The Covid Wrap: A State-By-State Summary On Covid Across Australia
Don’t blink, it could change
Not to disappoint, the ‘week that was’ delivered lockdowns easing and restrictions tightening, borders closing, and holidays cancelled.
And then just when you thought it had all settled down following anti-lockdown protests over the weekend despite ‘stay at home’ orders in Sydney and Melbourne, it looks as though more ‘pop up’ protests are planned for the coming weekend with NSW Police warning “that behaviour will not be tolerated again”.
Meantime, the debate continues to rage over the effectiveness of how Australia is handling the current outbreaks, with health experts warning the long-term impacts of Covid-19 only adds further stress to the country's already tempered health system.
AMA president Dr Omar Khorshid has called for stricter measures and a stronger drive for vaccinations as Greater Sydney closes in on its fifth week of lockdown.
Dr Khorshid has implored the NSW government to make face masks mandatory outdoors, restrict movement to a 5km radius and temporarily close the door to nonessential retail in order to stem the spread of the virus.
“COVID-19 does not respect geography or local government boundaries on a map, and clear and simple rules applied everywhere will make a difference”
- Dr Omar Khorshid
There have also been calls throughout the week for NSW teachers and year 12 students to get AstraZeneca with the hopeful benefit of returning to face-to-face learning, but as avid fence sitters, the jury is out for pollies and Aussies alike.
Finally, state and territory leaders spent Friday afternoon in the ‘virtual Zoom room' at a session of National Cabinet to discuss the roadmap out of lockdowns.
Meanwhile, across other parts of the country:
WA’s Premier Mark McGowan is in no rush to bring down borders, they remain closed to NSW, Queensland and Victoria. While, South Australia, ACT and the Territory need to quarantine for 14 days, which leaves Tasmanians as the only Aussies allowed in. The state recorded no new covid-19 cases on Friday.
South Australia continues to maintain a tightly closed border to Victoria, NSW and the ACT, while restrictions for greater Brisbane have been reintroduced. The only Aussies deemed ‘restriction free’ are Tasmanians. SA recorded no new cases on Friday.
Australia’s Capital Territory continue to keep a tight grip on border control with NSW and Victoria, while travellers from elsewhere across the country can roam freely in the ACT. The countries capital have once again recorded zero new covid-19 cases.
The Northern Territory continue on track with their lucky streak with no new cases. Anyone from Victoria, Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong as well as people from Brisbane and Morton Bay will not be able to enter without 14 days of quarantine.
Snap lockdown fears grow in Queensland amid fears of a mystery case among the 13 reported on Friday. Victoria and South Australia are considered a ‘hot spot’, while border restrictions to greater Sydney as well as Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour remain firmly locked down.
New South Wales notched 170 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, down from the 239 recorded on Thursday, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealing plans to turn Sydney Olympic Park’s Qudos Bank Arena into a mass vaccination hub. Meanwhile, Sydneysiders are banned from leaving the city, except for essential purposes.
Down south and Victoria recorded 2 new local Covid-19 cases on Friday as the state continues to hit the magic numbers promising a further easing of restrictions. In the meantime, anyone from anywhere must apply for a permit to enter the state, while NSW and ACT remain on the banned list.
Tasmania remains off limits to people from greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong. Those from Victoria and SA require an exemption to cross the strait, while travellers from WA, QLD and the ACT are allowed in but only if they have not visited known exposure sites, including shops, venues and airport terminals. So, that’s most visitors knocked back. They continue a zero streak.
Across the ditch and Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand remains off the agenda for seven more weeks.
Finally, to wrap up in the words of Mr Scott Morrison “there are shifting sands when it comes to the evolution of this issue".
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