THURSDAY, JULY 9
Queensland will completely close its border to non-residents from Victoria from midday tomorrow.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the change on social media, tweeting: “Given the developing situation in Victoria, Queensland is hardening its border.
“From noon, July 10, visitors from Victoria will no longer gain access or be able to quarantine in Queensland.
“They will be turned around.”
Queensland residents will still be allowed to return from Victoria, although they have been advised against travelling there.
“It is strongly recommended that Queenslanders do not travel to Victoria,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Queensland residents returning from Victoria will gain access, but they must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their expense.”
The Government has announced a number of exemptions for people entering the state from Victoria, who will not be required to quarantine:
- Essential health workers
- People travelling on health, legal or compassionate grounds
- Truck drivers carrying freight, but must renew border pass every seven days
Health Minister Steven Miles said he appreciated the announcement would cause hardship.
“It will mean some hard decisions and we need the community’s understanding,” Mr Miles said.
“There will be people who have very good reasons to travel to Queensland, and there will continue to be compassionate and hardship grounds taken into consideration, but they will be more strictly applied to people returning from Victoria,” Mr Miles said.
Mr Miles also announced testing for COVID-19 would be mandatory for anyone visiting or returning to Queensland who developed respiratory health symptoms.
“It will be a condition of the border pass that you need to enter, or re-enter Queensland,” he said.
The United States has passed 3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, nearly double the next highest country and representing a quarter of all cases worldwide.
The case numbers have been driven by record daily increases in southern and western states, with newly confirmed infections per day in the US running at over 50,000.
The virus, which first surfaced in China late last year, has been sweeping through several densely populated states, including California, Florida and Texas. Twenty states have reported record increases in cases this month.
According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the US has 3.03 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 132,000 deaths — around double the figures in the next worst-hit country Brazil (1.668 million cases, more than 66,700 deaths).
The university reported 11.9 million cases around the world, as well as more than 540,000 deaths.
The 3 million figure represents around 1 per cent of the US population, and 25 per cent of all cases, and was confirmed by Vice-President Mike Pence at a press conference.
However, he defended US President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis.
“While we mourn with those who mourn, because of what the American people have done, because of the extraordinary work of our healthcare workers around the country, we are encouraged that the average fatality rate continues to be low and steady,” Mr Pence said.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden described the grim milestone as “awful” and “avoidable,” accusing Mr Trump of putting the nation in a uniquely precarious spot by not ramping up testing and deliveries of protective equipment.
Despite the increase in cases, Mr Trump announced a plan to get America’s public schools to re-open in September, threatening to hold back federal funding if school districts do not bring their students back
Australian NBA star Patty Mills will donate “every cent” of the almost $1.5 million he will make playing for the San Antonio Spurs in the upcoming NBA restart to social justice causes in Australia, reports AAP.
The Spurs are scheduled to enter the NBA’s “bubble” at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida on Thursday.
Mills said the $1.458 million he is due to earn will be donated to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody and The We Got You campaign.
“I’m playing in Orlando because I don’t want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to black communities,” Mills told reporters.
The veteran Australian point guard said he had been encouraged by the public response to the Black Lives Matter movement since the police-arrest death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
“For the first time in my career, I have white people — teammates, old teammates, old coaches — telling me they never knew the level of racism that exists in sport, especially in Australia,” Mills said.
“They haven’t felt comfortable asking me, as a black Australian, about racism before, which speaks to the impact and value of the Black Lives Matter movement and the millions who have participated in protests around the world.”
The Spurs sit in 12th spot in the Western Conference and will likely need to win all eight of their games in Orlando for a chance to make the playoffs.
Their first game is against the Sacramento Kings on July 31.
The NBA season was shut down on March 11 after Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert tested positive to COVID-19.
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