Daniel Andrews plan to essentially keep unvaccinated Victorians in lockdown into 2022 could do more harm than good, an expert has warned.
Welcome to Wednesday’s live coverage of Australia’s Covid-19 situation.
NSW recorded 282 Covid cases and one death on Tuesday.
It comes as the epicentre of NSW’s outbreak shifts away from Sydney, with the Hunter New England region seeing a rise in cases.
Victoria recorded 1510 cases and four deaths yesterday.
Queensland recorded two new locally acquired cases, with one case in particular, an unvaccinated teen, sparking concern for authorities.
Follow below for today’s top updates. Keep refreshing the page for the latest news.
You can find yesterday’s blog here.
Big issue with plan to lockout unvaxxed
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has repeatedly said residents who choose not to be vaccinated will be banned from non-essential activities “well into 2022”.
The plan to keep unvaccinated Victorians essentially in lockdown will remain even after the state passes the 90 per cent double vaccination goal.
“Whether it’s a bookshop, a shoe shop, a pub, cafe, a restaurant, the MCG, the list goes on and on. You will not be able to participate like a fully vaccinated person because you’re not a fully vaccinated person,” Mr Andrews said.
However, one expert has warned these strict rules could actually do more harm than good.
Former deputy chief medical officer, Professor Nick Coatsworth, said barring unvaccinated people from freedoms into next year could actually cement their beliefs around vaccines.
“To suggest that for an entire year when your vaccination rates are likely to be above 90 per cent that there are things you would exclude people from participating in for that period of time is likely to rust people on to their opposition to vaccines,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“If you wanted to encourage people to believe that the government was against you if you didn’t get the vaccine, this is exactly how you would be have.”
Professor Coatsworth told the publication there was a balance that needed to be struck when using vaccine passports.
Under NSW’s roadmap, unvaccinated residents will be allowed to enjoy the same freedoms as vaccinated people from December 1, when the state is expected to have passed its 90 per cent double dose vaccination goal.
SA unveils reopening plan
Premier Steven Marshall has unveiled South Australia’s long-awaited reopening plan, with hopes the state can enjoy “as normal a Christmas as possible”.
“From November 23, we will be removing our border restrictions for those people who are double vaccinated to come into South Australia,” Mr Marshall told reporters.
“From November 23, we will be reducing the time that international arrivals need to be in quarantine from 14 days down to seven, and on November 23 we will also be increasing the cap for home gatherings from 20 to 30, but other arrangements will need to stay in place for the foreseeable future.”
Once the state reaches 90 per cent of South Australians aged 12 and over fully vaccinated, authorities will remove the quarantine arrangement for overseas arrivals and “the vast majority of the other restrictions in South Australia”.
Mr Marshall said he was hopeful that milestone could be achieved by Christmas.
“So, the race is on in South Australia. We need as many people to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, so we can enjoy as normal a Christmas as possible during this pandemic,” he added.
“Again, I want to thank all South Australians for their extraordinary efforts over the last 19 months, we are the envy of the world but as we know we cannot keep the Delta variant out forever.”
‘Covid is coming’: Qld on high alert
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has offered another dark warning for residents after two new locally acquired Covid cases were detected in the state.
The most concerning case is a 17-year-old unvaccinated boy who was a close contact of a person who travelled to Queensland from NSW.
“Today’s cases show Queensland is not immune to the pandemic. We have contained dozens of outbreaks but as NSW, Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand have discovered it takes one case to cause a massive health crisis,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.
“Because of the time it takes between doses, Queenslanders have just five days to get their first dose so that they can be fully vaccinated in time for Christmas when families can once again be reunited with loved ones.
“I want 70 per cent fully vaccinated by November 19. On November 19 Anyone from an interstate hotspot will be able to travel into Queensland provided they arrive by air, fully vaccinated and produce a negative taste, those people will be required to complete 14 days home quarantine.
“Make no mistake Covid is coming.”