Australia Covid updates live: NSW due to hit single dose target; Singapore Airlines cancelling dozens of international flights








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Lifting lockdown restrictions in two stages in New South Wales could overwhelm intensive care units for up to five weeks over the Christmas period, according to modelling from a new expert advisory group.

Easing restrictions when 70% of NSW adults are fully vaccinated and further relaxing rules at 80% would lead to a “worst-case scenario”, suggests OzSage, a newly formed advisory group of experts in epidemiology, health and economics.

The modelling also suggests that waiting for an 80% vaccination rate – estimated to occur in November – to ease any restrictions would result in greater infections, deaths and peak daily ICU beds needed than if restrictions were eased at 70%. It predicts 689 deaths in NSW by 1 February if restrictions are eased at 70%, compared with 1,004 deaths at 80%.

The finding is at odds with separate modelling from researchers at three universities, which last month suggested that reopening at an 80% vaccination rate for adults would result in 4,000 fewer deaths across Australia than reopening at 70%.

You can read the full report below:

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Singapore Airlines to cancel two Australian flights a week until at least 2022

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Foreign airlines won’t be able to ramp up operations to meet the mass reopening of international travel into Sydney when 80% vaccination is reached because they will need several months to recall laid-off staff and retrieve planes that have been parked in deserts.

Barry Abrams, the executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, told Guardian Australia that airlines continued to be left in the dark about what the new rules and passenger limits would be, leaving them stuck “in a holding pattern”, unable to commence planning for resuming routes.

Passenger allowances are a key factor for airlines in determining the financial viability of their routes, and Abrams warned that carriers that had not flown to the country in more than a year had not yet begun allocating aircraft or staff to Australian routes, nor had they begun renegotiating contracts with ground handling crews and local supply businesses.

You can read the full report below:

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