6 people fined over large gathering on Lazarus Island amid COVID-19 outbreak


SINGAPORE: Six people who took part in a gathering of 12 people on Lazarus Island were fined S$3,000 each on Thursday (Nov 26) for breaking COVID-19 laws.

The six pleaded guilty to a charge of meeting others for a non-permitted purpose and without reasonable excuse under the COVID-19 regulations.

They are: British nationals William Edwin Dunford, 32, Richard Henri Lagesse, 31, Lowri Mair Jeffs, 31, Zoe Louise Cronk, 30, Jeff Richard Alexander, 32, and 29-year-old Singaporean Natalie Joanna Sarkies.

Co-accused Paul Jonathon Gold, 32, was the first to plead guilty and was fined S$3,000 in October. 

At 11am on Aug 8, the group took a ferry to St John’s Island, before walking to the beach at Lazarus Island. They spent the day there before taking a ferry back to mainland Singapore at about 6pm.

Sarkies posted photos of the trip on Instagram featuring all 12 accused, and the photos were reported on various media platforms, “attracting public attention and causing public alarm”, said the prosecutor.

He asked for a fine of S$3,000 for all six who pleaded guilty on Thursday, saying that Gold had been fined the same amount.

Defence lawyer Shafiuddin Ong originally represented all six but was discharged on Thursday by Sarkies, Lagesse and Cronk.

Speaking for Dunford, Jeffs and Alexander, he said his clients have realised the folly of their conduct and regret the incident.

He said the cases cited by the prosecutor occurred during the “circuit breaker” period while this gathering occurred during Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening. He asked for fines of S$2,500 each.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh responded that just because the incident occurred during Phase 2 did not translate to a lower sentence as there is no correlation between the easing of safe-distancing measures and the sentence that should be imposed.

He added that the accused breached measures that were put in place to guard against a second wave of COVID-19 infections, and the court should not endorse the society letting down its guard.

In mitigation, Sarkies said: “I take full responsibility for the actions that I have done and I would like to express my deep regret and remorse, especially during these tough times.”

Lagesse said he was extremely sorry for what they did and regrets his actions, saying it “certainly won’t happen again”.

Cronk also apologised, saying: “I deeply regret our actions of that day and I sincerely apologise for it and I can confirm it definitely will not be happening again.”

For breaching a COVID-19 regulation, the accused could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000 or both.

The cases for the remaining five accused are pending: Joshua Adam Roth, Edward John Joseph Lee-Bull, Helen Ann Sullivan, James Riby Oram Trimming and Luong Thi Thu Ha.



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Possible Positive Case In Victoria, To Be Recorded After 21 Days Of No Cases And Deaths

case in victoria

A potential new coronavirus case in Victoria is being assessed, and precautionary public health actions in place as investigations continue.

This was after Victoria recording no new coronavirus cases or death for consecutive 21 days as per state’ Health Department’s affirmation: leaving Victoria with two active cases thus far.

DHHS stated that one possible case is under investigation and may be falsely positive.

In line with this, it was known that Victoria has closed its border with South Australia for 48 hours, with hopes of easing up an outbreak of coronavirus cluster in Adelaide from spreading into the state.

From today, entry to Victoria from South Australia is limited to truck drivers transporting freight, people with medical, emergency or animal welfare issues and people authorized by law.

Shortly, a permit system will be introduced on Saturday which will allow people to enter Victoria for specific reasons, shopping or medical care as such.

The decision of closing the border was made due to evidence of community transmission in SA, and the detection of viral fragments in wastewater in Portland and Benalla.

Chris Giles, chief executive of Portland District Health, says the detection of viral fragments does not necessarily mean there is an active case in the region.

“It’s less likely we’ve got active cases than someone has visited who’s shedding the virus, but that said, Portlanders must do exactly what they’ve done when we had active cases in the community — turn out and get tested,” he said.

On the other hand, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will announce over Sunday which restrictions will be eased, following the state’s development to the next stage on the roadmap towards reopening.

He revealed that earlier this week, there could be changes to the state’s mandatory mask rules, citing that wearing masks isn’t going to be mandatory should they be alone outdoors.

As of now, media and the community are waiting for updates regarding this matter.

New outbreak sends WNBL team into isolation


The already jam-packed WNBL season has been thrown into chaos with the Adelaide Lightning’s entire team forced into quarantine following Adelaide’s COVID-19 outbreak.

A Tuesday night clash against the Southside Flyers had to be cancelled and officials will have to reschedule three games, with the Lightning players and officials forced into isolation in Townsville until November 23 by Queensland Health.

The team has been isolated and confined to their accommodation since Monday afternoon when the Queensland government advised that anyone who had entered the state from South Australia on or after Monday, November 9 must self-isolate until they have been tested for COVID-19.

The Lightning travelling party departed Adelaide at 6.10am (local) on Monday, November 9 on a direct flight to Brisbane.

All members of the Lightning group have been tested and are awaiting results while no member of the travelling party or the league has shown any signs or symptoms for COVID-19.

Lightning general manager Tim Brenton, who isn’t in Queensland, said the “resilient” group of players would support each other while they wait to get back on court.

“Our thoughts are with our players, coaches and support staff,” he said.

“We’re disappointed not to be playing … but we understand the protocol surrounding these unique circumstances.

“Our amazing, resilient group are currently self-isolating as required by the Queensland Government and will be in quarantine until Monday, 23 November.

“We have a strong group of girls, coaches and staff who will support each other and we are looking forward to getting back on the court as soon as possible.”

League officials vowed to continue the season despite now needing to reschedule the four games the Lightning was set to play and have declared the competition won’t be extended.

Basketball Australia executive general manager Paul Maley stressed that Adelaide‘s quarantine situation wouldn’t derail the season.

“We will find a way to make the schedule work,” Maley said.

“Assuming all the tests come back negative, our challenge is that the Lightning will miss three games over the next seven days.

“It is challenging given it‘s already a condensed season with 14 regular-season games in 32 days, but we are working through that now.

“We work on win/loss percentage, so there is a way if absolutely necessary to have a game missed and we can still conduct a season with teams having a win/loss percentage based on fewer games.

“But that is less than ideal and we will look to reschedule all three games.”

The entire season had already been packed in to a tight six-week window, with matches nearly every day in Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.

Adelaide’s COVID-19 cluster had already forced the Queensland government to impose bans on the players’ families joining the team.

Lightning captain Steph Talbot, who was about to welcome her family to the North Queensland hub before the bans intervened.

“My family were going to come up and another (player’s) family were as well, but they can no longer come,” Talbot said.

“Everyone is shutting their borders after the COVID outbreak in Adelaide.

“Families could come to the hub, but not anymore.”



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Cricket Australia sends ODI squad to Sydney, BBL players to NSW North Coast amid Adelaide COVID outbreak


Australia’s one-day international squad members have rushed to Sydney, and Big Bash League players have fled Adelaide en masse, as Cricket Australia tries to plot a path around a growing COVID-19 cluster.

The Adelaide Strikers have flown out for a pre-season camp in Coffs Harbour, while Adelaide-based players from other BBL sides will also now call the New South Wales North Coast home.

Players were enjoying a week off when they got the call to urgently pack and prepare to relocate, with some making the dash back home from Kangaroo Island.

Adelaide’s coronavirus outbreak, which comes one month out from the first Test between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval, has also prompted Cricket Australia (CA) to alter travel plans for its limited-overs squad.

White-ball paceman Kane Richardson, who recently welcomed his first child with wife Nyki, has remained at home in Adelaide.

But players from Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania — who have been forced to self-isolate as per their states’ rules regarding anybody who recently travelled from Adelaide — touched down in Sydney long before their planned arrival on Sunday.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley thanked players and staff for their understanding regarding changes to travel schedules and “their commitment to ensuring the summer of cricket is a huge success”.

“I would also like to thank the various leadership groups across Australian cricket for coming together over the past 48 hours and taking quick, decisive action,” Hockley said.

“CA has taken a proactive approach.”

CA is also likely to rejig the itinerary of its Australia A squad, which includes Test captain Tim Paine, as it seeks to avoid more logistical headaches before a tour game in Sydney starts on December 6.

Paine and other high-profile teammates were part of the Sheffield Shield hub in Adelaide, which wrapped up last week.

No Shield player visited any of the locations flagged by South Australia Health.

At this stage there is no suggestion that Adelaide’s pink-ball Test could be shifted away from the city, but that could easily change if the COVID-19 outbreaks grows.

Twenty cases are now linked to the original cluster, with another 14 considered at high risk of infection.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said he was “hopeful the cricket will go ahead”, but that he was yet to speak with anybody at CA.

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey is among Australia’s Indian Premier League contingent already training and quarantining in Sydney.

But the South Australian’s wife Eloise and son Louis were part of the COVID-19 chaos.

They opted to jump on a plane and rush to Sydney, wanting to ensure they could see the 29-year-old for the first time since he departed for a tour of England in August.

“Unfortunately the news out of Adelaide wasn’t great over the last 24 hours,” Carey told reporters.

“The [Strikers] boys have been able to get back to Adelaide, pack their gear up and get on a flight out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) cancelled all games under its umbrella for the next fortnight as per the state’s recent restrictions on sport.

AAP



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Adelaide COVID cluster: New outbreak sends WNBL team in to isolation


The already jam-packed WNBL season has been thrown in to chaos with the Adelaide Lightning’s entire team forced into quarantine following Adelaide’s COVID-19 outbreak.

A Tuesday night clash against the Southside Flyers had to be cancelled and officials will have to reschedule another three games with the Lightning players and officials forced in to isolation in Townsville until November 23 by Queensland Health.

The team has been isolated and confined to their accommodation since Monday afternoon when the Queensland Government advised that anyone who had entered Queensland from South Australia on or after Monday 9 November must self-isolate until they have been tested for COVID-19.

The Lightning travelling party departed Adelaide at 6:10am (local) on Monday 9 November on a direct flight to Brisbane.

All members of the Lightning group have been tested and are awaiting results while no member of the travelling party or the League has shown any signs or symptoms for COVID-19.

WNBL officials are planning how to proceed with the season while the Adelaide Lightning out of action and will have to either reschedule the four games they were due to play during that period, or change the fixture.

The entire season had already been packed in to a tight six-week window, with matches nearly every day in Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.

It comes as Adelaide’s COVID-19 cluster has forced the Queensland government to impose bans on the players’ families joining the team.

Lightning captain Steph Talbot, who was about to welcome her family to the North Queensland hub before the bans intervened.

“My family were going to come up and another (player’s) family were as well, but they can no longer come,” Talbot said.

“Everyone is shutting their borders after the Covid outbreak in Adelaide.

“Families could come to the hub, but not anymore.”

The second game on Tuesday night, the Townsville versus Sydney Flames clash, will go ahead as scheduled from 7pm Queensland time.

Originally published as COVID chaos hits WNBL



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Only One New Coronavirus Case Recorded Amid Thousands of Tests

lady coughing

As South Australia are conducting extensive and thorough tests for safety measures, one new case of coronavirus was recorded and linked to the outbreak in SA overnight.

Authorities have been scrambling to contact trace and contain a COVID-19 cluster in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, which impelled wide-ranging new restrictions across the state yesterday.

To date, suspected infections associated with the Parafield cluster grows to 20, including the newly recorded case.

Premier Steven Marshall said it was a good result, provided that thousands of people tested were conducted since the cluster was discovered.

This morning, Mr Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide “If we reflect on the last 24 hours, today there’s just been the one new infection despite the fact that we have essentially done the contact tracing for the people that are infected.”

He added that despite the hundreds of people put into isolation and subjected to tests, just one new infection was recorded. Thus, he urged everyone to get tested even on the slightest and mildest of symptoms.

Thankfully, “thousands of people were tested yesterday… I’m grateful for that,” he said.

Nicola Spurrier, SA’s Chief Public Health Officer revealed that the new coronavirus restrictions – including limits on gatherings in homes and licensed venues and a temporary ban on community sport – may continue beyond the initial two-week period if it becomes clear there has been major community transmission.

A large number of people were in quarantine or isolation across Adelaide to date.

In line with this, the Professor asked South Australians to limit their interaction with other people to help contain the outbreak. “I really want people to think about whether they need to go out and about for the next couple of days and for the next week,” she said.

As the outbreak is still escalating, it is very important for people to reduce the amount of travel and get tested immediately.

To ease up traveling decisions among visitors, SA Health has released a list of locations across Adelaide where people could have become infected. Should people develop symptoms after visiting those locations, authorities urged them to get tested necessarily.

Meanwhile, numerous Australian stated and territories have implemented quarantine or self-isolation protocols for people travelling from SA, or for those who arrived from the state within the past seven days. 

States and territories issue quarantine orders as South Australia’s coronavirus outbreak grows


States and territories are issuing quarantine and self-isolation orders for travellers from South Australia today, as an outbreak of coronavirus cases Adelaide’s northern suburbs grows.

Seventeen cases have now been linked to a cluster in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

It’s forced the closure of a supermarket, two schools and a fast food restaurant, as the states health authorities scramble to contact trace and contain the outbreak.

Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have announced specific measures for people arriving from SA, while New South Wales is sticking with no new border restrictions.

Return to this page for updates through the day.

Queensland

Queensland will declare Adelaide a COVID-19 hotspot, taking effect from 11:59pm tonight.

Anyone who arrives in Queensland after that time will have to go into hotel quarantine.

Anyone currently in Queensland who has been in Adelaide since Monday last week, or who arrives in the Sunshine State before 11:59pm tonight, is being asked to self-isolate.

Those people will need to get tested for COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.

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Queensland declares Adelaide a coronavirus hotspot

Victoria

Victoria has declared Adelaide a COVID-19 hotspot.

Premier Daniel Andrews said anyone arriving from South Australia at Melbourne airport will be interviewed, and may be required to undergo a rapid test.

He said state health authorities will have more details later in the day.

He also said Victoria will be ready to offer any assistance to SA.

Victoria today recorded its 17th straight day with no new coronavirus cases or deaths.

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Victoria declares Adelaide a covid hotspot

Tasmania

Tasmania has declared South Australia a medium risk destination for travel.

It means anyone who arrives in Tasmania from SA, from tonight, will be required to quarantine.

If they don’t have a suitable residence they will go into government hotels.

The Tasmanian Government will initially cover the cost of hotel quarantine.

Anyone currently in Tasmania, who has been in South Australia since last Monday, has been asked to self-isolate.

Tasmania’s Public Health Service also said those who have recently been in South Australia should be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

People with symptoms, including mild symptoms, should seek testing through the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said there would be a further update tomorrow, potentially distinguishing metropolitan Adelaide from regional SA.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Chief Minister announced all arrivals from South Australia will have to undergo supervised quarantine.

The declaration of South Australia as a hotspot for the purposes of travel to the NT will take effect immediately.

People who arrive in the NT will have the choice to return to South Australia immediately instead of undergoing quarantine.

Anyone who arrives today or tomorrow will not have to pay the $2,500 fee to undertake quarantine.

Two planes are due to arrive in Darwin from Adelaide today.

Western Australia

From 6:00pm tonight, South Australians will be restricted from entering WA unless they meet a “strict exemption” category.

Travel will only be allowed for senior government officials, military and Commonwealth personnel, transport freight or logistics, or an authorised officer.

Exceptions on compassionate grounds will be considered.

Travellers on two flights due into Perth from Adelaide tonight will also need to adhere to these rules.

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Travellers arriving in Perth from Adelaide talk about their experience.(ABC News)

Anyone who has arrived at Perth Airport from South Australia from yesterday is being been tested for COVID-19, either on arrival or within 24 hours of arrival and told to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Those arrivals will also be required to be tested on day 11 of their self-quarantine.

New South Wales

New South Wales is so far keeping its border open, with no required quarantine, for travellers coming from South Australia.

“Our health authorities are confident the South Australian Government is on top of it,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“I’m not suggesting it’s not concerning — it is.”

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NSW confirms it won’t close border to South Australia



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QLD, WA, NT and Tasmania Shutting Borders After Outbreak Escalated

New South Wales was yet another one to ease up its borders for South Australian travellers and visitors. On the other hand, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmanian all closed borders and slapped various quarantine measures.

South Australia’s coronavirus outbreak surges to 17 cases overnight as contact tracers scrambled to keep the cluster in Adelaide‘s north contained.

This threat was shortly cited and cause WA, NT and Tasmania to tighten their borders and impose quarantine on South Australian travellers. On the other hand, Queensland’s restrictions only apply to Adelaide residents, and not the entire state.

As Victoria was recorded to have endured Australia’s worst and deadliest outbreak they appeared to go halfway, calling SA a hotspot but not imposing a border closure or quarantine.

South Australia was now added to ACT’s list of concerned jurisdictions. An ACT statement reads “ACT Health is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in South Australia closely.”

It adds “We are asking ACT residents to reconsider non-essential travel to South Australia while SA Health continues its investigations and, here in the ACT, we assess the extent of this outbreak.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared in the media today that we needed to live with the pandemic as she confirmed that SA residents would be welcomed in without restrictions. The statement was in total contrast to health warnings emerging from NT, WA and Tasmania.

“At the end of the day we need to live with the pandemic, have confidence in our system and open up,” Ms Berejiklian added.

Despite rapid motion of development and declaring SA a hotspot, it did not roll out tough border and quarantine restrictions. Instead, travellers from SA to Melbourne airport will be interviewed and are required to be tested.

Anastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier, stated that anyone entering her state from Adelaide from 11:59 pm tonight will be put into strict quarantine protocols. Along with her health officer Dr. Young, they urged anyone who had entered from Adelaide in the last week to come forward for testing; as they monitor the cases very closely.

The NT and Tasmanian Premier also followed with the move, shutting borders to travellers and visitors. NT Chief Minister even imposed a $2,500 fee for quarantine for anyone who had flown into NT today or tomorrow.

With the outbreak still escalating, precautionary measures are utterly needed, and everyone is encouraged to stay vigilant amid the ease of restrictions.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declares Adelaide a coronavirus hotspot following outbreak


Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Adelaide will become a declared coronavirus hotspot as of midnight tonight.

The move comes after the South Australian capital recorded 17 new coronavirus cases overnight that were linked to a cluster in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Queensland’s declared hotspots now include Adelaide, Victoria and the 32 local government areas that make up Greater Sydney.

As of 11:59pm on Monday night, anyone who arrives into Queensland from Adelaide will have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Speaking on the Sunshine Coast, Ms Palaszczuk said she was concerned about the outbreak and urged anyone who had arrived in Queensland from Adelaide today to immediately get tested.

“We’re asking them to get tested and basically stay where they are because we’re concerned about the outcomes of that testing,” she said.

“We hope everything does go well in Adelaide but we do need to have these directions in place and we’ll be monitoring it very closely.”

‘Immediately come forward’

Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all declared Adelaide a COVID-19 hotspot.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said anyone who had been in Adelaide since Monday November 9 would be required to go into 14 days of hotel quarantine upon arrival in Queensland at their own expense.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says anyone arriving from Adelaide must quarantine and get tested immediately.(ABC News: Chris Gillette)

Dr Young said she was asking those people to “immediately come forward, get themselves tested and go into quarantine wherever they are”.

“So if they’re in their home here in Queensland because they’re a returning resident, or if they’re visiting, or if they’re on holidays, that they isolate themselves from other people until its been 14 days since they left Adelaide,” she said.

Dr Young said travellers who arrive from Adelaide before the deadline tonight will need to immediately get tested and isolate themselves in their own accommodation.

“Those people are already in the air, those people have already made bookings, they’ve already organised to come,” Dr Young said.

“So I’m saying to those people when you arrive you need to go and get yourself tested.”

Dr Young said Queensland Health had already begun speaking with three airports where inbound flights were expected from Adelaide.

“[Those passengers have] already been told they will need to go get themselves tested and to quarantine for 14 days … in whatever accommodation,” Dr Young said.

She said even if you do not have symptoms you must get tested and continue to isolate for the full 14 days, even if the result comes back negative.

Queensland recorded zero new cases of coronavirus overnight with eight active cases remaining.



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Tasmania reintroduces quarantine for travellers from South Australia after coronavirus outbreak


Travellers who have come to Tasmania from South Australia in the past week have been asked to immediately self-isolate while public health authorities seek further information about an outbreak of COVID-19 in Adelaide.

“With the outbreak escalating in Adelaide … we are taking immediate precautionary action this morning,” Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said.

“Anyone who has arrived in Tasmania from South Australia since last Monday [November 9], we would like you to immediately self isolate.

“If you are in a home residence to isolate there, if you are staying in accommodation to go back to your hotel room and isolate there.”

Seventeen coronavirus cases have now been linked to a cluster in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Mr Gutwein said anyone arriving in Tasmania from South Australia today would be “expected” to quarantine either at home or the hotel or accommodation they planned to stay in.

Deputy State Controller Scott Tilyard said the Tasmanian Public Health director and his team were working closely with their South Australian counterparts.

Mr Tilyard said more information will be available this afternoon about what the Adelaide cluster means for other jurisdictions including Tasmania.

Mr Gutwein said about 900 people had travelled from South Australia to Tasmania in the past week.

People travelling to Tasmania from interstate must register their details and Mr Gutwein said those who had spent time in South Australia in the past week were being contacted.

The quarantine requirements are expected to be announced this afternoon.

“We will make the necessary operational arrangements once we fully understand the situation in Adelaide today,” Mr Gutwein said.

“The view is that the risk is low, but again we want to take every precaution necessary.”

Public Health also said those who have recently been in South Australia should be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

People with symptoms, including mild symptoms, should organise to be tested.



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