Australia Covid live news update: NSW says western Sydney to stay in harsher lockdown; Victoria to bring back ‘ring of steel’; ACT reports 20 cases

Australia Covid live news update: NSW says western Sydney to stay in harsher lockdown; Victoria to bring back ‘ring of steel’; ACT reports 20 cases

5.16am EDT

What we learned, Wednesday 8 September

That’s where I will leave you for today. Here’s a wrap of what we learned:

FOI documents released by Labor showed pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had tried multiple times to set up a meeting with the government.
New South Wales recorded 1,480 new locally acquired cases and nine deaths overnight.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said international quarantine period will likely be reduced for vaccinated travellers once the state reaches 80% vaccinated rates.

Victoria recorded 221 new locally acquired cases today, 98 of which have been linked to previous cases.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced that from 11.59pm tomorrow night the majority of regional Victoria will come out of lockdown.

Queensland recorded zero new cases, but the state health minister slammed the federal government for playing “cheap politics” over exemptions for returning soldiers.
The ACT recorded 20 local Covid-19 cases overnight, with seven in quarantine during their entire infectious period.

at 5.23am EDT

5.05am EDT

NSW Mid and North coast to be released from lockdown tomorrow

ABC News is reporting that the Mid and North Coast, along the Riverina, will see lockdown restrictions lifted from tomorrow.

The reports also indicate regional travel within NSW will resume when the state hits 70% double dosed. We’ll bring you more as it will likely be announced at tomorrow’s press conference.

5.00am EDT

Australia’s overseas travel ban could be dropped as early as November, according to reports from the Sydney Morning Herald on what was discussed at a federal cabinet meeting tonight.

Plans to end travel restrictions come as the government moves to embrace a “vaccine passport”, where travellers can show their vaccination status to cross international borders.

The plan could apparently be announced in days, after months of restrictions on people leaving the country. Here’s hoping.

at 5.03am EDT

4.36am EDT

Earlier today, the ABC reported that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is considering whether a website linked to the text messages being sent out by Craig Kelly breaches the Criminal Code.

The messages, which were sent out by the United Australia Party (UAP) and authorised by MP Craig Kelly, link to a website that confusingly uses the TGA’s logo, but contains out-of-context data on Covid vaccines.

A spokesperson from the TGA told the ABC that the messages don’t technically qualify as false advertising, as it does not appear to constitute advertising under the The Criminal Code Act.

But they are looking into whether the use of the TGA logo breaches both copyright legislation and the Act.

4.14am EDT

Truck drivers are facing stricter rules upon entry into Western Australia from today.

The WA state government introduced strict testing requirements from today, after a truck driver tested positive last week.

Interstate truck drivers who have been in high or extreme risk category states 14 days prior to arriving in WA, are now required to show a negative test within 72 hours of arrival.

Drivers that haven’t taken their test will need to take a rapid antigen test at the border. Truck drivers from other states will remain subject to the seven-day testing protocol.

3.56am EDT

Patricia Karvelas
Deputy Premier of QLD tells me in @RadioNational interview that a delta outbreak that cannot be suppressed to zero is a matter of time now in QLD and the state is in a race now to vaccinate until it inevitably hits. Very frank #auspol #COVID19

September 8, 2021

3.23am EDT

It might be repetitive to say, but I’ll take the good news anywhere. With that in mind, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have recorded zero new cases today. South Australia recorded one case in hotel quarantine, and zero locally acquired cases.

3.03am EDT

New Zealand has announced a second emergency flight for stranded Kiwis in Sydney amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

The country’s Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment announced earlier today a second “red” flight would leave Sydney next Wednesday, for people who meet the requirements.

People will have until 3pm on Saturday to apply for the flight, via the New Zealand government’s isolation and quarantine website.

Travellers must have not have been at a location of interest in the past fortnight and must show a negative test taken within 72 hours of departures. They will also need to enter self-paid 14 day quarantine when they arrive.

The allocation is intended to allow people in urgent situations to return home, and isn’t open to the public, with people advised not to contact airlines directly.

at 3.12am EDT

2.43am EDT

Paul Karp

Dan Tehan also responded to SBS’s story revealing Afghan women will not be permitted to play sports that “expose their bodies” such as cricket.

Tehan told reporters:

Ultimately they’re decisions that will be taken in conjunction with other countries, other like-minded governments. But I will say this: the news that the Taliban won’t be allowing female sport is incredibly disappointing. As a matter of fact, most Australians are absolutely appalled at the idea that girls, women wouldn’t be allowed to play sport. It’s something our sporting codes will have to think about and look at very closely. I know the idea my daughters wouldn’t be able to play sport is something I couldn’t even imagine.

at 2.51am EDT

2.29am EDT

Paul Karp

The trade minister, Dan Tehan, has given a press conference to confirm that the government is working on a QR code system to certify vaccination status, to help enable international travel and attendance at events such as sport, concerts and theatre.

Most of the media questions were about revelations from freedom of information documents of the Morrison government’s somewhat laid back approach to negotiations with Pfizer.

The document’s reveal reluctance to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and that the Australian government sent a first assistant secretary to the first meeting when Pfizer had requested to speak with health minister, Greg Hunt, and senior departmental executives.

Tehan repeatedly referenced a statement from Hunt describing suggestions the government slow-pedalled as “false” and accusing Labor of selectively quoting correspondence with Pfizer. Journalists pointed out Hunt didn’t meet Pfizer until two weeks after the first deals were signed with other countries, but Tehan stuck to his guns. We’re chasing that statement now.

In response to a question about an intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organisation, Tehan said Australia had “always said it would support a TRIPS waiver”.

That’s not quite right – in March and early May Australia was resistant, until the US shifted in mid-May. Tehan then clarified that since the US supported it, Australia did.

The trade minister Dan Tehan. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

at 2.43am EDT

2.22am EDT

A medical clinic in Melbourne has been offering off-label ivermectin to patients, despite it not being approved as a Covid treatment.

The clinic actually set up an online page where people could book an $85 consultation for the drug, and is now listed as an exposure site.

You can read more on the story from Josh Taylor at the link below:

at 2.36am EDT

2.03am EDT

Around 200 police officers will be deployed to regional Victoria to ensure people from metropolitan Melbourne aren’t travelling to those areas.

The officers will be sent along the border of the unofficial “ring of steel” around Melbourne from midnight Thursday, as restrictions ease for regional Victoria.

Victoria Police deputy commissioner Rick Nugent told reporters that the officers were there to prevent anyone “tempted” to break public health orders.

With the easing of restrictions, some people in greater Melbourne may be tempted to interact with regional areas for all sorts of reasons, whether that’s visiting a café … a pub or restaurant, or some other reason.

It has been really difficult during … multiple lockdowns, [and] the community has been outstanding in its support and abiding by the directions.

Having said that, we still come across people that choose to ignore those rules, and I’m just imploring people, please abide by the rules, stay in metropolitan Melbourne. Don’t spread the [virus] with the regional areas.

at 2.05am EDT

1.50am EDT

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is calling for Sydney to open collectively, and not to leave behind the 12 LGAs under increased restrictions.

Speaking to 2GB radio earlier today, Perrottet said he didn’t want to see a “tale of two cities”, as the government prepares to lift restrictions once the state hits the 70/80% vaccination rate.

We should all as a city right across Sydney come out together … we should be treating everyone equally.

I know there’s been discussion around trials and the like as we lead up to that date, but people in western Sydney have made enormous sacrifices as we all have across our state.”

at 1.55am EDT

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