The NSW-Victoria border has shut, with residents from either state needing a permit to cross into NSW.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner says the Territory’s borders will stay closed to all of Victoria “until further notice”, declaring the entire state a coronavirus hotspot.
- On Monday, the NT declared the Greater Melbourne area a hotspot
- Increased restrictions follow record coronavirus cases in Victoria yesterday
- Mr Gunner said Melbourne was “out of control”
“I am declaring all of Victoria a hotspot for the purposes of travel to the Northern Territory,” he said.
On July 17, the NT will open its borders to the rest of Australia, and people will be allowed to enter the Territory and move freely without self-isolating first.
‘Three reasons’ for tougher restrictions
On Monday, Mr Gunner announced the entire Greater Melbourne area would be treated as a coronavirus hotspot, and new arrivals would have to undergo two weeks of mandatory supervised quarantine upon their arrival.
But today’s announcement means anyone from anywhere in Victoria will be forced into quarantine if they travel to the Northern Territory from July 17.
Mr Gunner said there were three key reasons for the decision.
“First, the escalating cases in Melbourne,” he said.
“Second, the extending community transmission. Third, the unacceptable risk of spread to regional areas.”
Mr Gunner said he asked the NT’s Chief Health Officer, Hugh Heggie, to “review Victoria” in light of yesterday’s record numbers, with 191 cases confirmed in the state.
“More than 150 of those cases are still under investigation, which means the source of the infection cannot yet be explained. They don’t know where it’s coming from,” Mr Gunner said.
“Melbourne is out of control and that makes it harder for the rest of Victoria to stay in control.
“We also have reports of large numbers of visitors from Melbourne in regional Victorian communities for the school holidays.”
NSW next on Gunner’s ‘list of concerns’
And Territorians will not be exempt from the new restrictions, warns Mr Gunner.
“That means if you are travelling interstate and find yourself in a hotspot you may not be able to return home without going into 14-day quarantine,” the Chief Minister said.
“Obviously travelling to Victoria is a terrible idea right now.”
Moving forward, Mr Gunner said he would not hesitate to ban travel from any part of Australia if and when it was needed.
“Right now we are the safest and the freest, our economy is leading the national comeback. Let’s not endanger all of that.”
Mr Gunner also said that he was open to the idea of forced quarantine for new arrivals, but advice from the NT Police Commissioner indicated compliance levels for self-quarantine were exceedingly good.
“We’re having a few idiots but we are in control of the situation,” he said.
“The advice I have from the Commissioner is that compliance is over 99 per cent.”
For many Tasmanians life has largely returned to normal, but on the other side of Bass Strait it’s a different story.
- Tasmania is set to open its borders on July 24, but doubts remain over whether Victoria will be included
- Many in the community are ready for tourists to return but they want direct flights to ‘safe states’
- Tasmanian Labor wants any essential worker travelling from Victoria to Tasmania to undergo a COVID-19 test
As cases in Victoria continue to climb and metro Melbourne returns to lockdown, there are calls for Tasmania to exclude Victoria when the island state finally eases its border restrictions on July 24.
“They should stay closed for a little bit longer,” Tasmanian resident Simon Lyons said.
“It’s going to get worse in Victoria and it feels like it would be the wrong thing to do to open up.
“Even though it’s school holidays and everyone’s ready to move around, travel and that sort of thing. It should just stay closed for a little bit longer.”
But Simon is open to seeing direct flights to states other than Victoria, and he’s not alone.
Cathy Robustelli, who runs a food catering business in Hobart, said she was looking forward to the borders reopening.
“Fantastic! Yes, we need it. Especially here in Tasmania,” she said.
“There’s going to be a mass exodus to Queensland shortly so we can get some warm weather.”
However like Mr Lyons, Ms Robustelli said there was one state Tasmania should not open its borders to.
“There’s no way anyone should be going to Victoria or coming here from Victoria,” she said.
Cafe owner Megan Spillane said she felt the same way, despite a particularly hard few months.
“It was tough and sad, but it was what it was. It’s really nice to be back [open]. We definitely missed it,” she said
Ms Spillane’s business, the Lost Freight Cafe, is based at the Springs on kunanyi/Mt Wellington.
With access to the mountain closed for a few months, she was forced to shut shop. Now she’s reopened but the tourists are yet to return.
“Locals have been awesome. We opened for weekends just to begin with and it was pumping. I think everyone was just keen to get out and about,” she said.
“The [disappearing] tarn definitely helped us over the last couple of weeks. School holidays are here so hopefully it picks up for us, but we’re definitely missing the tourists.”
While she’s not keen to see the borders opened to Victoria, Ms Spillane said tourists made up about 80 per cent of her trade and she was hanging out for July 24.
‘Difficult’ to open borders to Victoria
The question of how Tasmania will react to the Victorian crisis has been one the State Government has been grappling with ever since it put a date on easing its border restrictions.
Premier Peter Gutwein has ordered a review of the situation and what it might mean for Tasmania, which will be released on Friday.
But it’s not looking good for Tasmania’s closest neighbour.
The state had a record 191 new cases today and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reintroduced stay-at-home orders for Melbourne metro and the shire of Mitchell from midnight tomorrow.
Last weekend, Mr Gutwein admitted it would be “very difficult to lower our borders” to Victoria at this current time.
Speaking to the media today, Attorney-General Elise Archer said the Government was “watching what is happening in other jurisdictions very closely”.
“The Premier will or intends to make further announcements as things progress, but what we must do is ensure the safety of all Tasmanians,” she said.
“Taking public health advice has stood us in good stead to get us through COVID so far.
“What we want to do is ensure that Tasmania remains safe.”
Opposition Leader Rebecca White said the Government should require essential travellers coming into Tasmania to undergo a COVID-19 test.
“At the moment somebody travelling into the state who is an essential worker with an exemption can travel around Tasmania,” she said.
“They don’t have to have a coronavirus test, they don’t even have to have their temperature taken on arrival.
“There’s obviously growing concern about what’s happening in Victoria now and we don’t want to see that occur here.”
States and territories are following NSW into closing borders to Victorians. furthermore additional of the hottest coronavirus information.
The relaxation of the nation follows NSW in closing borders to Victorians. The predicament in Victoria continues to escalate. And abroad, the United States and Indonesia also have a worsening caseload.
States shun Victoria
As NSW prepares to close its borders with Victoria from midnight tonight, the relaxation of the state is pursuing match. The Northern Territory and Australian Money Territory have flagged identical bans, with all Victorians travelling on flights to the ACT to be denied entry to Canberra. In the NT, Melburnians will have to undertake a 14-day quarantine.
South Australia is reassessing irrespective of whether to open its borders nowadays, and contemplating opening to NSW and the ACT, but not Victoria.
The Victorian border with New South Wales will be closed from Tuesday night following talks between Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the ABC understands.
Mr Andrews is due to hold a press conference at 10:45am.
The decision follows a weekend that saw Victoria record 108 new cases on Saturday — the second highest increase in the state in a single day since the pandemic began — and lock down nine public housing estates in inner Melbourne in a bid to contain an outbreak of the virus.
Another 74 coronavirus cases were recorded in the state yesterday.
More to come.
Heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the U.S. recorded 52,291 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, surpassing Wednesday’s record of 50,655, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 cases rise in 40 of 50 states over past two weeks.
It’s the largest single-day total in the U.S. since the pandemic began six months ago.
For the holiday weekend, many in New Jersey are flocking to the Jersey Shore. Boardwalks, outdoor dining, fireworks displays, water parks, amusement rides and casinos will also be open at some capacity this weekend.
That won’t be the case across some areas of Southern California, where Los Angeles and Ventura counties have closed beaches, and in Florida, where several counties including Broward and Palm Beach have done the same.
Starting noon Friday, face masks will be required in public in Texas counties with at least 20 confirmed coronavirus cases. On Thursday, Florida set a new record, adding 10,109 new cases.
Here are some recent developments:
The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, a surge that has more than offset massive and persistent layoffs. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, the Labor Department said Thursday.
There is increasing evidence that a specific mutation allows the virus to be more contagious, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday. Fauci said there is no connection to patient outcomes yet and acknowledged virologists are still working to understand the mutation. “It just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible,” he said.
The city of Dallas will distribute $500,000 in funding to help immigrant families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Apple has temporarily reclosed 77 stores throughout the country as cases spike.
Florida added 10,109 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, a new record. It marks the ninth consecutive day that at least 5,000 new cases have been counted, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. The total number of COVID-19 cases statewide is now 169,106.
Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was taken to the hospital Wednesday after contracting COVID-19. The 74-year-old tested positive on Monday.
📈Today’s stats: Since the pandemic began six months ago, the U.S. has seen more than 2.7 million cases and more than 128,000 deaths. Globally, there have been more than 10.8 million cases and over 521,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard.
📰 What we’re reading: While the CDC says face shields should not be worn to replace a cloth mask, more and more people are turning to them for additional protection. Here’s where you can buy them.
Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for The Daily Briefing.
India nears third worst-hit country after another record high of daily cases
India reported another single-day record high of new coronavirus cases Friday while its monuments, including the Taj Mahal, are set to reopen for tourists next week.
The 20,903 new cases took the national total to 625,544. The Health Ministry also reported another 379 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing fatalities to 18,213.
With the current rate of infections, India is expected to surpass Russia’s 660,000 cases in the coming days and become the third worst-hit country after the United States and Brazil. It has the eighth-most fatalities in the world, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
After a strict two-month lockdown, India has eased restrictions across most of the country — except for the highest-risk areas. The Culture Ministry decided to reopen all monuments Monday with a cap on the number of visitors and mandatory masks.
Dallas plans to distribute $500K to immigrant families affected by COVID-19
As coronavirus cases spike in Texas, the city of Dallas will distribute $500,000 in funding to nonprofit organizations that support immigrant families. The city’s Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs teamed up with the Open Society Foundations to establish a fund.
Officials will work with local non-profits who help immigrants communities to distribute the funds. Families who are ineligible for federal COVID-19 relief programs will be prioritized.
“Immigrants have played a key role in driving Dallas’ economic growth. And they haven’t stopped working throughout the COVID crisis,” Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard said in a news release. “They are this city’s essential workers.”
The non-profits will also collect non-identifying information to “inform future emergency response for Dallas’ immigrant residents,” according to the release. City officials say they hope this program attracts additional funding from private individuals and foundations.
New York county issued subpoenas to partygoers for coronavirus contact tracing
Health officials in one New York County issued subpoenas to eight people after they refused to cooperate in the contact tracing of the coronavirus cluster tied to a party.
It worked: All eight partygoers responded to the subpoenas, avoiding possible fines of $2,000 per day from Rockland County, the first known county in the state to resort to legal action amid this public health emergency.
The party in mid-June was hosted by someone who was sick with coronavirus at the time, Rockland County Executive Ed Day told USA TODAY on Thursday. The host was symptomatic but held the party anyway, which included 50 to 100 young adults, Day said.
– Autumn Schoolman
Oregon trooper on leave after flouting state’s mask mandate at coffee shop
An Oregon State Police trooper is on leave and the state police superintendent has publicly apologized after the uniformed officer allegedly refused to wear a face mask inside a coffee shop Wednesday morning.
After a video of four troopers not wearing masks was made public Thursday and employees alleged one trooper said the mask mandate violated his “civil liberties,” OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton called the troopers’ behavior “embarrassing and indefensible.”
Officials said Thursday the trooper who refused to wear a mask has been placed on leave and the incident is under investigation. None of the troopers have been identified by the OSP.
– Whitney Woodworth, Salem (Ore.) Statesman Journal
More Apple stores now closed as COVID-19 cases rise across US
With more spikes in the cases of coronavirus, Apple has now reclosed approximately 28% of its U.S. stores.
As of Thursday, 77 stores that had reopened are now temporarily closed again, Apple confirmed to USA TODAY. Others stores throughout the country are only open for pickup of online orders and by appointment for “in-store Genius Support.”
Last week, Apple closed 32 stores in five states but as of Thursday, added 45 more closings in 11 states. The new temporary closures include 15 in California, another 10 in Texas, five of Georgia’s six locations, four of Nevada’s five stores and two more in Florida.
Some of the new closures are open for appointments through either Thursday or Friday, according to individual store pages. Apple has 271 stores in the United States.
– Kelly Tyko
Woman spits on 7-Eleven counter in Texas after being asked to wear mask
A woman was recorded spitting on a 7-Eleven counter on Monday after the cashier refused to ring up her purchase because she was not wearing a mask. The unidentified woman spit on the counter after yelling at the cashier that she has “a right” to not wear a face mask.
“I’m spreading more germs standing here,” she is heard saying.
The recording shows the woman at a Fort Worth, Texas 7-Eleven saying, “We have a right in America not to wear a (expletive) mask.” The cashier can be heard telling the woman, “I’m just telling you to get a mask on.”
CBS Dallas reports an employee said there was a sign on the store door stating that customers must wear a mask.
“It’s disheartening to see a 7-Eleven team member be treated with the disrespect shown in this video. 7-Eleven, Inc. complies with all federal, state and local laws, which includes local mandates that require face coverings in public,” 7-Eleven said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We respectfully ask that customers do the same.”
– Josh Rivera
What we’re reading
Florida surpasses daily record, posts more than 10,000 new cases
Florida added 10,109 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, a new record. It marks the ninth consecutive day that at least 5,000 new cases have been counted, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. The total number of COVID-19 cases statewide is now 169,106.
The state’s total number of cases has nearly tripled since the Phase 2 reopening began on June 5. Bars were closed for the second time during the pandemic June 26.
The number of reported deaths of Florida residents rose to 3,617, including the first death of someone between the ages of 5 and 14. The death toll increased by 67 since Wednesday.
– Cheryl McCloud, Treasure Coast Newspapers
More on the coronavirus from USA TODAY
Coronavirus Watch: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. And come together and share the latest information about coronavirus, coping with lifestyle changes and more by joining our Facebook group.
Where are states on reopening? Some are taking preemptive measures to postpone further phases of their reopening, while others have rolled back their phases to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. See the list.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID cases in US surpass 52,000; Jersey Shore open; Texas face masks
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 2, 2020 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel walks on the track with team members wearing a protective face mask ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, as F1 resumes following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
July 2, 2020
By Leonhard Foeger
SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) – The signage outside the Red Bull Ring declares ‘Welcome Race Fans’ but none were to be seen on Wednesday as the Austrian circuit prepared for Formula One’s first Grand Prix without spectators.
Cows grazed in a field that normally serves as a crowded campsite near to the circuit, while workers carried out tasks around the track.
There were no tents, no fans and no curious bystanders other than some local cyclists going for a spin along the road outside.
A small thunderstorm broke in the evening over a deserted paddock stripped of the usual palatial motorhomes that the teams use to entertain guests and sponsors and to feed their staff in shifts.
None will be needed this weekend as the sport gets to grips with a ‘new normal’ following the COVID-19 epidemic that has forced a delay of more than 100 days for the season to get going.
Sunday will be the first time that Austria has hosted a season-opener and the race will also be the latest start date to a championship.
The 10 teams were flying in on charter planes to the private terminal at nearby Zeltweg airport, from where they went directly to isolation in hotels before the routine of transfers to and from the circuit.
Formula One will operate in ‘bubbles within bubbles’, the teams keeping apart from each other and the outside world and also working in various sub-groups to minimise the risk of contagion.
All tested negative for COVID before departure and will have to undergo tests every five days for the next three weeks with two back-to-back races in Austria followed by a trip to nearby Hungary.
The drivers will face the world’s media on Thursday via virtual news conferences, with all but a small contingent of permanently accredited reporters participating from afar.
(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)
While games had been scheduled in Melbourne between St Kilda and Port Adelaide and North Melbourne and Adelaide (both in round seven), the AFL confirmed that it would reorganise the fixture for round six and seven in response to the SA decision.
Before the announcement on Tuesday, the Crows and Power, who have been based in a hub in Queensland since round three, would have been able to return home to SA after the games in Melbourne. The border had been set to reopen on Monday July 20.
In round six, Adelaide had been due to face West Coast and Port Adelaide to play the Giants, with both games played in Queensland, but it is unclear whether these games will go ahead as fixtured.
The league will press on with Geelong and Collingwood’s 21-day stints in Western Australia, where they will play each other and then Fremantle and West Coast.
The AFL also indicated that Victorian teams that went on the road to meet quarantine rules would not necessarily be in “hubs”, though they would likely stay in one location for at least two weeks.
As it stands, SA has opened borders with Queensland, WA and the Northern Territory, and decisions are expected soon on the ACT and NSW borders.
The AFL may cycle more than two clubs through other states, with the ACT, Queensland and NSW all in play and even potentially the NT.
The SA government’s border decision comes a day after Queensland’s government adopted fresh coronavirus protocols involving Victorians, which also caused fixturing problems for the AFL.
“We know that this will have a dramatic effect on the AFL,” South Australian Premier Steven Marshall told reporters on Tuesday.
“But we are adopting a position in South Australia which is not dissimilar to what has been announced for Queensland.
“So any teams coming in from Victoria to South Australia will have to do that two weeks of isolation.
“Any South Australian team that plays a Victorian team or goes to Victoria to play a Victorian team will have to do that two weeks of isolation on return to our state.”
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.
THE NT News and NT Government are celebrating 42 years of self governance by revisiting some of our most memorable milestones. In 2019 …
AFTER decades of debate, Uluru was permanently closed to climbers on October 26, 2019.
Almost 34 years to the day since the Anangu were handed back the title to Uluru, the Board of Management agreed the climb should close.
Another Red Centre icon closed this year too, with Overlanders Steakhouse in Alice Springs shutting its doors after 48 years.
Famous faces who dined there include Tom Selleck, star of Magnum, P.I. and Quigley Down Under, Aussie actor Bill Hunter, and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
Top End Wedding, a romantic comedy set in the Territory, hit cinemas to great applause.
It featured stunning Top End destinations such as the Tiwi Islands, Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Nitmiluk National Park.
In big news for Katherine, the town got its second set of traffic lights, while Darwin celebrated the inaugural International Laksa Festival.
The 42nd year of self-governance for the Northern Territory has seen a solid offering of memorable moments so far, largely thanks to COVID-19.
One was the NT News eight-page lift-out of emergency loo roll, complete with handy cutting guides, after reports of fights in supermarkets over dwindling toilet paper supplies.
Restrictions were imposed in response to the worldwide pandemic, and in some ways you could say it’s been a bummer of a year.
But, with precautionary measures lifting across the NT and zero active COVID-19 cases here at present, hopefully the next six months won’t be a complete wipe out.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced borders will reopen from July 10 to visitors from all states and territories other than Victoria.
- The Premier is urging Queenslanders to stay away from Victoria
- Ms Palaszczuk says anyone who lies about being in Victoria faces a $4,000 fine
- 100 people will be permitted to gather in homes and at weddings from July 3
Anyone who has travelled from Victoria and enters Queensland from this Friday, including Queenslanders, will have to quarantine at their own expense for 14 days.
If there are further outbreaks of community transmission elsewhere, Ms Palaszczuk said the State Government might review its decision.
She said the Government was also bringing forward “some aspects” of stage three easing of restrictions.
From Friday, 100 people will be permitted to gather in homes and at weddings.
The Premier urged Queenslanders to think carefully about travel plans.
“We cannot risk removing our border restrictions for those people coming from areas in Victoria right now.”
Ms Palaszczuk said anyone entering Queensland from midday this Friday would be required to fill in an online declaration stating they had not been in Victoria in the past fortnight.
From that date, anyone who has been in Victoria would be required to pay for their own two weeks of quarantine in a hotel that the Government would assign them.
Ms Palaszczuk said anyone found to have made a false declaration on Victoria would be liable for a $4,000 fine.
“We cannot risk removing our border restrictions for those people coming from areas in Victoria right now,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“To do so would jeopardise everything we have all sacrificed so much to achieve and could be catastrophic to our entire economy.”
‘There’s no interstate rivalry here’
Queensland’s borders have been closed since late March.
Business and tourism groups had been lobbying the State Government for an easing of restrictions to help the state’s financial recovery.
The border reopening has come with Queensland recording no new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
Victoria has recorded another 64 cases of coronavirus overnight, the 14th consecutive day of double-digit case growth in the state.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles voiced concern about the level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria.
“They have 288 active cases right now,” he said.
Mr Miles said Queensland had sent its deputy chief health officer to Victoria to assist in the state’s efforts to stem the recent surge, and had called for 40 expressions of interest from nurses so they could be deployed there.
Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said people could expect to see a heavier police presence at border checkpoints, along with personnel from the Australian Defence Force.
“The work that we need to do to make sure this system works effectively is already underway,” Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said.
“It will make things run smoothly if people undertake to understand what’s required of them before they travel.
“It really comes down to one key issue, which is don’t go to or come from Victoria [to Queensland].”
Easing of restrictions fast-tracked
Ms Palaszczuk also announced an accelerated easing of restrictions across Queensland from this Friday, a week earlier than planned.
“Churches and places of worship — I know how important this is — families will be able to sit together as well,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
From this Friday, the four-square-metre-per-person rule will be applied to businesses, cafes, restaurants, RSLs, museums, art galleries, libraries and historic sites.
The eased restrictions will allow:
- Up to 100 people at funerals, wedding ceremonies and receptions and private gatherings in homes
- Nightclubs, casinos, gaming and gambling venues and food courts to reopen
- Contact community sport, both indoor and outdoor, to resume with an approved COVID-safe plan
- Events with more than 10,000 people with a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Chief Health Officer
- Up to 25,000 spectators or 50 per cent capacity at Queensland’s major sporting facilities
- Up to 50 per cent of capacity at concert venues, theatres and auditoriums, or one person per four square metres
- Office workers to return to their place of work