The Covid Wrap: A State-By-State Summary On Covid Across Australia

Don’t blink, it could change

Article heading image for The Covid Wrap: A State-By-State Summary On Covid Across Australia

Emma Int

The week began and ended with equal measures of Covid controversy amid chaos and disorder.

Unpacking the information gap in ‘vaccine hesitancy’ among all of the complexities, complacency, convenience or constraints, risk calculation, and collective responsibility, the delicate balance in communication was left wanting.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The National Briefing - keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.

Still a contentious topic, swords were drawn on Monday as Pauline Hanson introduced One Nation's anti-vaccine mandate bill, which proposed banning discrimination on Covid jab status for people that worked across goods, services, facilities, employment, education, accommodation and sport.

Rejected outright, despite support from five Coalition senators, outspoken Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie lambasted the independent party, accusing them of “using fear to make money”.

In a tirade that has gone viral, Senator Lambie said that people have the right to not be vaccinated “but if you make a choice, those choices have consequences”.

“People have a right to choose, but you don’t have a right to put vulnerable people’s lives at risk.”

"Being held accountable for your own actions isn't called discrimination - it is called being a bloody adult," she chided.


Meanwhile, the UK division of human rights group Amnesty International has been accused of "spreading false information", after issuing a media release criticising the army's involvement in the Northern Territory's current outbreak.

The claims circulating online suggested that First Nations people from Binjari and Rockhole, including children, were being forcibly removed from their homes, sent to Howard Springs to quarantine, and coercively vaccinated.

Condemned on Thursday, by Aboriginal elders, health organisations and frontline workers as false information, NT chief minister, Michael Gunner, berated "international trolls" and "overseas conspiracy theorists" for disseminating anti-vaccination misinformation.

“Hello to all the conspiracy theorists overseas watching this. Please get a life,” Mr Gunner challenged. 

“There are ridiculous, untrue rumours about the ADF’s involvement. As we all know, they aren’t carrying weapons – they are carrying fresh food for people"

“If anybody thinks that we are going to be distracted or intimidated by tinfoil hat wearing tossers, sitting in their parents’ basements in Florida, then you do not know us Territorians,” he said. 

Yet, despite the week’s political antics of weaponising the pandemic, it seems that Australia is now 'on the move', with South Australia opening its borders to 'hotspot' regions, just as NSW is set to further ease restrictions on December 15, scrapping masks (in most situations) QR codes and density limits.

Furthermore, our friends across the ditch, announced on Wednesday, eased border restrictions for fully vaccinated Australians from early 2022.

Meantime, changes to Australia's international border restrictions will come into effect from December 1, allowing fully vaccinated international students, eligible visa holders and travellers from Japan and South Korea to come to Australia, without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

"The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back, it's a major milestone about what Australians have been able to achieve and enable us to do," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

These changes are set to be implemented as planned, despite the World Health Organisation calling an urgent meeting on Thursday over a new coronavirus strain detected in South Africa.

Deakin University Chair of Epidemiology Prof Catherine Bennett, said the rest of the world needed to do more to increase global vaccination rates.

“Australia has now contributed 9m doses to partners in the region, some to the Covax program, some to funding, but it isn’t enough,” she said.

Defending Australia's international efforts for developing countries, Minister Greg Hunt said some regions had “extraordinarily high” rates of vaccination.

“Our spare vaccines are being provided but beyond that we’re also working directly through the Covax program,” he said.

“South Africa is doing everything it can to encourage vaccination within its population and to continue to expand its distribution network, but there are different challenges in different countries.”

- Minister Greg Hunt

Meanwhile, Europe's waning Covid immunity has given rise to a fourth wave with soaring infections, hospitalisations and returning lockdowns. 

A bleak reminder that the global pandemic is not over yet, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has written to every Australian encouraging them to book in for a booster. 

“Everyone in Australia is encouraged to take up the vaccine boosters to make sure we can keep each and every one of us safe.”


Meanwhile, across the country:

With the harshest border restrictions in the country, Western Australia have mandated that travellers from Victoria, NSW, the ACT and Queensland are not permitted to enter without an approval through G2G Pass. While all other travellers are required to provide evidence that they have received their first Covid vaccine and have tested 72 hours prior to departing for the western skies. WA recorded no new Covid cases on Friday.

With arms stretched open wide, South Australia has finally dismantled its harsh border restrictions to Victoria, NSW and the ACT, allowing travellers from Covid hotspots to join the likes of Queensland, WA, NT and Tasmania. All people planning to travel to South Australia from interstate and overseas, including returning South Australians, must apply through EntryCheck SA. There were two new Covid cases recorded in South Australia on Friday.

All travellers to the Australian Capital Territory is required to complete an online Border Entry Form. The online form needs to be completed 7 days or less before entering the NT. The nation's capital recorded eight new Covid cases on Friday.

The Northern Territory is closed to people from hotspots including NSW, ACT, and Victoria. Travellers into the Territory from other regions must get a Covid test and are required to enter supervised quarantine for 14 days at their own expense. NT recorded no new Covid cases on Friday. 

Eligible domestic travellers can now apply for entry to Queensland if travelling from a hotspot and quarantine at home. These include Victoria, NSW, the ACT, the Jervise Bay Territory, Greater Katherine and Robinson River in the NT. Meanwhile travellers from WA, Tasmania, and SA must complete a travel declaration form up to three days prior to arriving. The sunshine state recorded no new locally acquired Covid cases on Friday.

As Covid numbers continue to plateau in New South Wales, the state recorded 261 new infections and sadly three lives lost on Friday. Regional travel is well and truely back on, while further easing of restrictions will come into effect on December 15. The NSW / Victoria border is now open to fully vaccinated travellers. All visitors must complete a travel declaration form.

Down south and Victoria’s cases meander with 1362 new infections reported on Friday and tragically eight Covid deaths. All LGA’s in Australia are now deemed a ‘green zone’, with all residents permitted to travel to Victoria. There are no longer testing or quarantine requirements for travellers and workers from a green zone, including unvaccinated people, however, they are still required to obtain an entry permit from Service Victoria to verify they are not Covid positive or close contact.

Once more Tasmania happily reported no new cases on Friday. The Apple Isle remains off limits to people from NSW, the ACT, and Victoria, while travellers from South Australia, WA, parts of Queensland and some parts of New Zealand may visit if they don't bring any more nasties with them. Tasmania are set to plan to reopen borders on December 15.

Across the ditch and Trans-Tasman families are set for a second-consecutive Christmas apart as the New Zealand government opts against a border reopening to Australia this year. New Zealand reported 177 new Covid cases on Friday.

Finally, to wrap up in the words of Mr Scott Morrison “there are shifting sands when it comes to the evolution of this issue".


Get the latest breaking news from SCA newsrooms around Australia. Short, simple and everything you need to know.

Hit News Team

26 November 2021

Article by:

Hit News Team

Listen Live!
Up Next