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

When Covid fatigue hits and everyday conversations become saturated with virus this and vaccine that; we are compelled to ponder what needs to occur in order to bring some level of civility and zeal back to public discourse?

The pandemic has laid bare so many injustices and inequalities that predated the pandemic, like disparity across the aged-care sector, public housing variables, educational inequalities, and health disadvantages.

Furthermore, Covid has shone a spotlight on domestic violence, mental health and social cohesion. So, in the end, the crisis has delivered us, both individually and collectively, an opportunity to "redress, repair and rebuild" our communities.

In a bid to deliver a better response to future pandemics, Victoria's contentious pandemic laws finally passed through the upper house on Thursday after state MPs were forced to sit an all-nighter.

Triggering more protests throughout the week, the amended bill, clearly a necessary extreme during a global pandemic, now includes an independent joint parliamentary committee to review public health orders, as well as an independent panel to review detention orders.

The question however remains, are politicians simply gaslighting the Australian public, or empowering them to be a part of a larger conversation?

Such philosophical pondering's have infiltrated political debate and social discourse, begging us to ask; is it okay for law makers to deprive people of their freedoms; to control relationships; to shut borders; to deliver health orders; to close down the economy; or not?

"At some point in the future, when...blame is apportioned, it may be possible to look back and say that some decisions were made in good faith, given the knowledge at the time, even though they cost lives – meanwhile, others will look wrong."

- Oxford Professor of Medical Ethics, Dr Dominic Wilkinson

Professor Wilkinson is adamant that consistency is key to ethical decision making.

"Issues of credibility arise when there is inconsistency. We demand of our politicians a high standard," he said.

Meanwhile, global chatter on the threat of the Omicron strain which emerged in South Africa last week, has scientists and researchers desperately looking into the variant’s transmissibility, severity and ability to evade vaccines.

In response to the new threat, the Morrison government has imposed a two week "prudent and temporary pause" on migrant and international workers arriving in Australia as a precautionary measure to ensure the country remains safely open.

"We're doing this out of an abundance of caution, but our overwhelming view is that whilst it's an emerging variant, it's a manageable variant."

- Health Minister Greg Hunt

It comes as a Sydney school student with no overseas travel history or links became the ninth person to test positive to the Omicron variant of Covid in Australia, on Friday.

Health authorities however remain “cautiously optimistic” that Omicron won’t prove to be more severe than other Covid variants.

“Often with disease the course of direction is they become perhaps more transmissible but milder or less severe,” Minster Hunt said.

Meantime, Melbourne University epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely has told Channel 7's Sunrise that the Omicron strain could provide a pathway out of the pandemic for Australia.

"This one should be more mild, but we don't know exactly how much more mild it is, so that means that the hospitalisation rate should be less severe. It might become our get out of the pandemic card," he said.

"This may be a blessing if it displaces Delta and becomes the more mild version, it might help us get out of this pandemic."

- Prof Blakely

In the end, much remains unknown about the Omicron variant, amid varying opinions over the risks posed to global public health, with a better understanding expected to take another two to four weeks.

In the meantime, the advice remains consistently clear, vaccination is the best defense.


Meanwhile, across the country:

With the harshest border restrictions in the country, Western Australia have mandated that travellers from Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Queensland and now SA 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 remains open to Victoria and the ACT joining the likes of Queensland, WA, NT and Tasmania. Travellers from NSW are now required to undergo a Covid test upon arrival, with the health authorities monitoring the Omicron situation daily. All interstate and overseas travellers, including returning South Australians, must apply to enter the state via EntryCheck SA. There were four new Covid cases recorded in South Australia on Friday.

All travellers to the Australian Capital Territory are 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 four new Covid cases on Friday.

The Northern Territory is closed to people from hotspots including NSW, ACT, Victoria and SA. 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 two new Covid cases from interstate travellers 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 337 new infections on Friday. Regional travel is well and truly 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 1182 new infections reported on Friday and tragically 11 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.

Tasmania happily reported no new Covid 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 92 new Covid cases on Friday.

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


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Hit News Team

3 December 2021

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