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COVID-19 in Australia

Each states’ travel restrictions in response to Northern Beaches Avalon cluster

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As the Avalon cluster had grown — prompting a raft of further restrictions to be imposed across Sydney. Other states have also reacted to the increasing case numbers by imposing restrictions on those looking to travel interstate. Here’s a breakdown of where you can and cannot travel if you’re from Sydney as of 3:00pm AEDT on Sunday.

 

Victoria

As of 11:59pm on Sunday night, all of Greater Sydney and the Central Coast will be classed as a “red zone” under Victoria’s traffic-light permit system that was introduced on Friday night.

That means anyone entering Victoria who is from or visited that “red zone” area will be forced to complete 14 days hotel quarantine.

 

Queensland

From 1:00am Monday morning, Greater Sydney will be considered a hotspot by the Queensland Government.

That means people who have been in Greater Sydney are banned from entering the state unless they have an exemption.

Any Queenslanders currently in Greater Sydney will have until 1:00am on Tuesday to return to the state.

Upon arrival, those returning Queenslanders will have to have a test and quarantine for 14 days at home.

 

 

ACT

On Sunday evening, the ACT Government said anyone coming from Sydney from midnight onwards would be asked to self-declare and quarantine.

The Government said anyone from Sydney who is not an ACT resident should not travel to the Territory.

 

 

 

South Australia

From midnight on Sunday, all arrivals into South Australia from the Greater Sydney area will be forced to quarantine for 14 days.

Those travellers will also be required to have a coronavirus test three times — on arrival, on day five and on day 12.

Anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches area will be barred from South Australia entirely.

 

Tasmania

Tasmania declared the Greater Sydney area medium-risk from midnight Saturday.

That means anyone who travels from Sydney will have to quarantine for 14 days, either at home or at their own cost in a Government facility.

 

Western Australia

On Saturday night, Western Australia reinstated a hard border with New South Wales, meaning travel into the state from NSW will no longer be permitted.

 

Northern Territory

The declaration means anybody arriving from those locations will have to undertake a fortnight of supervised quarantine at a cost of $2,500.

 

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COVID-19 in Australia

Government sets up ‘myth-busting’ unit to take on Covid misinformation

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Announcing the arrival of the first 300,00 doses of the new AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia on 28th Feb, Hunt revealed the departments of home affairs and health had “quietly” established the unit last year amid concerns about misinformation.

The federal government has established a “myth-busting unit” to address what health minister Greg Hunt has called “plainly ridiculous” misinformation surrounding the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in Australia, amid increasing concerns about the spread of false information and conspiracy theories during the pandemic.

Australia started its vaccine program on 22nd Feb with the first injections of the Pfizer vaccine.

Almost 30,000 Australians had been vaccinated since 22nd Feb, including 8110 aged care and disability residents throughout 117 care facilities.

Meanwhile, the government has kicked off a second $31 million public information campaign on the COVID-19 vaccination program.

The government’s initial advertising campaign launched in January focused on informing the Australian community about the TGA’s world-leading independent approval process.

Authorities are increasingly grappling with the growth and impact of conspiratorial thinking during the pandemic as vaccines which depend on widespread take-up to stop the spread of the virus are rolled out.

In Australia, research released by the government earlier on March found only 64% of people said they would “definitely” get the vaccine, though authorities remained confident that figure would rise significantly as the rollout progressed.

 

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COVID-19 in Australia

The arrival of the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine

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Australia has doubled its coronavirus vaccine stocks after hundreds of thousands of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were flown into Sydney on 28th Feb.

The federal government says it hopes the new vaccine will be going into people’s arms from Monday, March 8.

These are the first doses of the AstraZeneca jab to arrive in Australia.

They will now be batch-tested by scientists from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) before a planned rollout on March 8.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the shipment more than doubled the nation’s number of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Hasn’t the vaccine rollout already begun?

Australians have been getting vaccinated for the last week. However, those vaccinations have been carried out using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That vaccine needs to be transported and stored in ultra-cold temperatures.

By contrast, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at fridge temperature making it easier to distribute. The rollout of the Pfizer vaccine started in February, with 20 million doses soon to be available.

Australia has secured 53.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 28th Feb’s shipment is the first of 3.8 million doses which will be delivered from overseas. Another 50 million doses will be manufactured in Australia in monthly batches by medical giant CSL.

Most Australians will get the AstraZeneca jab, which also needs two doses, administered 12 weeks apart.

 

What happens now?

The TGA will now check the vaccines have been stored at the right temperature and run batch tests to ensure they meet Australia’s strict quality standards.

More shipments will follow and then in late March, the first of the CSL Australian-made, Australian-produced AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive on the basis of 1 million doses per week, with approximately 2 million expected before the end of March.

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COVID-19 in Australia

Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout numbers tracking

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The single biggest and most complex vaccine campaign in the nation’s history has begun.

On February 22, Australia officially joined the global race to inoculate millions of people against COVID-19. Quarantine and border workers, frontline healthcare workers, and aged and disability care residents and staff are among the first in line.

The data on this page tracks how each of the states and territories is progressing in this mammoth task, as well as how Australia compares to the rest of the world.

 

 

The government has fallen drastically short of its target for the end of February, delivering just half of the expected number of jabs, according to the latest count.

As of February 28, just 33,702 doses had been administered nationwide, according to figures from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet — far below the government’s goal of “at least 60,000 [doses] … by the end of February”.

However, figures shown on March 1 has just 53 per cent of the 63,140 doses allocated for the first week of the campaign had been delivered.

Queensland and Victoria are the furthest behind, reaching only 22 per cent and 30 per cent of their respective allocations.

Tasmania leads the pack, delivering virtually its entire allocation, followed by the ACT at 84 per cent, then NSW at 74 per cent.

The federal government, which is responsible for vaccinations in aged and disability care, has delivered 72 per cent of its share of vaccinations.

The NT has delivered 64 per cent, WA 62 per cent and SA 35 per cent.

 

 

In January, the government said its initial target for the start of the rollout was 80,000 doses a week — roughly 11,500 a day.

The longer-term target is to fully vaccinate all adults (about 20 million people) by the end of October, which means rapidly ramping up to some 200,000 doses per day.

This equates to a daily rate of around 0.77 doses per 100 people, which would outpace the peak rates in both the US (0.55 per 100) and the UK (0.65 per 100), according to international figures.

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