All eyes (i.e. both my eyes) are on Victoria Department of Health’s twitter account for today’s Covid-19 case numbers.
Victoria recorded 510 locally acquired Covid-19 cases yesterday and one death.
Construction workers in Melbourne also staged a sit-in protest yesterday, blocking a number of streets in protest against a number of new rules on the industry. These include closing tea rooms, mandating vaccines for workers, and preventing construction workers from leaving metropolitan Melbourne.
The first doses of the Moderna vaccine have arrived in Sydney from Europe!
It’s the first of two flights bringing one million doses of the vaccine into the country.
The news is coming in fast this morning.
France has recalled its ambassadors to the the US and Australia for consultations in the wake of Australia’s deal with the US and UK to produce nuclear-powered submarines.
Canberra’s announcement came with the surprise decision to cancel a $90b contract for French-built submarines.
The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the order to bring the ambassadors back to Paris “immediately” was made at the request of the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
“This exceptional decision is justified because of the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on 15 September by Australia and the United States,” Le Drian said in a statement late on Friday.
Le Drian had already described the trilateral Aukus security pact – including the submarine deal – as a “stab in the back”.
The Melbourne CBD will be turned into a no-go zone for Saturday’s planned anti-lockdown rally, with most public transport to and from the city suspended between 8am – 2pm and a “ring of steel” around its fringe.
Some 2,000 officers will be deployed during Saturday’s operation, which will involve road checkpoints, barricades and roving patrols. The partial public transport shutdown was made at the request of police after 4,000 people attended a violent anti-lockdown protest on 21 August.
Authorised workers and those with Covid-19 vaccination bookings at two city-based hubs will need to show proof to board limited buses and pass through checkpoints from 8am to 2pm.
Chief commissioner Shane Patton said it was the biggest Victoria police operation since the 2000 World Economic Forum was held in Melbourne. Organisers have flagged the protest will be moved, with a new location set to be revealed on Saturday morning.
NSW Police have also mobilised to quash any anti-lockdown protests in Sydney today.
NSW police minister David Elliott said on Friday that anyone considering protesting in Sydney needed to “take a good hard look at themselves”.
“There is no doubt that these protests are a risk to public health – for the community, for police as well as for the individual health of the protesters themselves.”
Good morning, it’s Justine Landis-Hanley here.
All eyes are on Melbourne today as Victoria police embarks on its biggest operation in two decades to quash an anti-lockdown protest planned for Melbourne.
But first, let’s recap what happened yesterday:
- NSW recorded 1,284 new Covid cases and 12 deaths on Friday, while Victoria recorded 510 new cases and one death. The ACT recorded 30 new cases and Queensland one new case.
- Melbourne and Ballarat residents have awoken to modestly eased Covid-19 restrictions on Saturday after reaching 70% first-dose vaccination coverage across Victoria’s eligible population. People can now also meet with one person from another household for a picnic (vaccinated people can have a picnic with up to five vaccinated people from two households, plus dependents). Outdoor exercise time has doubled, and the travel limited has expanded to 10km.
- NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Friday that the state would trial a home-quarantine system for fully vaccinated returning travellers. The test run involves 175 vaccinated people quarantining at home for seven days, monitored by geolocation and facial-recognition technology.