Australia COVID news LIVE: NSW tightens lockdown in Sydney’s south-west, Victoria exposure list tops 200

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  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage. It’s Sunday, July 18. I’m Nigel Gladstone.

It’s set to be a busy day today as tighter restrictions hit residents in south-west Sydney and Victoria’s Delta outbreak continues with unvaccinated younger people infecting others before contact tracers reach them, potentially pushing the lockdown beyond five days.

Here’s what’s happened recently.

  • NSW recorded 111 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, prompting the government to place tighter restrictions on people in south-west Sydney who will not be able to leave their region unless they are emergency services or healthcare workers, which includes those in the aged and disability sectors.
  • Eighteen of Victoria’s latest COVID-19 cases were infectious in the community for an average of 1.7 days, vindicating the state government’s “go hard, go early” lockdown strategy, but health authorities have refused to rule out an extension of the five-day snap lockdown. Victoria recorded 19 new local cases of coronavirus on Saturday, as new sites at popular tourist spot Phillip Island, a Richmond gym and a Docklands office building swelled the list of high-risk exposure sites to 165.

  • NSW has pleaded for contact tracing help from other states, as the system struggles to keep pace with the growing outbreak. The state made an “open request” for assistance during a meeting of Australia’s federal and state chief medical officers on Friday, with the Commonwealth, South Australian and Western Australian governments all agreeing to help but Victoria knocked back the request, as it works to trace growing case numbers.
  • Victoria’s Delta outbreak is being fuelled by people under 40 who have been unable to secure a vaccination and are infecting others before contact tracers reach them. The state’s lockdown is threatening to extend beyond five days, with 19 new local cases recorded on Saturday, taking the total number of infected people in the latest outbreak to 43. More than 10,000 close contacts are isolating across Victoria.

  • Dozens of truck drivers drove in a convoy with horns blaring across Sydney for nearly two hours on Saturday afternoon to protest the NSW government’s decision to close the construction industry for two weeks as part of a COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Before non-essential retail in Sydney closed at midnight on Saturday, about 100 people converged on a park in Bankstown to protest the tougher restrictions. Two people were charged and eight fines were issued for breaching the state’s health orders.

  • Conservative English media personality Katie Hopkins has admitted she has been deliberately flouting infection control in hotel quarantine in Sydney, after flying into the country this week.

Stay tuned for more developments as they happen.

Teachers can enter red zone for work, but those who live within cannot leave

Teachers in locked-down south-western Sydney will not be able to attend work in person outside the red zone under the harsher lockdown restrictions announced on Saturday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Saturday that people who live in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas could not leave their own council area for work, unless they were emergency services and healthcare workers, including aged and disability workers.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said it was important for schools to remain open.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the Department of Education would provide more detailed advice about the new restrictions to staff today.

Read more here.

Former Murdoch exec slams Fox News over vaccine misinformation

Washington: One of Rupert Murdoch’s former top executives says Fox News has cost lives by turbo-charging hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccines among conservative Americans.

Joseph Azam, a former senior vice president at News Corp in New York, said he saw a “straight line” between the vaccine-sceptical rhetoric of some of Fox’s most prominent hosts and entrenched resistance to vaccines in large swathes of the United States.

Former News Corp senior vice president Joseph Azam says he is alarmed by Fox News’s coverage of COVID-19 vaccines.

“I think Fox has been almost single-handedly responsible for the politicisation of public health in the US and the creation of vaccine hesitancy in a significant portion of the population,” Azam told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“It’s been tremendously damaging.”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the most-watched cable news presenter in America, has suggested that COVID-19 vaccines may not work and claimed they had killed thousands of Americans.

Read more here.

AFL v Delta: why the show will go on, without virus delays

As borders close and the virus closes in, the AFL is increasingly a seat-of-the-pants operation with clubs thrown around the continent, in a thus-far successful attempt to stay one step ahead of the dreaded Delta variant.

This has elements of a bad dystopian disaster movie, with teams on the run like John Cusack in the film 2012.

Jack Steele after St Kilda’s loss to the Power at a crowdless Marvel Stadium.Credit:Getty Images

Given the situation, it’s natural to ask whether the AFL, its players and teams can keep the show on the road; if rather than coping with mere lockdowns, they will soon be dealing with a shutdown – a period without games, even of a short duration.

Read more here.

Katie Hopkins admits to breaking hotel quarantine rules in Sydney

Conservative English media personality Katie Hopkins has admitted she has been deliberately flouting infection control in hotel quarantine in Sydney, after flying into the country this week.

Conservative English media personality Katie Hopkins has admitted she has been deliberately flouting infection control in hotel quarantine in Sydney, after flying into the country this week.

Ms Hopkins told her Instagram followers on Saturday morning she was trying to taunt the guards in her hotel by answering her door naked and without a mask.

Katie Hopkins mocking the hotel quarantine safety rules upon her arrival in Australia.Credit:Instagram

“The police officer who checked me in told me when they knock on my door I have to wait 30 seconds ’til I can open the door [to collect food],” she laughed in the Instagram Live video which is no longer viewable on her account.

Read more here.

Truck convoy chokes Sydney’s roads

Dozens of truck drivers drove in a convoy with horns blaring across Sydney for nearly two hours on Saturday afternoon to protest the NSW government’s decision to close the construction industry for two weeks as part of a COVID-19 lockdown.

The protest, which organisers claimed had more than 100 trucks, started at the M2 near Baulkham Hills at 3pm and drove over the Sydney Harbour Bridge before finishing on the Anzac Bridge close to 5pm, choking arterial roads.

Sydney truck convoy protesting restrictions on construction work in NSW.Credit:Lanz Priestley

The event was organised by truck drivers through Facebook groups, with unions including Transport Workers Union and CFMMEU distancing themselves from the action when contacted.

The NSW government has announced all construction in Greater Sydney would be paused until July 30 as part of an increasingly strict COVID-19 lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the Delta variant.

Read more here.

Young fuelling outbreak as lockdown threatens to drag on

Victoria’s Delta outbreak is being fuelled by people under 40 who have been unable to secure a vaccination and are infecting others before contact tracers reach them.

The state’s lockdown is threatening to extend beyond five days, with 19 new local cases recorded on Saturday, taking the total number of infected people in the latest outbreak to 43.

More than 10,000 close contacts are isolating across Victoria.

Myer was closed in Melbourne’s deserted Bourke Street Mall on Saturday.Credit:Justin McManus

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned Victorians on Saturday to be ready for what could emerge over the next few days. “We just need to brace ourselves for any possibility,” he said.

Read more here.

Construction shutdown to come at $1.4 billion cost to NSW economy

The shutdown of construction in Greater Sydney to contain the spreading coronavirus outbreak will affect more than a quarter of a million workers and deliver a $1.4 billion blow to the NSW economy.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Saturday that construction would be paused for two weeks effective from Monday, in a move that goes further than any previous lockdowns anywhere in Australia.

All construction work will be paused to stop the spread of COVID-19 from 12:01am on Monday, July 19.Credit:Rhett Wyman

“We know this is a big decision. We know the impact this will have on businesses small and large,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“But we really need to reduce mobility, and we need to reduce the chances of anybody getting the virus in their workplace, spreading it to their colleagues and then bringing it home.”

Read more here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage. It’s Sunday, July 18. I’m Nigel Gladstone.

It’s set to be a busy day today as tighter restrictions hit residents in south-west Sydney and Victoria’s Delta outbreak continues with unvaccinated younger people infecting others before contact tracers reach them, potentially pushing the lockdown beyond five days.

Here’s what’s happened recently.

  • NSW recorded 111 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, prompting the government to place tighter restrictions on people in south-west Sydney who will not be able to leave their region unless they are emergency services or healthcare workers, which includes those in the aged and disability sectors.
  • Eighteen of Victoria’s latest COVID-19 cases were infectious in the community for an average of 1.7 days, vindicating the state government’s “go hard, go early” lockdown strategy, but health authorities have refused to rule out an extension of the five-day snap lockdown. Victoria recorded 19 new local cases of coronavirus on Saturday, as new sites at popular tourist spot Phillip Island, a Richmond gym and a Docklands office building swelled the list of high-risk exposure sites to 165.

  • NSW has pleaded for contact tracing help from other states, as the system struggles to keep pace with the growing outbreak. The state made an “open request” for assistance during a meeting of Australia’s federal and state chief medical officers on Friday, with the Commonwealth, South Australian and Western Australian governments all agreeing to help but Victoria knocked back the request, as it works to trace growing case numbers.
  • Victoria’s Delta outbreak is being fuelled by people under 40 who have been unable to secure a vaccination and are infecting others before contact tracers reach them. The state’s lockdown is threatening to extend beyond five days, with 19 new local cases recorded on Saturday, taking the total number of infected people in the latest outbreak to 43. More than 10,000 close contacts are isolating across Victoria.

  • Dozens of truck drivers drove in a convoy with horns blaring across Sydney for nearly two hours on Saturday afternoon to protest the NSW government’s decision to close the construction industry for two weeks as part of a COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Before non-essential retail in Sydney closed at midnight on Saturday, about 100 people converged on a park in Bankstown to protest the tougher restrictions. Two people were charged and eight fines were issued for breaching the state’s health orders.

  • Conservative English media personality Katie Hopkins has admitted she has been deliberately flouting infection control in hotel quarantine in Sydney, after flying into the country this week.

Stay tuned for more developments as they happen.

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