MONDAY, November 15
The Queensland government has brought forward the opening of the state’s border to some fully vaccinated travellers from interstate COVID-19 hotspots, with people able to apply for their border passes from 5:00pm today, reports the ABC.
The state passed a 70 per cent double vaccination of those over 16 target yesterday, triggering the reopening of the border to those who can undertake 14 days of home quarantine.
This was initially expected to take effect from this Friday.
It is the first major milestone as part of the roadmap toward fully reopening borders and living with the virus.
Latest figures showed 81.99 per cent of Queenslanders over 16 — or 3.37 million people — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 70.25 per cent have had two shots.
The announcement came as the state recorded no new locally acquired cases, and two cases in hotel quarantine.
Anyone seeking to enter the state from the hotspots of Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT, or if they have been to one in the last 14 days, will need to have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, with their second shot being administered at least two weeks before entering the state.
They will also need to arrive by air, have proof of a negative TGA-approved COVID test within the previous 72 hours, and have applied for a border pass.
They will also need to home quarantine for 14 days, and only if the property is within two hours of an airport.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said border passes would be issued instantly.
“Today is the day that you can start putting in place your travel arrangements,” Ms D’Ath said.
“So start booking your flights, if you’re fully vaccinated – go get your [COVID-19] test, as soon as it’s negative and your flight’s booked, your border pass will be instant.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state was also on track to potentially reach an 80 per cent vaccination target earlier than expected.
“If these rates continue, that is good news because it may even see our [reopening] date in December come a little bit forward as well,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
At that point, quarantine rules are dropped for fully vaccinated domestic travellers from hotspots who have returned a negative COVID test result.
In making the announcement at Burleigh on the Gold Coast, Ms Palaszczuk said authorities were still keeping a close eye on vaccination rates in the city, after two unlinked COVID-19 cases emerged last week.
*Victoria has recorded 860 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths.
There are now 17,518 active cases of the virus in Victoria, and 416 people have died in the state during the current Delta outbreak.
There are 378 people in hospital with the virus, of whom 78 are in intensive care and 48 are on a ventilator.
The health department said a further 71 people are in intensive care, but their COVID-19 infections are no longer considered active.
The new cases were detected from 48,104 test results received yesterday.
There were 5,030 doses of vaccine administered at state-run sites yesterday, as well as more vaccinations at GP clinics and other venues.
NSW Police say they are “looking for the remains” of missing boy William Tyrrell in a series of new searches announced today.
William vanished seven years ago from his foster grandmother’s house at Kendall on the state’s Mid-North Coast.
Dressed in a Spider-Man suit, the three-year-old was last seen playing in the front yard of the Benaroon Drive property on September 12, 2014.
It is expected the “high-intensity” searches will involve hundreds of officers and last several weeks.
Police say the search is in response to evidence obtained during the investigation into William’s disappearance.
Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett said officers would be “looking for the remains of William Tyrrell”.
“It’s highly likely that if we found something it would be a body. We are looking for the remains of William Tyrrell, no doubt about that,” he said.
“This activity is in response to evidence we have obtained in the course of the investigation, not speculative in any way, we are acting on behalf of the coroner.”
Police said the search would involve three specific locations, all in the Kendall area.
Detective Chief Superintendent Bennett said the searches were based on new evidence.
“There will be a number of strategies used by the police and other agencies to clear ground and go subterranean in the number of locations,” he said.
A major evacuation warning has been issued for communities in NSW’s Central West which are expected to get their worst flooding since 2016 as rivers rise in the coming days, reports news.com.
Much of the nation was drenched over the past week prompting flood warnings across most of NSW and Victoria after heavy falls led to overflowing catchments.
However, it is the town of Forbes – 350km west of Sydney – that authorities are most worried about.
NSW SES has issued a strong warning to more than 8000 people in the town to prepare to leave their homes in the next 30 hours, with possible major flooding of the Lachlan River to 10.55m on Tuesday and 10.65m on Wednesday morning.
“The situation is likely to change and it can escalate quickly,” the SES warning read.
“If you are in Forbes your best opportunity is to start preparing your home or business and make arrangements to move to safety before flooding starts affecting you.”
Major flooding already hit the town of Nanami at the weekend, and more is likely along the Lachlan River at Forbes, Cottons Weir and Jemalong from Monday.
The magnitude of the current flood at Nanami and Forbes is expected to be similar to the September 2016 flood. One person died and flooding wiped out crops after the Lachlan river rose to 10.7m.
The Wyangala Dam in the state’s west overflowed on Sunday after catchments further upstream around the Lachlan River near Cowra copped between 100mm and 150mm in the past five days.
The NSW Water website shows the dam is still bursting at the seams, sitting at more than 104 per cent capacity on Monday morning, though no further rain was expected in the catchment.
Several dams are now overflowing in the state’s central region with the Burrendong Dam sitting at more than 123 per cent capacity. The Warragamba Dam to Sydney’s west, meanwhile, is at 100 per cent capacity.
In Victoria, the Avon, Mitchell, Macalister, Thomson, Latrobe, Yarra, Bunyip Werribee, Kiewa, Murray, Snowy and Mitchell rivers have all been inundated.
Parts of Gippsland in the state’s far east were soaked with between 50mm and 100mm of rain on Friday and Saturday, with moderate flooding in the Mitchell River near Bairnsdale – 40km south of Gippsland.
Queen Elizabeth II has missed the Remembrance Sunday service in London after spraining her back.
Buckingham Palace announced her absence a couple of hours before the service.
The appearance at the Cenotaph would have been her first public appearance in weeks, and last week the palace had said it was her “firm intention” to attend.
“The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph,” officials said in a statement.
“Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.”
The Queen spent a night in a London hospital last month after being admitted for tests.
On October 29, the palace said she had been told to rest for two weeks.
She was forced to abandon plans to attend the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, on doctors’ advice. She sent a video message instead.
But her back sprain is unrelated to her doctors’ recent advice to rest, news agency PA Media reported.
Mitch Marsh has delivered on the biggest stage, with a tremendous 77 not out to help Australia to a maiden men’s Twenty20 World Cup title.
Australia claimed an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Dubai as Marsh, who came in with his side at 1-15, joined David Warner to take apart the New Zealand attack in the biggest successful run chase in a World Cup final.
Australia chased down the 173 runs needed with 7 balls to spare as Glenn Maxwell hit the winning runs with a reverse sweep and Australia erased the memories of their 2010 final loss to England.
Often-maligned and somewhat divisive among cricket fans and analysts alike, this performance was Marsh at his best.
His intent was clear from the first ball he faced, when he hit New Zealand quick Adam Milne for six.
He never let up from there in an innings that saw his 77 runs include 10 boundaries, 4 of them sixes in 50 deliveries.
It was a performance that won Marsh the man-of-the-match award and left him elated on the podium after being reminded his career has had a few peaks and troughs.
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