This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. He owns a series of ecotourism huts in the New South Wales Blue Mountains and lost the 2020 summer holidays to bushfires and 2021 to coronavirus. Authorities confirmed seven cases were linked to a returned family and a crew of removalists, who both came into the state from NSW. Despite promising not to re-impose stay-at-home orders, Mr Andrews' second-in-command on Thursday ordered Victorians to wear face masks in all indoor public spaces as part of major changes to the state's social distancing measures. "Interaction in those environments is close, it's crowded, it's active and it's mobile. Read more: A further two cases were family members of Ariele apartments residents and one case was believed to have been infected at Coles in Craigieburn where a family returning from a red zone were not isolating. The Herald Sun reports the state government is holding high-level meetings this afternoon to weigh up whether to reimpose restrictions across Melbourne, with an announcement expected as early as Thursday. With daily case numbers in the tens of thousands, NSW health officialsand Victorian authorities are cautiously optimistic that the state has passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak. "Feeling tense. Now that has ended too. And the Omicron variant, which has ripped through the country since December, appears to result in a less severe illness, in most cases, than previous variants of Covid-19. Australia has been the most locked-down country since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, but residents are growing frustrated with cases still rising. There are growing calls for Greater Sydney to be placed into a hard lockdown similar to the one imposed in Melbourne last year, but chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant insists NSW is already under "hard" restrictions. Melbourne, Victoria could go back into Christmas lockdown . Cooper is disabled and immunocompromised. There are other signs, too, that highlight a shift in focus from enjoying the freedoms of a reopened economyto navigating the pressure causedby the rapid rise in Omicron cases. Which somehow seems fitting as things being out of order seems to be the way things are with Covid. While resources were poured into the department to cope with the unprecedented demands during the pandemic and some structural changes were made most notably the creation of local public health units more work undoubtedly needs to be done. What have we learnt since then? "Now with further information and further data available to us and after consultation with a wide range of groups I've made this decision thinking it to be an appropriate, necessary and proportionate balancing of competing demands.". PCR tests, which are carried out through testing sites, will be discouraged for those with symptoms and for contacts. "And they're going to disagree whether that's employers or family members or friends when you go to cancel a social engagementbecause you don't want to go out and catch Omicron. Worried. Join the conversation, you are commenting as. Up to five visitors to a household at any one time. Business owners at the precinct this week called on the government to bring back support payments for struggling restaurants, bars and retail shops. What does is Victorians got vaccinated at a rate that surpassed all expectations. Thats no-ones fault, it is the nature of this virus and people are making their own choices, to not go out as much as they might have., To join the conversation, please Two had travelled to Wuhan, China, and the third was a close contact of the two travellers. I know and understand that this is challenging and there is no family that has not been touched by that over the last few years and certainly many touched by that over the last few weeks and months, he said. 'Providing rapid-antigen testing kits for those who want to do the right thing will help take the pressure of our testing clinics, while giving people confidence to get on with their lives.'. "It is very difficult to compare apples and oranges given the Delta strain and along the lockdown period in Victoria. I know and understand that this is challenging and there is no family that has not been touched by that over the last few years and certainly many touched by that over the last few weeks and months, he said. Switching to rapid antigen would slash these numbers and stop testing sites being overwhelmed by the 'worried well' and delay testing for those who are feeling sick. The 'winter shot': Everything you need to know about getting your next COVID-19 booster, If you catch COVID again, will your symptoms be worse? In that way, he predicted it would differ to the "U shape" of mandated lockdowns, with a longer tail in and out. A legal stoush between Federal MP Monique Ryan and her former staffer has devolved into warfare with each side throwing allegations at the other, a court has heard. "Please note that we have always taken the position in New South Wales they will keep the community safe but also make sure that we keep livelihoods going.". I would not be fine I had my booster shot last week and was severely unwell for five days. "Were very keen to make sure we get a very firm grip of this as soon as we possibly can.". AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), abc.net.au/news/victoria-melbourne-covid-shadow-lockdown-cbd-mobility/100753496, Help keep family & friends informed by sharing this article. 2022 was supposed to be different, but It feels exactly like there is a lockdown. On Thursday the NSW premier will announce the policy reversal following Covid crisis talks with fellow state leaders and Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Feeling tense. Australia recorded more cases in the first two weeks of 2022 than in the previous two years combined. Sydneyis released from lockdown on 'freedom day'. This is how the news unfolded on Wednesday. Welcome to the Coronation! Kylie*, a midwife working in Melbourne hospitals, says despite difficulties with testing and high case numbers there is cause to be optimistic. Here's how likely you are to get it more than once, Charting the COVID-19 spread: Australia passes 10,000 coronavirus deaths, Self-help author Marianne Williamson launches primary challenge against Joe Biden for 2024 Democratic nomination, Chinese migrants walked a gruelling 500km to Victoria's goldfields in the 19th century. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. Which somehow seems fitting as things being out of order seems to be the way things are with Covid. NSW announces more of its restrictions will ease, allowing people in the state to: Then-NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announces that from July 1, the following will be allowed: Victoria announcespostcodes 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021 and 3046 will go back into lockdown from July 2. We already have this email. "I need to find any cases that are out there to get them under control, and obviously we need to continue to work very closely with our red zone arrivals to make sure that these flying embers don't catch light again," Victoria's Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar told reporters earlier on Wednesday. Victoria's Chief Health Officer has declared that from tonight the lockdown restrictions will be strengthened and extended in metropolitan Melbourne, until 11.59pm on Thursday, 2 September. Victoria will not be sent back into lockdown despite a surge in cases linked to the hyper-contagious OmicronCovid strain, the state's deputy premier has vowed. Phoebe says her social circle has split in two: those who have had Covid and are now feeling invulnerable for 30 days despite warnings that earlier reinfection is possible and those who are curbing social activities to try to avoid it. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work. This is an additional 14 days on the previous directions. Two years of having get a test drummed into you and then suddenly people are told not to get a test unless they fit certain criteria I found that really hard, he says. Sydneyannounces lockdown measuresfor suburbs across the cityas the Bondi outbreak grows. Premier Daniel Andrews has himself said there is no need to lockdown the Victorian capital for a seventh time once more than 90 per cent of the state's population has received both Covid vaccine doses. But before we do this, its vital we look back and learn every lesson we can so next time we are faced with such a crisis and there will be a next time we can do better. Here we are in early January 2022 and its a wet day today (Sunday) in Melbourne, even though its summer. Authorities confirmed seven cases were linked, Covid rule that was an atrocious mistake. This is clearly a very rapidly moving situation. The federal government announces these measures, to be implemented by state governments: Australia closes its borders to everyone who is not a resident or citizen. "If you're fully vaccinated then your life will be back to normal, you'll be able to enjoy all of the things that you have yearned for and miss and desperately worked so hard for," Mr Andrews said as the state arrived at its 90 per cent vaccination target. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has issued an ominous warning as the southern state prepares to come out of lockdown. Far fewer know their real story. Housing policies favour the rich and leave first home buyers high and dry. A near-deserted Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD on October 20. Melbourne has endured the world's longest cumulative time in lockdown, . Published: 01:28 GMT, 23 December 2021 | Updated: 03:32 GMT, 23 December 2021. Almost 2,700 passengers aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship are permitted to leave the ship in Sydney without being tested for Covid-19. She still cant smell or taste anything and several of her friends remain unwell. The government chose not to bring in those changes at the time, arguing their introduction could hurt businesses and potentially undermine public confidence in the government's pandemic response. Victorian Liberal deputy leader David Southwick said the restrictions had placed increased pressure on businesses. The Victorian Premier has spoken out after Queensland moved to make major changes to its drug laws. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Personally, I feel better with accepting that Covid is an ongoing issue. The thought of lockdown again is what is giving me a lot of anxiety and a lot of dread it scares me, says Melbourne man James Burke. "Clearly, what were saying is particularly in greater Sydney, I have said openly that if you have had your AstraZeneca shots, over four weeks ago, contact your GP and talk about bringing the second dose forward from the 12 week mark to around 6- eight weeks," she said. Check your spam folder for our confirmation email! Mr Foley said there was no plan to introduce another lockdown. Ms Berejiklian said authorities will know by the end of this two week extension whether the lockdown will need to be even longer. Victoria will not be sent back into lockdown despite a surge in cases linked to the hyper-contagious Omicron Covid strain, the state's deputy premier has vowed. Lockdown orders end for Sydney's northern beaches. A scuffed copy of the Koran. These key charts will show if thats happening, NSW Covid update: health officials increasingly confident cases will plateau next week, Unions say exemption to allow Covid-positive people to work at SA meatworks sets dangerous precedent, Original reporting and incisive analysis, direct from the Guardian every morning. NSW recorded 97 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. How can I best get on with living my best life?, NSW expects Covid hospitalisations to peak next week. The health department had been depleted over many years by both sides of politics and it clearly entered the pandemic under-resourced. We hit the streets of Sydney and find the normally bustling metropolis completely empty. As of this date, the city was expected to be locked down until "late October". Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. I do not want to get Covid.. July 27, 2021 Victoria's fifth lockdown ends, but less than a week later, the state is plunged back into another long lockdown. People who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are being urged to get their second dose as soon as four weeks after, rather than waiting the usual 12 weeks. Under new testing changes, those who test positive on a RAT will be considered "probable" cases and must isolate immediately for seven days and notify their contacts. Any one of these things could have led to the increase in numbers, together they are leading to big numbers. Some wouldn't survive. "I am highlighting that the risk is ever present and remember, what I'm reading you today is what has happened overnight so tomorrow, there might be different sites," Dr Chant said. The risk is too high: Ashleigh Cooper, who is disabled and immunocompromised, went into self-isolation two weeks ago. Despite enduring one of the longest aggregate periods of strict lockdown in the world, the Victorian community by and large hung in there. The bigger question of course will be whether we ever need to rely on hotel quarantine again or whether we have learned the more important lesson about how unsuitable hotels are for containing infectious diseases. Also invalidating is the implication, from some public health messaging and public responses to death announcements, that a disease is less devastating if most of its victims are people who have pre-existing conditions. Dr Chant said one dose is helpful in protecting against hospitalisation but two doses i even more effective. Melburnians pictured outside Melbourne Town Hall on December 22. Victorians are furious at the way Covid was spread from Sydney to Melbourne and are anxious about the prospect of a fresh lockdown as new cases emerge tonight. "We will know at the end of two weeks to what extent we need to extend the lockdown, whether there is any chance of face-to-face schooling. The messy family drama behind one of the world's biggest K-pop empires, as the state arrived at its 90 per cent vaccination target, Timely reminder: How to respond if you test positive to COVID-19. A man who had flown from Guandong, China, to Melbourne on January 19, 2020, tests positive for Covid-19, becoming Australias first confirmed case. As we reach the end of 2021 and cast our eyes towards 2022, we can begin to imagine what life in the post-pandemic world might look like. Mr Southwick called for the government to extend the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme for a further three months, to help thousands of small businesses avoid rent increases. Australia has one of the most powerful passports in the world. The jump in cases in NSW - which is nearly 2,000 more than the 3,763 infections reported on Wednesday - comes after a major backflip on restrictions in the state with millions once again required to check into venues via QR codes. For most, the threat posed by Covid has eased 92.4% of Australians over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, and 18% have also had a booster shot. Panic buying leaves supermarket shelves bare, leading the prime minister to urge calm and compassion at the shops:There is no issue with food supply in Australia, but there is an issue with the behaviour of Australians in supermarkets.". South Australia has enforced a hard border with residents of Greater Melbourne, as authorities reveal the man at the centre of Melbourne's Covid-19 outbreak likely caught it through aerosol Covid-19: South Australia border closes to Greater Melbourne, report into hotel leak released Prince Harry shares struggles to be his 'authentic true self' growing up, saying he felt pressures to 'come As Prince Harry says he felt like the film 'the boy in the bubble' before having therapy, who was Hollywood's love affair with the new non-binary Brit Pack: After MeToo sex scandals, Tinseltown is desperate Five unexpected signs in your 20s and 30s you're at risk of developing heart disease later in life. The outbreaks that devastated the aged-care sector during the second wave in Victoria were desperately sad. In the past fortnight none of my patients have gone to ICU. The Premier also hinted that parts of Regional Victoria may be able to exit lockdown "before next Tuesday if it is safe to do so." . The local government areas of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown are still areas of concern for NSW health officials. So it's going to be in some ways [it will be]more stressful for a lot of people.". Kakadu National Park rangers in war against feral animals as populations boom, Shoe polish stands begin to vanish, lose their shine, A Nazi-hunting nun, an accused murderer, a theatre legend: This Australian actor plays them all, Macron says no 'double standards' between Ukraine and Africa as Congo leader urges France to back sanctions against Rwanda, They can be cheeky, nippy, and playful but these camels are also helping put a business on the map, Neurodivergent children are three times more likely to drown than their peers this class is working to change that, Mooney's Aussies humbled in Gujarat loss in WPL opener, A sea of colour as WorldPride takes over Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is up to individuals to determine and manage their own risk. "It is a true lockdown, but of course it wasn't announced and therefore we haven't entered it all at once, and because it wasn't announced or planned, we're not going to be able to exit it all at once either," he said. How a 21yo man with the code name 'Svyat' smuggled residents past Putin's private army, Anna called police to report an assault, but they took out a family violence order against her. Some email providers try to silence us. If the devastating impact of COVID on aged-care centres is not enough to catalyse meaningful reform in this sector in Australia, then nothing will. However, the real story of the response to COVID in Australia is messier. To go on holiday, particularly interstate, people have been required to get tested. Help keep family & friends informed by sharing this article, How a 21yo man with the code name 'Svyat' smuggled residents past Putin's private army, Anna called police to report an assault, but they took out a family violence order against her. When it comes to responding to a pandemic, however, this presents its challenges. "We need to see the numbers decrease. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the number of people infectious in the community needed to drop before the lockdown could be lifted. National cabinet encourages wearing masks to combat COVID-19. AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), abc.net.au/news/covid-restrictions-tighten-in-victoria-to-slow-spread-of-omicron/100741342. Decisions had to be made quickly, often with only limited and uncertain evidence, and most importantly, without the all-knowing benefit of hindsight. The chamber is calling on federal and state governments to offer free RATs to small and medium-sized businesses, and suggestinga one-off payment equivalent to three weeks of support under the joint business packages released during previous lockdowns. The government has barely introduced major restrictions since then, apart from the closure of dancefloors and light indoor density limits. Victoria indisputably went through the toughest ordeal of any state in the country. #CovidVic. 'Wear a mask in an indoor setting. "I think they are a 2020/2021 iteration," he said. The messy family drama behind one of the world's biggest K-pop empires, as the wave of infections sends staff into isolation at the same time COVID-19 patients are growing, Victorian hospitalisations surge to 631 as state records nearly 22,000 new infections, Timely reminder: How to respond if you test positive to COVID-19. The government and health authorities failed to control infections among returned travellers spreading to hotel quarantine workers and beyond. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the 6th January 2022, the most recent data available, Australia has the following statistics: So according to these figures, more than 10% of all cases in the past two years were found in one day! The lockdown covers only Melbourne and an area to the north called the Mitchell Shire. Premier Gladys Berejiklain said its "very difficult" to compare the current situation in Sydney to the situation experienced by Melbourne last year. Lockdown measures ease in regional Victoria but remain in metropolitan Melbourne. Australian government frontbencher Simon Birmingham told the ABC on Friday that demand for testing, from both PCR and rapid tests, had been far in excess of what has been modelled in Australia and all around the world. I'm a vet, and here are five dog breeds most prone to cancer - including Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers, Prince Andrew chuckles as he encounters female jogger on way to his weekly Windsor horse-riding trip. "We are will have to vaccinate again against Covid and will have further advice about boosters but in the context of an outbreak, what we want to do is give people the advice so that they are protected.". "In the past, you could say it's OK, it's the government, it's the policy, but that's not what we have right now. Sign notifying customers that rapid antigen test (RAT) kits are sold out. Kakadu National Park rangers in war against feral animals as populations boom, Shoe polish stands begin to vanish, lose their shine, A Nazi-hunting nun, an accused murderer, a theatre legend: This Australian actor plays them all, Macron says no 'double standards' between Ukraine and Africa as Congo leader urges France to back sanctions against Rwanda, They can be cheeky, nippy, and playful but these camels are also helping put a business on the map, Neurodivergent children are three times more likely to drown than their peers this class is working to change that, Mooney's Aussies humbled in Gujarat loss in WPL opener, A sea of colour as WorldPride takes over Sydney Harbour Bridge. 'Please confirm what Muslim refers to': Why Ali's birthday payment for his nephew was flagged by his bank, These engineers break their silenceafterdecade of criticism overBrisbane2011 flood handling, Kade was a fit 31-year-old when he died from a heart attack, Sherpa are world famous for their work, which is synonymous with their name. Until today I had not thought that that was a serious option, now Im reconsidering. Many lessons have been learned about engaging the diverse communities of Victoria. A leading Australian infectious disease expert has ripped into one of the most draconian measures enforced during the pandemic. Im double vaxxed and feeling like, what was the point? There will be another pandemic and potentially this will occur sooner than we all would like. Many others say they have chosen to go back into something resembling lockdown until their children can be vaccinated or until the outbreak peaks. His deputy leader said the state government is not considering adding to the world-record 262 days Melbourne has spent in lockdown since the Covid pandemic began, 'The promise was if you go and get vaccinated, you can enjoy Christmasand New Year with your families and loved ones and that's exactly what will happen.'. All of which makes me wonder if we are heading towards a summer lockdown. Context is important and needs to be factored into any critique. Victoria adds 'outdoor recreation' to the reasons to leave home, allowing picnics for the first time since July. But on Wednesday night, a further case emerged from a school in Bacchus Marsh as well as reports of two additional cases that would bring today's number to 10. But the state as a whole has been sealed off from neighbouring New South Wales and South Australia. Thomas Barbera says his friend groups have done the same, and it has caused some uncomfortable conversations. Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. So we need to all play our part in taking this incredibly seriously. But perhaps most frustrating was the news that the crew have not been cooperating with contact tracers who only today found out there were two trucks involved. Martin Radzaj says he has found the start of 2022 to be the most difficult time in the pandemic because of the utter confusion about what we should be doing. Originally published at Upon Hope. 'Like a lockdown': in 2022, Australians are still feeling the fear and anxiety of Covid Most of the population is vaccinated and harsh restrictions have ended.