Australia Virus cases lock down bulk of Australians
Coronavirus is raging in Indonesia, so Australians are trying to flee home on a charter plane
Australians who live and work in Indonesia are scrambling to find a way out as the Delta variant turns the nation into the world’s coronavirus epicentre.He and his wife Liddy Arens were among the first people on the resort island to catch COVID-19 in 2020, which meant both were too sick to travel.
The majority of Australians are once again in lockdown with coronavirus outbreaks putting swathes of the eastern seaboard under heavy clamps.
Victoria awoke to a sixth lockdown as the state joined Sydney, parts of regional NSW and southeast Queensland under heavy restrictions.
The NSW Hunter region has been placed under a seven-day lockdown after the virus escaped Sydney, where the already-dire situation has worsened.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet virtually with state and territory leaders on Friday afternoon to discuss pressing pandemic issues.
WA bulk carrier crew to enter quarantine
Six people on board the bulk carrier Darya Krishna, which is docked in Fremantle, are being transferred into hotel quarantine.The Darya Krishna bulk carrier had visited virus-plagued Indonesia before docking in Fremantle on Monday with infected crew on board.
Sydney's crisis is the most concerning coronavirus flashpoint with 262 new local cases and five deaths reported on Thursday.
Eight new cases in Melbourne triggered a seven-day lockdown, while southeast Queensland remains hopeful of easing its heavy restrictions on Sunday.
National cabinet will take the first steps towards deciding what sort of vaccination incentives could be used.
Mr Morrison is opposed to Labor's plan for all fully vaccinated people to receive one-off $300 payments, instead flagging greater freedoms later in the rollout.
"The best incentive is this - you're less likely to get the virus," he said.
"You're less likely to transmit the virus. You're less likely to get seriously ill. You're less likely to die."
Lockdowns and state borders will be removed when 70% are jabbed
Lockdowns and state borders will be removed when 70% of Australians are jabbed and outbound travel will be allowed when 80% are double vaccinated.The Prime Minster revealed the jab rates required for each step of his four-stage plan to get Australia back to normal after a National Cabinet meeting with state premiers on Friday afternoon.
Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler criticised the prime minister for dangling the prospect of incentives later in the rollout.
"Telling Australians you will get nothing if you get vaccinated today but if you wait until later in the year, you might get something then, well that is genuinely dumb and genuinely dangerous," Mr Butler said.
Mr Morrison insists lockdowns will be the main tool to conquer outbreaks until vaccination rates meet nationally agreed targets of 70 and 80 per cent.
It's been one week since national cabinet agreed on the benchmarks after being handed Doherty Institute modelling and Treasury analysis.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has pushed vaccination rates as a factor in whether restrictions will be lifted at the end of this month.
Australia has vaccinated almost 21 per cent of its population 16 and over but continues to lag behind most of the world.
A record 221,859 doses were administered in the past 24 hours taking the total past 13 million.
NSW will receive 183,690 accelerated Pfizer doses in the next two weeks, while Queensland will be given an extra 112,000 in the same period because of outbreaks in those states.
Schools are Australia's new COVID battleground. How risky are they really? .
As another week of home learning begins for thousands of Australian students, and those in south-east Queensland head to class in masks, a return to school-as-normal seems further away than ever. "It's just the awful truth," says Catherine Bennett, Chair in Epidemiology at Deakin University's School of Health and Social Development in Melbourne.Yet calculating the risk is an equation that would confront even the most able extension maths student.