Coronavirus case numbers are dropping and interstate borders are opening, so where can I travel to in Australia?


Australian states and territories have responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by announcing unprecedented border closures.

The closures have kept people from visiting family and friends interstate, divided border communities and heavily affected the tourism industry.

Proponents of the border measures say they have kept their states and territories safe from the spread of the deadly virus, which has claimed hundreds of Australian lives, while critics say unnecessary delays to reopening cause economic harm.

But as Victoria emerges from its strict second wave lockdowns, it raises hope that most of the country will be able to be reunited for the first time in months.

The National Cabinet voiced a plan to see the return of unrestricted interstate travel by Christmas, with Western Australia likely to be the only exception.

Here is a list of the current border restrictions by each state and territory.

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Western Australia

Where can I travel?

All Australian states are currently open to residents of Western Australia, where there has not been a case of community transmission in more than six months.

However, anyone wanting to leave the state should double check they meet the “exempt traveller” requirements to get back in.

Western Australia is only allowing “exempt travellers” entry.(ABC News: Andrew Seaborn)

Can I travel to WA?

Western Australia has the hardest border restrictions in the country, only permitting “exempt travellers” to arrive. (A list of exempt travellers is available on the WA Government website).

WA Premier Mark McGowan said on Tuesday the strict border restrictions were critical to the state’s success and would not be rushed into bringing down the hard border.

Western Australia has also resisted National Cabinet’s plans to remove all domestic borders by Christmas.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in WA, visit the WA Government website.

Victoria

twelve apostles with mini waterfall
Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Victorians to spend their holiday money within their home state.(Supplied: Jiri Haureljuk)

Where can I travel?

Despite recent progress in getting case numbers to zero, interstate travel still seems off the cards.

Although there is hope for residents from most of regional Victoria, who will be able to visit the Northern Territory freely from Monday, November 2.

The NT is looking to reopen to people from Melbourne before Christmas.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday she would open the Victorian-NSW border “as soon as we can”, but added that she wanted to see what happened in the state once the restrictions eased.

South Australian authorities say it could take up to four weeks without community transmission cases for hard border restrictions to be relaxed. (Although there is a ‘buffer zone’ for those living within 70 kilometres of the SA-Victoria border).

Tasmanian officials, who this week opened up the state to ‘low risk’ areas, said they were monitoring the situation in Victoria and would prefer to open to the whole state when community transmission is under control in metropolitan Melbourne.

Queensland still considers Victoria to be a COVID-19 hotspot.

Back at home, Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Victorians to spend their holiday money within the state.

“I would be encouraging people to stay very much in Victoria, and spend whatever they can on a holiday in regional Victoria rather than heading to New South Wales or anywhere else, for that matter,” he said.

Can I travel to Victoria?

Interstate travellers are able to head to Victoria without needing to quarantine, but they would still be subject to Victorian coronavirus restrictions, which currently includes not being able to travel more than 25 kilometres from your home in metropolitan Melbourne.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in Victoria, visit the Victorian Government website.

New South Wales

Sydney Harbour Bridge.
NSW only has travel restrictions for residents of Victoria.(ABC News: Supplied.)

Where can I travel?

New South Wales residents are permitted to travel to the ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia without needing to enter hotel quarantine.

Those wanting to enter Tasmania will soon be in luck, with the Apple Isle allowing visitors from ‘low risk’ New South Wales from November 6.

If you live in the northern NSW bubble, you are able to visit anywhere in Queensland provided you apply for a border resident pass and can prove your address (for example, through a driver’s licence or utilities bill).

Can I travel to NSW?

The only restrictions New South Wales places on travel into the state are for residents of Victoria.

However, if you visit parts of New South Wales you may have to enter two weeks’ quarantine upon your return to Western Australia and, until November 6, Tasmania. You will also have go into quarantine if you return to or travel on to Queensland and you have been outside of the northern NSW border bubble.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in NSW, visit the NSW Government website.

Queensland

Where can I travel?

Queenslanders have been able to travel freely between the Northern Territory, ACT and South Australia without needing to quarantine for some time.

Since October 26, it has been the same for Tasmania.

Sunshine state residents are also permitted to visit the northern New South Wales bubble without needing to quarantine on their return, which from October 1 expanded to include Byron Bay, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Glen Innes and Ballina local government areas.

While Queenslanders can visit other parts of New South Wales and Victoria, they would need to undergo 14 days’ mandatory quarantine in a hotel at their own expense on their return.

People in distance walk along a beach at dusk with skyscrapers and partly cloudy skies behind them.
Queensland’s Premier said a decision on whether to reopen the border would be made by Friday.(ABC: Peter McCutcheon)

Can I travel to Queensland?

Queensland is currently accepting visitors from every state except designated hotspots (New South Wales and Victoria).

Earlier in October, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged a reopening of the state’s border to the rest of New South Wales on November 1, the day after the state election, if there had been 28 days of no community transmission.

Ms Palaszczuk said a decision to reopen the border would be made by Friday.

There is an exception for residents of northern New South Wales, who are permitted to travel anywhere within Queensland.

ACT residents who want to visit Queensland must fly, they are not permitted to drive through NSW to reach Queensland.

According to the Queensland Government website, New South Wales residents who wish to visit Queensland can reside in the ACT for 14 days and then enter Queensland, provided they have not left the territory (even into neighbouring NSW towns).

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in QLD, visit the QLD Government website.

South Australia

A sunny day in Hahndorf.
Travellers from the designated “low community transmission zone” are allowed to enter South Australia.(ABC News: Mahalia Carter)

Where can I travel?

Given its low case numbers, South Australians are permitted to travel freely to the Northern Territory, ACT, Queensland and New South Wales without needing to quarantine in hotels.

Since Monday, October 26, they have also been allowed into Tasmania without needing to quarantine.

Can I travel to South Australia?

South Australia has opened its borders to travellers from ‘low community transmission zone’, which includes the ACT, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

That’s as long as they do not enter the state via Victorian airports. Those travelling by car must not travel through Victoria except via approved roads.

Victorian residents who are not deemed essential travellers or do not live within the border buffer zone are not permitted to enter.

However, students and people permanently relocating from Victoria to South Australia can now also enter as “essential travellers” provided certain criteria for accommodation can be met.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in SA, visit the SA Government website.

Tasmania

Where can I travel?

With its low coronavirus case numbers, residents have been permitted to travel to every jurisdiction except Western Australia.

From October 26, those who leave the state and head to ‘low risk’ areas South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT will be able to return without needing to head into hotel quarantine.

It will soon be the same case for New South Wales, with the state’s hotspot consideration due to lift on November 6.

Can I travel to Tasmania?

Cradle Mountain with Dove Lake in the foreground
Tasmanian health officials are keen to reopen to Victoria in one step.(ABC News: Alison Branley)

Tasmania began changing its travel restrictions for many states from October 26.

It resulted in tearful scenes at airports as visitors from ‘low risk’ areas Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and ACT were permitted to travel to Tasmania without needing to enter quarantine.

It will be the same for travellers from New South Wales from November 6.

Tasmania health officials say they are keen to open to Victoria, where 60 per cent of its travel heads through to reach the state, in one step rather than a piecemeal approach by local government area.

This means that travel to Tasmania from Victoria is unlikely until community transmission gets under control in metropolitan Melbourne.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in TAS, visit the Tasmanian Government website.

Northern Territory

Where can I travel?

The Northern Territory’s success in containing the coronavirus means residents are able to head to almost every state without needing to quarantine, except Western Australia.

Return travellers for every state except Victoria will be able to come home without needing to quarantine.

The sun setting over the Kakadu wetlands with clouds in the sky.
The NT became one of the first two states to welcome travellers from New Zealand.(ABC News: Jane Bardon)

Can I travel to the NT?

The NT has been one of the first to open up to travellers from interstate.

It looks to be the first territory to welcome travellers from regional Victoria, starting from November 2.

Travellers from Melbourne need to enter 14 days’ hotel quarantine, but Chief Minister Michael Gunner hopes that will change by Christmas.

The NT lifted its restrictions to greater Sydney on October 9.

It is also one of the first two states to welcome travellers from New Zealand.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in the NT, visit the NT Government website.

ACT

Where can I travel?

The National Portrait Gallery as seen at night
ACT residents have been urged to reconsider the need for “unnecessary” travel to parts of NSW.(Supplied: National Portrait Gallery)

Residents of the ACT are permitted to travel to the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland (provided they haven’t left the territory in the previous two weeks) without needing to enter hotel quarantine.

The ACT Government encourages residents to reconsider the need for “any unnecessary travel to COVID-affected areas of NSW”.

Travel to Victoria is currently restricted.

Can I travel to the ACT?

Those wishing to head to the nation’s capital from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the NT and Western Australia are permitted to do so without entering hotel quarantine.

It’s the same for NSW residents, although those from “COVID-affected areas” of the state are requested to avoid unnecessary travel.

Travellers from Victoria, except ACT residents, will be denied entry to the ACT unless they are given an exemption.

For more information on the coronavirus restrictions in the ACT, visit the ACT Government website.



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Polish teenager Iga Swiatek beats Sofia Kenin without dropping a set to win French Open title



With the poise of a veteran and the shots of a champion, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek picked the perfect place for her first tour-level title: the French Open.

Unseeded and ranked merely 54th, Swiatek grabbed the last six games to beat Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday, becoming the first Polish tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles trophy.

When she smacked one last forehand winner to the corner to end things, Swiatek placed her right hand over her mouth then crouched, shaking her head.

Hard to believe? Maybe.

This was, after all, only her seventh major tournament; she’d never been past the fourth round.

But the way she played these two weeks made this outcome less of a surprise.

Swiatek is the first woman to triumph in Paris without ceding a set since Justine Henin in 2007.

And she did it with victories over such opponents as 2018 champion Simona Halep and 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, both by scores of 6-1, 6-2.

So it made sense that Swiatek would be able to get past Kenin, a 21-year-old American who was trying to claim her second major title of 2020 after winning the Australian Open in February.

Kenin was 16-1 in Grand Slam matches until Saturday.

But she dealt with a leg issue in the second set and showed frustration by kicking her red-white-and-blue racket after lost points.

And then she ran into the composed Swiatek, who only recently completed her high school studies, listens to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses before walking on court and meditates during changeovers, breathing slowly with her eyes closed.

This weekend is the culmination of an unusual two weeks, to say the least.

The tournament was postponed form May-June to September-October because of the coronavirus pandemic; the recently rising number of COVID-19 cases in France led the Government to limit the number of spectators allowed on the grounds to 1,000 each day.

Some top women, including 2019 champion Ash Barty and three-time major champ Naomi Osaka did not enter the event; 23-time Slam winner Serena Williams withdrew before the second round with an injury.

The temperature was about 14 degrees Celsius with a slight breeze, and the hundreds of fans scattered in Court Philippe Chatrier were mostly subdued — other than a group that would shout out Swiatek’s first name, stretching it out over several seconds each time.

At the changeover after the third game of the second set, Kenin was visited by a trainer and went off the court for a medical timeout, then returned with her left thigh wrapped.

Kenin said after her fourth-round match on Monday that she had slipped and maybe pulled something during practice the day before.

While Kenin was gone, Swiatek tried to stay warm by pulling on a white jacket and hitting some serves, earning applause from spectators.

When play resumed, Swiatek needed only 12 more minutes to wrap up the victory, finishing with a 25-10 edge in winners.

AP



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Dementia Rates Dropping, Especially Among Men


The risk of developing dementia has been dropping by roughly 13 per cent a decade over the past 27 years, according to Harvard University research. Much of the decline comes from plummeting rates in men.

“Looking over three decades, the incidence rate of dementia in Europe and North America seems to be declining by around 15 percent per decade,” said Professor Albert Hofman, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “This finding is more pronounced in men than women and is likely to be driven by changes in cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle.”

Hofman was speaking at The Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference, a forum for researchers to forge collaborations and share new research findings over two days of talks, held in March.

“We know that recent decades have seen a radical decline in smoking rates for men. While many people may have been persuaded to stop smoking due to an increased risk of cancer or heart disease, it is also a key risk factor for dementia,” he said.

if trends in management of cardiovascular disease, particularly in men, continue, we may see further declines. But if cardiovascular disease and other predisposing health conditions rise in number, this positive trend may plateau or even reverse.

“With other dementia risk factors such as obesity and diabetes on the rise, this apparent decline in dementia rates may not continue for long,” Hofman said.

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study noted that African Americans have the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s and related dementias (13.8 percent) among people ages 65 and older. Hispanics, with 12.2 percent, and non-Hispanic whites, with 10.3 percent, have the next largest prevalence, the CDC says. American Indian and Alaska Natives have a prevalence of 9.1 percent, while Asian and Pacific Islanders, with an 8.4 percent prevalence, are the lowest.

But the CDC warns that as the population rises, so will the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

“Early diagnosis is key to helping people and their families cope with loss of memory, navigate the health care system, and plan for their care in the future,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

Men’s Health Network has a free 56-page book for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients’ caretakers that offers a toolkit that includes advice and resources. Tailored toward male caregivers, the book provides reassurance and encouragement to men suddenly cast in a role which may feel frightening.

“Many men may even find themselves in the role of the primary caregiver,” says Jean Bonhomme, MD, MPH, who wrote a foreword to the book. Bonhomme is the founder of the National Black Men’s Health Network.

“Anyone caring for an Alzheimer’s patient will need knowledge and skill, not only to care for the patient effectively but to care for themselves in the process of coping with this demanding affliction,” Bonhomme writes. “Thus far, men have been an underused resource for caregiving. Let’s all get ready to change that.”





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Lockdown at Warkworth Institution after drone suspected of dropping contraband package – Peterborough


Warkworth Institution is under lockdown after contraband — which may have been delivered by drone — was located in the medium-security prison over the weekend.

According to the Correctional Services of Canada, around 10:50 a.m. on Saturday, a lockdown was ordered at Warkworth after opened “contraband packaging” was located within the property. The prison is located about 60 kilometres south of Peterborough,

Officials believe a drone was used to deliver the contraband. Details on what was discovered were not released.

Read more:
Coronavirus outbreaks declared over in federal prisons, staff prepare for ‘new normal’

“The contraband packaging was consistent with having been dropped by an unmanned air vehicle (UAV),” the CSC said Tuesday morning.

Visits to the prison are currently suspected until the search of the institution is complete.

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Anyone with information is asked to call the CSC anonymous tip line at 1-866-780-3784.






Drone sighting at Kingston, Ont., prison sparks all day search


Drone sighting at Kingston, Ont., prison sparks all day search

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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Sydney Roosters ‘dropping like flies’ with more injuries against North Queensland Cowboys


The Sydney Roosters’ premiership defence is being tested in the season restart having again seen two more injuries to continue to test the side’s depth.

The side are particularly weak at hooker at the moment with Sam Verrills and Victor Radley both out for the season with ACL injuries after the match against the Dragons, skipper Jake Friend was ruled out of the remainder of the match against the Cowboys before halftime after failing a head injury assessment.

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It comes after Brett Morris pulled out of the match before kick-off, clutching his groin before the decision was made to stand down for the game.

And yet somehow, among a series of handling errors, the Roosters took a 12-6 lead to the break before exploding with six tries in 24 minutes after the break.

Winger Matt Ikuvalu, who came in for Morris, dominated with five tries, becoming the first Rooster since Brian Allsop in Round 10 1955 to reach the tally.

The Cowboys had injury trouble of their own with Valentine Holmes hobbling off with the reoccurence of an ankle injury after being brought back on the wing to manage the injury.

Former NSW Origin half and premiership winner Jamie Soward slammed the decision of the Cowboys to bring their $5.7m star signing back early.

The past three weeks have seen seven players from last years’ Roosters grand final winning team sidelined.

Verrills and Radley sparked a debate around the Bankwest Stadium turf when both went down with their serious injuries.

Last week Isaac Liu broke a rib, while Daniel Tupou had an ankle injury, while regular captain Boyd Cordner went down with concussion in the dying stages of the side’s heartbreaking loss to the Storm and missed the game against the Cowboys.

This week has continued down the same path with Morris out before kick-off as a precaution, while Friend left behind after bouncing off the hip as Reece Robson left him behind as he scored the Cowboys’ try.

Just before halftime, Fox League commentator Andrew Voss said the side were “dropping like flies the Roosters when you look at their grand final team last year”.

At halftime on Fox League, Yvonne Sampson asked whether it was “the Boyd Cordner effect” without their skipper with eight errors throughout the first half and a 64 per cent completion rate.

On Channel 9, Peter Sterling called it the Roosters’ “worst half of football” in 2020, going back to when the side lost its first two games of the season.

But after the stunning win, it’s an ominous message for the rest of the competition, especially with the Roosters’ leading despite the injury crisis — imagine how hard they’ll be at full-strength.





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Fans allowed at New Zealand domestic competition after dropping coronavirus restrictions


It was beaten by Vietnamese soccer, where the professional V.League welcomed fans for the first time last Friday.

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson confirmed tickets would go on sale from Monday.

“It is a testament to all New Zealanders that we are in a position to lift restrictions on mass gatherings,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be a very special and unique competition and it’s fitting that New Zealanders now have a chance to be part of it.”

Kick-off times for the games have been shifted, making them more palatable for fans who are also on the verge of returning to playing community sport.

Games will start at 7.05pm on Saturday and 3.35pm on Sunday (New Zealand time) throughout the 10-week competition which involves the five Kiwi Super Rugby teams.

Teams will also be able to prepare normally rather than fly-in and out on match day, as had been planned.

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Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said it would be an “honour” to host the first professional rugby game anywhere since the sporting world shut down in March. He said fans would be encouraged to adhere to tracing methods.

“The world will be watching, and we will be ready to put on a show,” he said. “Our players, coaches and staff have been working overtime to get Super Rugby Aotearoa ready and to now be able to share the competition with our members and our fans will be a very special occasion.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously said the government would work with stadiums to create a “COVID code” to ensure contact tracing was in place in case sports fans tested positive for the coronavirus.

The country has had 17 successive days with no new cases of the virus detected and there are no active cases.

AAP

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Stocks mixed after dropping earlier on reports of a pick-up in new coronavirus cases


U.S. stocks were mixed as traders assessed the latest moves around the globe to relax restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 was little changed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell while the Nasdaq 100 rose for a sixth day — its longest winning streak this year. The dollar climbed, while Treasuries dropped. Oil wiped out gains driven by Saudi Arabia’s plan to deepen output cuts.

The S&P 500 briefly rallied after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said businesses including construction, curbside retail, drive-in movies and some recreational activities will reopen this week on a regional basis. The state reported 161 additional deaths, the lowest since late March. Earlier Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the lockdown is likely to continue into June.

“As investors are emboldened by some states loosening the reins, stocks could continue their march higher, especially the tech sector,” said Paul Nolte, a portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago. “How stocks act over the coming weeks will likely determine whether the summer smolders or is just a hot mess.”

More than 33 million Americans have lost their jobs in the seven weeks since wide swaths of the U.S. economy shuttered to stem the outbreak. President Donald Trump is trying to convince Americans it’s safe to return to work, with the nation having more than 1.3 million cases of COVID-19. With infections slowing in some European countries, more governments moved to tentatively relax limits.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 was little changed as of 4 p.m. New York time.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.4%.
  • The Nasdaq 100 Index jumped 0.9%.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.6%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.5%.
  • The euro dipped 0.2% to $1.0817.
  • The Japanese yen depreciated 0.9% to 107.66 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained three basis points to 0.71%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield increased three basis points to -0.51%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield gained three basis points to 0.269%.

Commodities

  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index decreased 0.9%.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $24.73 a barrel.
  • Gold declined 0.8% to $1,699.60 an ounce.

Bloomberg.com



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Dropping Flynn Case ‘Puts Us Back in the Category of Almost an Emerging Democracy’



On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “All In,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) reacted to the dropping of charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn by stating the move “really puts us back in the category of almost an emerging democracy, where the rule of law is not yet firmly established, where prosecutorial decisions are made on the basis of politics.”

Schiff said, “I think we lost 50 years’ worth of ground in solidifying the independence of the Justice Department after Watergate. This really puts us back in the category of almost an emerging democracy, where the rule of law is not yet firmly established, where prosecutorial decisions are made on the basis of politics. Here, Bill Barr, once again, doing the political dirty work for the president in making a case go away that the president tried to get Jim Comey to make go away and then fired him when he wouldn’t, tried to get Jeff Sessions to make go away and he wouldn’t.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett





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