With two mystery Covid cases detected in just a few hours, there are fears Queensland could be dealing with a new virus cluster.
Welcome to Tuesday’s live coverage of Australia’s Covid-19 situation.
Queensland has been rocked by the emergence of two new mystery cases, with the concerning development coming after the state confirmed no new cases on Monday.
NSW recorded 787 cases and 12 deaths on Monday, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian unveiling her plan for what life looks like at 80 per cent vaccination goal and beyond.
Victoria recorded 705 Covid cases and one death on Monday.
Follow below for today’s top updates. Keep refreshing the page for the latest developments.
Qld rocked by mystery cases
Queensland health authorities are scrambling to find the source of two new Covid-19 cases, which emerged just hours apart.
Adalong Guesthouse in South Brisbane is under police guard and more than a dozen people have been forced into isolation following the latest Covid case, according to The Courier Mail.
The publication reports the second case is not believed to be linked to the case detected in an aviation worker – a man in his 30s – which was revealed late on Monday night.
Queensland Health are expected to confirm three new cases today, the aviation worker, his wife and the second mystery case.
The source of the man’s infection is still unknown and he has not travelled interstate or overseas recently.
A public health alert was issued for several locations in Eatons Hill, Aspley and Albany Creek in Brisbane’s north and Rocklea in the city’s south after he travelled around the city while unknowingly infectious.
The last reported case of community transmission in Brisbane was announced weeks ago and was linked to the Sunnybank cluster.
These are the first mystery cases Queensland has recorded in 50 days.
The new cases come as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would keep the borders closed with NSW and Victoria until most of their restrictions had been lifted.
She said lifting the border rules even when 80 per cent of the adult population was fully vaccinated would be a “backwards” step for Queensland.
“Why would we reopen to states that still plan on having pretty strict restrictions even once they reach 80 per cent?” senior government officials told The Australian.
“Obviously their chief health officers do not think it is safe for a lot of people to gather even at that higher vaccination rate.”
Stay at home orders extended for NSW region
The Cowra region in the NSW central west has had stay-at-home orders extended “due to the risk of ongoing Covid-19 transmission”, the NSW Government says.
“The stay-at-home orders introduced on 20 September will be extended for seven days until 12:01am on 5 October, 2021,” the government said in a statement.
“The stay-at-home orders for Yass Valley LGA will be lifted, as scheduled, at midnight tonight.
“To determine the extent of the risk and detect any other potential COVID-19 cases in the Cowra area, we are calling on the community to come forward for testing in large numbers.”
Breakdown of yesterday’s new freedom announcement
Yesterday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed the extra freedoms vaccinated NSW residents will experience when the state hits its 80 per cent vaccination goal.
Ms Berejiklian confirmed the state is set to hit its 70 per cent vaccination goal on October 11, with the 80 per cent target due to be reached about two weeks after that.
The following changes will kick in for fully vaccinated residents from the Monday after the 80 per cent milestone is reached:
• Residents will be able to travel anywhere freely in NSW
• People will be able to stand up and drink at the pub
• Up to 10 visitors will be allowed to a home, not including children 12 and under
• Up to 20 people can gather outdoors
• Up to 200 people can attend Covid Safe events and 500 can attended ticketed and seated events
• Community sport will resume
• All venues and businesses will operate at the one person per four square metre rule indoors and two square metre rule indoors
• There will be no limit on guests at weddings and funerals for fully vaccinated people
• Customer caps for personal services such as hairdressers will be removed
Ms Berejiklian said a third stage of reopening would occur on December 1, which is when unvaccinated residents will be allowed to join in on the extra freedoms.
The following changes will also kick in on December 1:
• Venues will move to the two square metre rule
• Masks will not be required outdoors or indoors at offices
• Indoor pools and nightclubs can reopen
• There will be no limit on the number of visitors to a home or gather outdoors
• A Covid Safe plan will be required for events with more than 1000 people