Australia COVID LIVE updates: NSW reopening measures announced as states ramp up public vaccination push

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Key posts

  • Plan to force university staff to reveal foreign political history
  • NSW vaccination deadline for authorised workers pushed back but testing alternative removed
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company. It’s Saturday, August 28. I’m Angus Thompson and I’ll be kicking off our live coverage for the first half of the day on the blog. Here’s everything you need to know before we get rolling.

  • Unvaccinated people will not be able to enter restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues once NSW begins opening up after reaching a 70 per cent vaccination rate, under a proposal being considered by the state government. Consultation with industry groups is under way to discuss the option to require all hospitality staff and patrons to prove they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine when NSW reopens.
  • Victoria is in talks with the Morrison government to boost vaccine supply to inoculate up to 120,000 more Victorians a week as the state negotiates to pay GPs to give more doses on weekends and catch up with NSW, which is a month ahead in the race to 70 per cent.
  • As of yesterday, NSW reported 882 locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, Victoria reported 63 and the ACT reported 15.
  • The private developer behind Queensland’s go-it-alone regional quarantine hub has revealed the facility is expected to cost less than a third of its national peers, as the Commonwealth announced global construction firm Multiplex would deliver its preferred site in Brisbane. But without federal approval for international passenger flights to land, the state has conceded it would need to bus travellers the two-hours there.
  • Afghans with Australian visas are being told to stay away from Kabul airport after Australian soldiers were just hours from being caught up in a terror attack that killed 13 American soldiers and some 60 Afghan civilians. More than 1000 Afghans with humanitarian visas are stuck in Kabul after RAAF aircraft carried out the remaining Australian soldiers and officials just hours before the deadly attack by IS’s local affiliate Islamic State-Khorasan.

Plan to force university staff to reveal foreign political history

A confidential plan to force tens of thousands of university staff to reveal a decade of foreign political and financial interests has met with such fierce backlash that the federal government is now reviewing the proposal.

New draft foreign interference guidelines for universities are proposing to demand academics disclose their membership of overseas political parties and any financial support they have received from foreign entities for their research over the past 10 years.

Universities are pushing back against demands to force staff to reveal a decade’s worth of foreign political links.Credit:Steven Siewert

Multiple university sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said there was widespread concern about the requirements, with one university executive describing it as “a sledgehammer, blanket approach” to the issue.

The proposed guidelines, which have been drafted by the University Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT), represent a major ramping up of scrutiny of academics’ backgrounds in response to concerns within the federal government about research theft by the Chinese Communist Party and other foreign actors.

Read the full story here

NSW vaccination deadline for authorised workers pushed back but testing alternative removed

Frontline workers in Sydney’s COVID-19 hotspots will no longer have the option to undergo rapid antigen testing instead of getting vaccinated after the NSW government made a late change to rules that were due to come into effect on Monday.

But the fast approaching deadline for authorised workers in the 12 local government areas (LGA) of concern to get the jab has been pushed back from August 30 to September 6 after unions and peak bodies pleaded with the government to ease the timeframe.

A police officer check’s a driver’s identification at a roadblock in Sydney.Credit:Brook Mitchell

It was also announced that care workers aged 16 years and over who live in one of the hotspot LGAs must also have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend work, including those who work in early education or who provide disability support services.

The late-night change in rules came after pressure from industry and unions who said some workers had struggled to book in for their jabs within the timeframe.

Read the full story here

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company. It’s Saturday, August 28. I’m Angus Thompson and I’ll be kicking off our live coverage for the first half of the day on the blog. Here’s everything you need to know before we get rolling.

  • Unvaccinated people will not be able to enter restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues once NSW begins opening up after reaching a 70 per cent vaccination rate, under a proposal being considered by the state government. Consultation with industry groups is under way to discuss the option to require all hospitality staff and patrons to prove they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine when NSW reopens.
  • Victoria is in talks with the Morrison government to boost vaccine supply to inoculate up to 120,000 more Victorians a week as the state negotiates to pay GPs to give more doses on weekends and catch up with NSW, which is a month ahead in the race to 70 per cent.
  • As of yesterday, NSW reported 882 locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, Victoria reported 63 and the ACT reported 15.
  • The private developer behind Queensland’s go-it-alone regional quarantine hub has revealed the facility is expected to cost less than a third of its national peers, as the Commonwealth announced global construction firm Multiplex would deliver its preferred site in Brisbane. But without federal approval for international passenger flights to land, the state has conceded it would need to bus travellers the two-hours there.
  • Afghans with Australian visas are being told to stay away from Kabul airport after Australian soldiers were just hours from being caught up in a terror attack that killed 13 American soldiers and some 60 Afghan civilians. More than 1000 Afghans with humanitarian visas are stuck in Kabul after RAAF aircraft carried out the remaining Australian soldiers and officials just hours before the deadly attack by IS’s local affiliate Islamic State-Khorasan.
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