The Guardian: Corona Virus Outbreak

Australia Covid live news update: NSW records 1,022 cases and 10 deaths as state allows ‘friends bubble’ for school holidays; Victoria records 603 cases and one death

48 minutes 10 seconds ago

Qld to ‘wait and see’ how NSW deals with Byron Bay case after no new local cases; NSW kids can socialise in bubbles of three; Victoria’s highest number of cases for this outbreak. Follow all the day’s news live

1.57am BST

We are just standing by now for the NSW press conference where health minister Brad Hazzard will announce the daily numbers.

NSW-Queensland border bubble is also under threat with the revelation a person with Covid-19 was infectious in several northern NSW communities for two days, reports AAP.

1.48am BST

Here is the new Western Australian campaign encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and get the jab:

There is only one way out of the pandemic - to get life back to what we know and love, and safeguard what we’re so lucky to have.

For your friends, your family, and your community - it's time to roll up.

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Matilda Boseley

New Zealand police arrest pair trying to enter Auckland with ‘large amount’ of KFC

1 hour 45 minutes ago

Two men tried to reach city – where Covid restrictions banned takeaways – with $100,000, three buckets of chicken and an undisclosed quantity of fries, police say

Two men have been arrested after police said they found them with a car boot-full of Kentucky fried chicken and over $100,000 in cash as they tried to cross the border into Auckland despite New Zealand’s strict Covid-19 lockdown.

The men were arrested after allegedly trying to flee from police near the Auckland border. When their car was searched, police said they found a large quantity of KFC, as well as the cash and a number of empty ounce bags.

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Tess McClure in Wellington

Frustration for New Zealand returnees as Covid quarantine waiting list hits 30,000

1 hour 49 minutes ago

Demand for MIQ spaces is vastly outstripping supply, with spots snapped up in just two hours

Overseas New Zealanders trying to return home are facing a queue tens of thousands of people long, as the country reopens bookings to cross the border.

The country’s borders have been strictly controlled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – only citizens, permanent residents and a handful of essential workers can enter, and all of them must make a booking to spend two weeks in government-controlled quarantine (MIQ).

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Tess McClure in Wellington

UK records 36,100 new cases – as it happened

2 hours 28 minutes ago

Thanks for following along – this blog is now closed. You can catch up with the latest coronavirus coverage here.

12.16am BST

Thanks for following along – this blog is now closed. You can catch up with the latest coronavirus coverage here.

11.09pm BST

Here are the key developments in today’s Covid news:

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Robyn Vinter (now); Harriet Grant, Sarah Marsh, Tom Ambrose and Helen Sullivan (earlier)

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out Christmas Covid disruption

2 hours 40 minutes ago

PM declines to guarantee there will be no restrictions but says he does not expect anything like last year

Boris Johnson has refused to guarantee that he will not have to disrupt Christmas gatherings for a second year running by imposing Covid restrictions, though he insisted it was “very much not the plan”.

Last year the prime minister repeatedly struck an upbeat note about Christmas before imposing stringent last-minute conditions preventing many people from seeing friends and family as the Alpha variant spread rapidly.

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Heather Stewart

Global markets fall sharply despite boost from US plan to relax Covid travel

7 hours 57 minutes ago

Concerns grow over rising inflation and possible contagion in China’s property market from debt-stricken developer Evergrande

Global financial markets have fallen sharply amid concern over rising inflation and the threat of contagion in China’s property sector from the debt-stricken developer Evergrande, despite a boost from the relaxation of US travel rules.

Markets around the world came under selling pressure, with the FTSE 100 in the UK slumping by 60 points, or 0.9%, to 6,903.

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Richard Partington and Graeme Wearden

More than 45,000 Australians stranded overseas registered for government help

8 hours 14 minutes ago

The tightening of arrival numbers and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan have seen the number balloon in recent months

The number of Australians stranded overseas who need government help to return home has surged to more than 45,000, after a further tightening of arrival caps and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

While the register of stranded Australians was initially set up by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for those requiring assistance because of Covid-related travel issues, registrations from Australians left behind in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan have increased significantly since the evacuation mission ended late last month.

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Elias Visontay

Australia’s lockdown rules ease for boarders but Indigenous students still face barriers

8 hours 14 minutes ago

The pandemic has only made worse the sense of isolation felt by boarding students from remote communities

Tallen Robinson’s 14th birthday fell the first weekend of the school holidays but he spent it away from his family in Wee Waa, in the north-west area of NSW, and away from his Indigenous community.

Robinson is one of 3,744 Indigenous students attending boarding schools in Australia, according to the Australian Boarding Schools Association’s 2021 census, many of whom have found the pandemic has created barriers of access to educational opportunities and to their families.

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Natasha May

Roadmaps out of lockdown: why NSW and Victoria are taking different paths to Covid normal

8 hours 15 minutes ago

Vaccination targets are key to easing restrictions, but both states have different targets and timelines. Here is what you need to know

The two jurisdictions grappling with the most severe Covid outbreaks, New South Wales and Victoria, have revealed their plans for reopening, providing those living with lockdown with some sense of what the future may hold.

Both states will ease some restrictions once 70% of the eligible population age 16 and above are fully vaccinated, with further easing at 80%. But when will those targets be reached, and how and why do the plans differ?

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Melissa Davey Medical editor

UK gas supply robust and talk of three-day week ‘alarmist and misguided’, says business secretary – as it happened

8 hours 41 minutes ago

This live blog is now closed. You can find our latest story here: No 10 dismisses ‘winter of discontent’ warnings amid energy crisis talks

6.03pm BST

Related: Covid live: UK records 36,100 new cases; Pfizer vaccine safe for children aged 5-11, company says

5.52pm BST

The Labour for a Green New Deal campaign has welcomed a decision from Labour’s conference arrangements committee that its green new deal motion can be debated at the party conference. Originally CAC blocked the motion on the grounds that it was too wide-ranging. The motion is strongly backed by the pro-Corbyn group Momentum and includes proposals like universal free broadband and the repeal of all anti trade union laws.

Labour for a Green New Deal co-founder Chris Saltmarsh said:

Conference next week will now be a chance for the whole party to come together and embrace a green new deal which is built on public ownership and mass investment, and spans right across our economy, from green technology to universal basic services such as transport and care.

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Andrew Sparrow

Inability to enforce face masks leaves London mayor frustrated

10 hours 18 minutes ago

Sadiq Khan calls for government measures to help ensure coverings are worn on public transport

London cannot stop “significant numbers” of people from travelling without masks, Sadiq Khan has admitted, as he appealed to the government to restore the law or assist the capital in passing a bylaw to ensure face-coverings are used.

The London mayor spoke of his “frustration” at the reduction in compliance on the tube and buses since national rules changed on 19 July. Mask-wearing to tackle Covid transmission remains a condition of carriage on Transport for London services, but is no longer mandatory nationwide.

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Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent

‘I’ve missed going to gigs’: UK under-30s on why they got double-jabbed

10 hours 36 minutes ago

Four people on what convinced them to have a second Covid jab – and why there may have been a slow uptake among peers

A hesitant uptake of second Covid vaccine doses among people under 30 in parts of the UK has given the government concern for months.

As of 18 September, data shows that the proportion of fully vaccinated under-30s is 54.6% in England and 55.3% in Scotland (the government dashboard doesn’t provide detailed age breakdowns for Wales and Northern Ireland) based on ONS population figures as opposed to counts by GP records, which are a more volatile denominator.

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Jedidajah Otte, Pamela Duncan and Alfie Packham

‘There was a lot of loss and fear’: how Oldham fought back against Covid

11 hours 13 minutes ago

Voluntary sector that stepped up during the pandemic now struggling due to lack of funding

“We have literally fed all sections of the community,” Fr Tom Davis, the chair of the trustees of Oldham Foodbank, says of the charity’s work in the town in Greater Manchester during the pandemic. “People struggling with kids being at home during lockdown and needing more meals, people on furlough who got into huge debt, homeless people who were put into hostels, and a couple who were living in a car.”

Oldham, which has five neighbourhoods that are among the 1% most deprived in England, is one of the places worst hit by Covid-19. Last summer, the town had the highest coronavirus infection rate in the country, and, after another sharp rise this summer, it has the fifth highest total number of confirmed cases.

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David Batty

US horse owners face ivermectin shortage as humans chase unproven Covid ‘cure’

11 hours 26 minutes ago

Anti-parasitic drug has been baselessly touted as a coronavirus treatment, leading some livestock suppliers to run out

Some US horse owners are finding ivermectin hard to come by, due to the anti-parasitic’s popularity as an unproven and potentially dangerous treatment for Covid-19 in humans.

Related: Alabama population on course to shrink for first time ever as Covid takes toll

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Oliver Milman

Alabama population on course to shrink for first time ever as Covid takes toll

13 hours ago

State’s chief medical officer says ‘Our state literally shrunk in 2020’ as deaths exceeded births

Alabama is shrinking under the onslaught of Covid-19, its chief medical officer said, as deaths in the state outnumber births for the very first time.

Related: Mississippi governor claims vaccine mandate is ‘attack on hardworking Americans’

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Martin Pengelly in New York

US children aged 5 to 11 on track to receive Pfizer vaccine by Halloween

13 hours 34 minutes ago

Company chairman announces first results from ‘pivotal trial’ showing effectiveness against Covid at reduced dose

In news sure to be greeted by parents across the US, Pfizer and BioNTech said on Monday children aged five to 11 are on track to receive the two companies’ Covid-19 vaccination by Halloween.

Related: Covid vaccinations among US Latinos are rising thanks to community outreach

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Martin Pengelly in New York

Shares in China’s Evergrande plunge again as fears of contagion grow

15 hours 31 minutes ago

Hong Kong stock fell up to 19% amid default fears that are beginning to have a knock-on effect on other markets

Shares in the embattled Chinese property company Evergrande have plunged again as investors weigh up whether the group’s massive debt problems could trigger a broader sell off across all financial markets.

Related: ‘China’s Lehman Brothers moment’: Evergrande crisis rattles economy

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Martin Farrer

NSW records 935 cases and four deaths; protests over mandatory construction jabs in Melbourne – as it happened

15 hours 58 minutes ago

Labor will refer Christian Porter to privileges committee; Victoria records 567 cases and one death. This blog is now closed

10.41am BST

Righto then, once more with feeling. We are actually closing this news odyssey now. My usual thanks and best wishes. Be well, all of you.

10.37am BST

OK – the shutdown to Victorian construction has not yet been confirmed. But this is what we can tell you now:

The Victorian government is holding crisis talks with the construction industry and unions after a protest against mandatory vaccines for workers in the sector became violent.

Related: Victoria holds construction crisis talks after protest against mandatory Covid vaccination turns violent

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Ben Doherty and Matilda Boseley

Daniel Andrews warns Victorians not to wait for Pfizer after uncertainty around arrival of 9m doses

16 hours 1 minute ago

Premier says head of national vaccine taskforce has told states there is a ‘problem’ with supplies due next month

The Victorian government has warned people not to wait for the Pfizer vaccine, with the commonwealth advising state and territory leaders it is still unsure when more than 9m doses due in October will arrive.

On Monday, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said the head of the national vaccine taskforce, Lt Gen John Frewen, had advised states of a “problem” with Pfizer supplies in October, urging people to book in for AstraZeneca rather than wait.

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Sarah Martin Chief political correspondent


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26 minutes 52 seconds ago