/ 11 August 2021

COVID stalemate for NSW and visiting Aussies

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People dodging the lockdown rules and the tricky Delta strain of the coronavirus are behind the climbing numbers of cases in NSW, Premier Gladys Berejilkian said yesterday. Those are the factors delivered a new pandemic record for the state – 365 new local cases were recorded yesterday, taking the outbreak’s tally to 5,805. And 3 deaths took the outbreak’s death toll to 29. You can see the wave continuing to build, but Berejiklian yesterday said the health advice doesn’t support harsher measures like a Victorian-style ‘ring of steel’ to stop people driving out of Sydney. She added that the state may never reach zero cases, and the priority is to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.

HOW ARE THOSE EFFORTS GOING?
Every state and territory now has 40% of their over 16yos with at least one dose down. And almost 100,000 people aged under 40yo have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine following advice from the regulator that its benefit to those in Greater Sydney now outweighs the risk of extremely rare blood clotting side effects. They’re members of the NWTWFP crew (that’s ‘not willing to wait for Pfizer’, which is an acronym we do not believe will catch on, but we’re putting it out there…). Despite best efforts, there’s some way to go to get to the 70% vaccination rate that our leaders have agreed as the threshold for lockdowns to mostly end, and the 80% required to open our international border.

AHH, AN OPEN BORDER…
Remember what that felt like? Well, it could be a while for citizens who live abroad. Until today, they could return to Oz and then leave without requiring additional permission. That’s now changed, and they will have to apply for an exemption to leave Australia, which could be denied. The Morrison Government changed the rules last week to deter Aussies from coming home if they intend to go again to free up hotel quarantine places. Critics say the move could create a new category of Aussies who are stranded – in Australia…

Image source: Joel Carrett/EPA

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