

« We are very hopeful that Victoria will be able to bring their outbreaks under control but at this stage we cannot possibly lift that border on 20 July as we were hoping to do, » the Premier said.

 

The Premier said he knew it would be a difficult decision for people who were planning travel around the 20th and that was why he was giving people as early notice as possible. 

 

« We know that this will have a dramatic effect on the AFL but we are adopting a position in South Australia which is not dissimilar to what has been announced for Queensland.

 

« So any teams coming in from Victoria to South Australia will have to do that two weeks of isolation [and] any South Australian team that plays a Victorian team or goes to Victoria to play a Victorian team will have to do that two weeks of isolation on return to our state.

 

« We apologise to many people who have had to make changes because of our change of the date of 20 July but our number-one priority is the health, safety and welfare of all South Australians. »

    

What about NSW and ACT? 

Mr Marshall said the transition committee would meet on Friday to consider reopening the border with ACT and NSW, but that’s something that’s still being worked out.

By Emily Sakzewski

What’s going to happen with JobKeeper?

 

 

The Federal Government has been facing pressure to extend its JobKeeper wage-subsidy scheme beyond the September cut-off date.

   

But Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said today that the Government will target support for certain industries as the coronavirus crisis eases, rather than issue a blank cheque for the entire economy.

   

A review in the JobKeeper scheme has concluded and the findings have been given to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, but we won’t see it straight away. 

   

Mr McCormack has knocked back calls for the review to be released before this Saturday’s Eden-Monaro by-election. 

   

Labor wants the Government to release its review and tell the Australian public what its plans are for the scheme beyond the cut-off date.

   

But Mr McCormack said JobKeeper’s scheduled end date, and the review, were decided on well before the by election. 

Insiders host David Speers wrote some analysis on this. Read it here.

By Emily Sakzewski

Some good news: Australians might be able to travel to the UK and Europe

 

The European Union is preparing a list of 15 countries whose citizens will be allowed to visit the bloc, as the UK Government gets set to announce which countries have agreed to allow quarantine-free travel from the UK.

Our Europe correspondent Samantha Hawley reports that the British Government will announce a number of « air bridges » for travel with other countries.

 

It’s expected the Government will use a traffic-light system that will classify countries depending on the prevalence of coronavirus, so:

 

Green = safer than the UK

Amber = less than safe

Red = you’ll need to self-isolate when you return

 

The UK’s final list of nations will be announced later this week. And as for the EU’s list, Sam says we’re likely to be on it.

By Emily Sakzewski

The WHO says the pandemic isn’t even close to being over

 
nooo GIF

   

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing on Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic is not even close to being over. 

 

« We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over, » he said.

« Although many countries have made some progress globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up. »

The head of the WHO’s emergencies program, Mike Ryan, told the briefing that significant progress had been made towards finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection, but there was still no guarantee the effort would succeed.

By Emily Sakzewski

South Australia recorded its first cases in more than a month

 

A three-year-old girl, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 40s all tested positive after arriving from India on Saturday. They were among 250 other repatriated Australians returning home. 

 

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Nicola Spurrier said the trio are all in quarantine at a city hotel but said getting tested if you’re feeling sick has never been more important.

 

These three cases takes state’s total number to 443.

By Emily Sakzewski

When will Daniel Andrews speak?

 

Hi Emily,Thanks for keeping us abreast of the news.Any word of when we will be getting an update from the Victoria?

-Me

  

Hey Me 🙂 We haven’t got a definite time for Victoria’s coronavirus update today (and potential announcement on lockdowns). The word is that it could be this afternoon, but I should emphasise that’s just an estimate at this stage. I’ll update you all on when we’ll hear from the Premier as soon as I get that info.

By Emily Sakzewski

Key Event

Staff at Melbourne’s Camberwell Grammar School have tested positive for coronavirus

The school wrote to parents last night to inform that two staff members had tested positive for coronavirus. The school assured parents that neither staff member were seriously ill and neither are linked to the student who tested positive over a week ago.

 

The school is now working with the state health department to undergo a contact-tracing process.

By Emily Sakzewski

How might a lockdown work?

Hi, and I love the blog…it helps relieve the feeling of anxiety that I might have missed something.Just a question…if they do go ahead with the lockdown…do you think it will be an entire local government area or the particular suburb that is most impacted? I live in Northcote which is in the local government area of Darebin. Thanks

-Worried

 

Hi Worried, thanks for joining us! You’re definitely not alone in wondering this if the blog comments are anything to go by, but right now we don’t have any indication about whether there will even be a lockdown, let alone how it might be implemented. 

 

This is an excerpt from our lead story this morning by my colleagues Brad Ryan and Leonie Thorne:

 

The State Government has not spelled out how localised lockdowns or restrictions would work, or whether they would apply to individual suburbs, postcode zones or entire council areas.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the Government was considering all options as it expected the outbreak to get « worse before it gets better ».

 
But it was a « balancing act » to manage community fatigue and not to « drive people out of suburban areas into new unaffected areas », Professor Sutton said.

 
He said localised restrictions, if implemented, would include stay-at-home orders.

« It would be part of the new rule, to stay at home, that people would stay in their place of residence, » he said.

« But it would be a significant logistical exercise to manage a stay-at-home [order] that is just about particular postcodes, particular suburbs or local government areas, so we have to think about all of those challenges. »

 

 

Here’s the full story, if you want to read more…

By Emily Sakzewski

Key Event

Queensland to announce whether it will reopen the borders

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (Pic: AAP/Darren England)

 

The State Government will give its long-awaited update on how and when the borders will reopen today.

 

July 10 has been the proposed date for Queensland’s border to reopen with NSW, SA and the NT. But there’s been some doubt cast on that timeframe due to the escalating number of coronavirus cases in Victoria. Victoria has an open border with NSW, so opening the Queensland border with NSW effectively oppens the state up to Victorian travellers.

 

The decision to reopen the Queensland border has become a political one over the past weeks and months, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk feeling the pressure from the State Opposition, the NSW Government and tourism and business bodies.

 

As for when today’s announcement will be, we don’t yet know, but I’ll keep you posted as soon as we get that information.

By Emily Sakzewski

What’s happening with the coronavirus hotspots in Victoria?

Yesterday you would have seen Victoria recorded 75 new cases of coronavirus, making it the state’s 13th straight day of double digit increases. The increase in community transmission rates has sparked some debate over whether to impose suburban lockdowns in the hotspot areas.

  

 

  • Keilor Downs
  • Broadmeadows
  • Maidstone
  • Albanvale
  • Sunshine West
  • Brunswick West
  • Fawkner
  • Reservoir
  • Hallam
  • Pakenham

  

To get a handle on the outbreak, Premier Daniel Andrews is considering reintroducing restrictions, including stay-at-home orders. But authorities are divided on the issue of imposed lockdowns.

 
The mayor of Melbourne’s Stonnington city council, Steve Stefanopoulos, said suburban lockdowns are impractical and won’t work, but the AMA’s vice president Dr Chris Zappala said they shouldn’t be ruled it out as a viable option. 

  

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is sending in 800 workers to help Victoria manage the situation. They will mainly help with community engagement and testing.

  
About 70 Defence Force personnel arrived in Melbourne overnight to help out with the huge testing effort that aims to test at least half the residents in each hotspot suburb.

By Emily Sakzewski

The latest coronavirus news in Australia

Welcome to our live coronavirus coverage this fine Tuesday. My name is Emily and I’ll be bringing you the latest news and announcements from around Australia and the world. 

 

First let’s take a look at what’s happening around the country:

 

  • The Queensland Government will provide a long-awaited update on when its borders will reopen
  • 800 federal workers are being sent to Victoria to help manage the COVID-19 outbreaks there
  • South Australia has recorded its first cases in more than a month. A three-year-old girl is among three people to test positive
  • An increase in community transmission rates linked to 10 hotspots in Melbourne has promoted debate about imposing suburban lockdown

   

And around the world:

  

  • The UK Government has imposed a lockdown on the city of Leicester over its high coronavirus infection rate 
  • The European Union is preparing a list of 15 countries whose citizens will be allowed to visit the bloc beginning Wednesday
  • The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has filed for bankruptcy protection
  • In Beijing, China, nearly 8.3 million people (out of about 21 million) have been tested after an outbreak there
  • India set another record with a one-day total of 20,000 newly confirmed infections

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