We are talking a lot about Covid-19 vaccines ahead of Australia moving ahead with its vaccination program next month, so I think it is worth reflecting on the global perspective (outside of those Norway deaths, which we have heard a lot about this week):
The ACT is removing travel restrictions on people from Sydney’s northern beaches from 3pm today. It says 75 people in quarantine will be released.
There are 10 other local government areas still on the restrictions list, mostly in the inner west related to the Berala cluster. It is unlikely there will be changes to these this week, but an update will be released on Friday ahead of the Australia Day long weekend.
NSW health again urged people to get tested, but the numbers recorded yesterday were better than those for Sunday (10,621 tests compared with the 8,773).
Updated at 7.11pm EST
No new community transmission cases of Covid-19 in New South Wales
NSW Health have confirmed there were no new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
There were two cases recorded in returned travellers.
Updated at 7.11pm EST
Just back on Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and the Australian Open: he made mention that some of the positive tests recorded earlier this week have been reclassified as “shedding” of the virus.
This could mean that if the flights those people were on are now declared safe, some players could be released from isolation, allowing them to train outside and have contact with a coach/trainer. We’re expecting more detail on these reclassified cases later.
Scott Morrison has begun his tour of Queensland today, and will visit Bunginderry station in Quilpie.
From Longreach, Morrison spoke to outgoing US vice-president Mike Pence – they thanked each other for Australia and the US’s partnership particularly in the Indo-Pacific, and agreed there was no more important time for a strong alliance.
Guardian Australia understands Morrison has not spoken to Donald Trump since before the election and has no plans to.
Updated at 7.12pm EST
We are also back on tennis, unsurprisingly. It is a rally, if you will, between reporters asking about the criticisms of players and Andrews standing at the net just firmly knocking them back (in much the same way as yesterday, and the day before that): they knew what the rules were, the public health team set the rules, most players are happy with it, etc.
Andrews says that some of the positive cases recorded in the past few days in hotel quarantine have been reclassified as “shedding”, rather than positive cases. He said more details would be released by the health department.
Andrews says that of the 10 local government areas in NSW which remain red zones, the restrictions will change at different times, depending on the public health advice.
He said it was also hoped that the parts of NSW and Queensland that remain orange zones could be changed to green in coming weeks.
Three of four Covid-19 cases found in Victorian hotel quarantine linked to the Australian Open
Premier Daniel Andrews confirms that three of four Covid-19 cases found in hotel quarantine in the past 24 hours were linked to the Australian Open.
It now means that seven of eight cases recorded in the past two days are linked to the tournament.
On Monday, all four cases recorded in quarantine were linked to the grand slam, including a player.
There were no new community transmitted cases in the past 24 hours, the 13th day of zero cases in a row.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has also been speaking in Melbourne. He announced that a walkway to the MCG will be renamed Daniher’s Way in honour of Neale Daniher, who has motor neurone disease and has raised millions of dollars to research the condition and support those who contract it.
Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, says that mask restrictions will ease from Friday, and they will no longer be mandatory other than in airports and on flights.
Part of the reason for this is that Young is comfortable people will wear masks again at short notice if the situation changes.
Young says she would like people to wear masks at shopping centres or on public transport if they can’t socially distance, but it won’t be mandatory.
I would like to see people wearing masks a bit more when they can’t socially distance.
It’s not going to be mandatory, and the reason for that is that I think the response to asking people to wear masks was absolutely fantastic.
So I’m not worried in the future that if I were to come out and ask people to wear masks, that people would do it. So therefore, I don’t think that we need an ongoing requirement.
Updated at 6.26pm EST
There were 42 people turned around at the border in the past 24 hours by Queensland police who were attempting to enter the state from declared hot spots
No new community cases in Queensland, restrictions expected to be lifted on Friday
There have been no new cases of community acquired Covid-19 in Queensland, but three more detected in hotel quarantine.
Two of the cases relate to international flight crew.
Restrictions are set to be lifted on Friday morning, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.
Updated at 6.19pm EST