Australia news LIVE: COVID-19 cases continue to grow across nation; four states and territories in lockdown

Australia news LIVE: COVID-19 cases continue to grow across nation; four states and territories in lockdown

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Key posts

  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
  • Retailer, gyms among Sydney’s latest exposure sites
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This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company. It’s Thursday, July 1. I’m Broede Carmody.

Here’s everything you need to know before we jump into today’s rolling coverage.

  • A NSW MP has been forced back into isolation after state health authorities admitted to mistakenly telling him he no longer needed to quarantine. NSW recorded 22 cases of COVID-19 yesterday, meaning the current outbreak is now larger than the previous Northern Beaches outbreak.
  • The nation’s peak medical group has slammed politicians for fuelling confusion over the vaccine rollout as the AstraZeneca debate continues to sour and tensions rise between state and federal leaders. Yesterday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she does not want Queenslanders under 40 to get the AstraZeneca vaccine despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison opening it up to them.
  • In Victoria, every AFL team team is calling Melbourne home due to COVID-19 outbreaks elsewhere in the country.
  • Millions of people in south-east Queensland and the Perth and Peel regions of Western Australia are waking up to day three of lockdown. All eyes are on the state premiers to see if those stay-at-home orders will be extended.
  • In the Northern Territory, Alice Springs is waking up to its first day of a snap lockdown after an infectious mine worker spent seven hours at the local airport. Most of the worker’s family, based in Adelaide, have also tested positive but so far the South Australian capital hasn’t gone into lockdown.
  • And in overseas news, American comedian Bill Cosby has walked free from prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction on a legal technicality.

Retailer, gyms among Sydney’s latest exposure sites

More than 30 new COVID-19 exposure sites were identified in New South Wales overnight.

Anyone who was at H&M on King Street in the Sydney CBD on Monday, June 21 between 10.45am and 11.45am must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.

The same applies for two gyms:

  • The Fitness First in Maroubra for Thursday, June 24 between 8.40am and 9.10am;
  • And Crunch Fitness in Bankstown for Thursday, June 24 between 8pm and 9.45pm.

A number of popular Sydney bus routes are also affected, including the 353 Bus from South Coogee to Westfield Eastgardens on Thursday, June 24 between 3.01pm and 3.10pm and the 400 Bus from Westfield Eastgardens to Maroubra on the same day from 3.28pm to 3.36pm.

It comes as NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance urges essential workers to avoid the city’s bus and train network during lockdown if they can due to the virulence of the Delta coronavirus variant.

Positive cases have been identified on bus, train and light rail services in the last week.

Thousands enter Australia for ‘holidays and business’ as wait drags for stranded locals

More than 10,000 travellers entered Australia to visit friends, go on holiday or for business trips in April, putting pressure on the country’s hotel quarantine system while 34,000 citizens remain stranded overseas wanting to come home.

As hostilities between the states and the federal government over pandemic border closures escalated on Wednesday, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age obtained arrivals data from the Department of Home Affairs, revealing thousands of people are entering the country each month for non-essential purposes.

More than 10,000 travellers entered Australia to visit friends, go on holiday or for business trips in April.Credit:Getty Images

The data does not include travellers entering under the travel bubble with New Zealand.

Read the full story here.

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