South Australia reimposes Covid restrictions in response to fresh outbreak – live news


Powered by article titled “SA reimposes restrictions in response to fresh outbreak – as it happened” was written by Mostafa Rachwani (now) and Matilda Boseley (earlier), for on Monday 16th November 2020 07.38 UTC

7.26am GMT

It has been a long Monday. Here are the day’s main events:

  • South Australia has imposed a raft of new restrictions as the cluster in Parafield grew to 17. The premier, Steven Marshall, announced caps for funerals, weddings, entertainment and hospitality venues, as the state steps up its efforts to combat the outbreak.
  • Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory have closed their borders to South Australians, with people on some flights being asked to either return or enter quarantine. New South Wales and Victoria won’t close their borders, although the latter has categorised SA as a hotspot.
  • The federal government has reached a settlement in the robodebt class action lawsuit, agreeing to pay an extra 2m. That is on top of previous agreements, bringing the repayments to .2bn all together.
  • No new cases have been reported in Victoria and NSW.
  • Australia signed on to a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal, with hopes the new agreement will ease diplomatic tensions between Australia and China.
  • Melbourne will host the southern hemisphere’s largest influenza vaccine manufacturing centre, after an 0m investment from CSL subsidiary Seqirus. The centre will be supported by a bn 12-year supply agreement with the government, and is expected to be operational by 2026.
  • The prime minister, Scott Morrison, also announced more funding for mental health services today, after the Productivity Commission released its report into the effects of mental health on the economy, concluding the issue is costing the Australian economy 0bn a year.

Updated at 7.38am GMT

7.06am GMT

Book retailer Dymocks has also spoken out about Pete Evans, saying it will remove his books from its website.

Updated at 7.21am GMT

6.51am GMT

Tennis Australia has decided to shift all of its major summer events to Victoria.

At least five events, usually held in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart will be shifted to Victoria, in an attempt to copy the AFL’s hub model.

Fans celebrate a point at Melbourne ParkPhoto: REUTERS/Edgar Su
Fans celebrate a point at Melbourne Park
Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su
Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Australian Open organisers are hoping to ensure the strongest possible field for the first major of the year, and to avoid the fate of the 2020 US Open, which faced a diminished field in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The unprecedented measure will see up to 550 players and their entourages flying into Melbourne from mid-December, where they will be allowed to play and train but be restricted to hotels or the tennis court until they have completed two weeks of quarantine.

6.31am GMT

Pan Macmillian ‘finalising’ contract with Pete Evans over cartoon

Pan Macmillian has said it is “finalising” its contractual agreement with Pete Evans after he shared on social media a cartoon that included imagery associated with neo-nazi groups.

The publisher said Evans’s views were not reflective of the company or the staff, and has asked retailers to contact the company if they want to return his books.

The cartoon Evans shared included the “Black Sun” symbol, which has largely been appropriated by the far right.

Updated at 6.40am GMT

6.27am GMT

The ministerial media adviser who went public about her workplace treatment and intimate relationship with Alan Tudge has said she fears losing her new job after speaking out.

Miller spoke about her experience to the ABC’s Four Corners program, alleging she was humiliated and belittled over her work, and later “blacklisted” from further jobs.

Miller has made an official complaint through the only avenue open to ministerial staff – the Department of Finance – which can’t take action against a parliamentarian, even if complaints are upheld.

Updated at 6.30am GMT

6.14am GMT

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has conceded there’s little chance of an operational trans-Tasman travel bubble opening by Christmas.

The current travel arrangement allows New Zealanders to arrive in Australia, but does not allow Australians to go the other way without mandatory quarantine.

The two countries are pursuing slightly different strategies in tackling the virus, leading to an impasse over border reopening.

Ardern said:

What’s happening in South Australia only further reinforces the importance of having a good understanding of how Australia intends to manage their internal borders when there are outbreak.

If they have an outbreak but they are instituting strong border controls, then it’s manageable.

But if they have a tolerance level for community transmission that’s higher than ours, then it is problematic.

What this underscores is why it’s so important that New Zealand has not rushed into this.

Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern: cautious over Covid border restrictions. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Updated at 6.25am GMT

5.43am GMT

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has said earlier today that a secret m land deal in Sydney should be “fully investigated”.

The premier said the purchase of a highly contaminated parcel of land near Parramatta for three times as much as it was worth should be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

She said that the matter needed to be investigated in the “fullest way”.

“I am extremely concerned by what I’ve read. I have seen what’s on the public record and I’m extremely concerned by it and I think it warrants appropriate investigation,” she said.

Billbergia, a property company, bought the piece of land in 2015 for m, but sold it just seven months later for .5 million, well above the .5m valuation provided by the valuer general at the time.

The premier also said her government was monitoring the situation in South Australia, but that borders will remain open for now.

“You can’t shut down borders and disrupt lives every time there is an outbreak and disrupt businesses,” Berejiklian said.

“We need to have confidence, not just in our own system, but the system in other states to be able to get on top of the virus.”

Updated at 5.49am GMT

5.29am GMT

Spurrier has clarified that there are 18 new cases in total, but 17 in the cluster and five from international travel.

Fifteen from the 17 are from one family, the other two being connected to the family. Three children have tested negative but are being treated as positive cases.

Updated at 5.31am GMT

5.17am GMT

Spurrier has continued her update, saying that the state is indeed facing a second wave, and has encouraged people to continue to get tested, regardless of the long lines.

“What I think you’re seeing is absolutely the commitment of South Australians to get on and get on top of this. We have seen a reduction in numbers in our testing over the last several weeks to months, but we do know there are many people in our community who have got respiratory symptoms and haven’t perhaps got tested during that time.”

She also said the government has moved to testing workers at the medi-hotels after a worker tested positive but was asymptomatic.

Updated at 5.26am GMT

5.08am GMT

South Australia’s chief public health officer, Nicola Spurrier, is giving details on the outbreak in Adelaide, saying no new cases have been added to the cluster in Parafield Gardens since their last update.

She said there are currently 34 active cases in the state, with 13 of them linked to the Parafield cluster.

“Importantly, all the positive cases with this cluster are in our medi-hotels and this family, as people may be aware, it’s a large family that make up the majority of this cluster, have been extremely helpful and have really supported our efforts working through this.”

Three schools have been closed – Mawson Lakes primary school, Thomas Moore College and Holy Family – after three children tested positive.

Updated at 5.14am GMT

5.03am GMT

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, says his government has been focused on “making this right” after it agreed to a .2bn settlement over the robodebt scandal.

Gordon Legal, which brought a class action on behalf of hundreds of thousands of victims, announced on Monday a .2bn settlement on the day a federal court trial was set to begin.

The settlement includes 2m in additional compensation on top of refunds and other debts being wiped under an announcement made by the government in May.

Asked on Monday if he would apologise for the scheme, Morrison declined to do so again, but referred reporters to comments he made in parliament earlier in the year in which he apologised for any “hurt or harm” caused.

“I made remarks on that in the parliament earlier this year. I can only refer you back to those where I did just that.”

Morrison noted that the government had already paid back more than 0m of the 1m it promised to repay in May.

“Remember these payments have been made at the same time that working through government services and our agencies we’ve had to enlist some 1.6 million Australians on to jobseeker … but for us to still follow through on the commitments we made here to make them right, we have done exactly that and the settlement announced today is a further demonstration of that.”

Morrison rejected suggestions the government services minister, Stuart Robert, should lose his job over the scandal. Robert was not involved in the creation of the program, which was established in 2015, but has been in charge during an initial legal challenge in 2019.

“I would say that the minister has been the one working together with the attorney general [Christian Porter], having identified the issue of … making it right,” Morrison said.

“This is the same minister who ensured that 1.6 million Australians have been able to access vital income support, particularly here in Melbourne at a time of great crisis, and so to be able to deal with both of these challenges at the same time suggests to me that he’s been getting very much on top this issue and has been a key part of making it right.”

Updated at 5.30am GMT

5.01am GMT

SA reimposes Covid restrictions in response to outbreak

The SA premier, Steven Marshall, is speaking now, giving an update on the outbreak in Adelaide:

  • As of 2pm, there are still 17 active cases in the state, with two of them currently in hospital.
  • International flights have been suspended for the remainder of the week. The government is prioritising the hotel quarantine program.
  • The Australian Defence Force will be aiding the SA government as it tries to deal with the outbreak.
  • Although there are no confirmed cases in any aged care facility, the government has a prepared plan for any potential infection.
  • The government is advising people to work from home where possible, vulnerable people to stay at home, against unnecessary travel and for people to wear masks where possible.
  • As of midnight tonight, people in SA are prohibited from going to gyms, recreational facilities, and trampoline and play cafes.
  • Community sports fixtures and training, both indoor and outdoor, are cancelled. Outdoor fitness activities can continue though.
  • Funerals are capped at 50 people, with one person per four square metres.
  • Churches are capped at 100.
  • At weddings, all guests must be registered, but there are no changes.
  • Private gatherings at venues are capped at 50.
  • Pubs, clubs and restaurants are capped at 100 people per venue, and a max booking of 10 people.
  • Private residence gatherings are capped at 10 residents.
  • Masks are mandatory for personal care services service providers, and encouraged for clients.
  • Entertainment venues, like cinemas and theatres, are restricted to one person per four square metres.
  • In aged care facilities, masks are mandatory where physical distancing can’t be maintained.
  • Schools will all remain open.
  • These directions will be in place for two weeks.

Updated at 5.19am GMT

4.49am GMT

We are waiting on a major update from the South Australian premier, Steven Marshall, but my goodness it is hot in Sydney right now. My phone is telling me it is 38C out here in the west, which is crazy even for a November day.

Updated at 4.51am GMT

4.44am GMT

The New South Wales RFS has alerted harvesting operations in Walgett, Warren, Coonamble and Bogan to pause and to check local weather conditions as the heat and wind combine for dangerous conditions.

The RFS is encouraging landholders to check their firefighting equipment as hot and windy weather continue.

Updated at 4.45am GMT

4.34am GMT

The PM has maintained that he hopes borders will reopen by Christmas, but conceded that states and territories are entitled to close their borders.

He said much improved testing and tracing will be employed in South Australia in the coming days, with hopes the state will be on top of their outbreak soon.

“We are supporting South Australia in every way that we can and they are aware of that, but I have got to say they have got a lot of people who have moved in isolation. They are running down the contacts. We have stood up the aged care response centre in South Australia.

“And as soon as South Australia is able to get on top of this I would expect that states would keep on the path that we have set towards Christmas.”

Updated at 4.39am GMT

4.30am GMT

The terms of the settlement on robodebt announced today include the announcement the government will pay an additional 2m after having previously agreed to repay 1.1m and 8.3m worth of unpaid debt.

The settlement terms also outline tha the government will drop claims for around 8m in debts that it had “invalidly asserted”.

Updated at 4.32am GMT

4.15am GMT

Victoria’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, has urged Victorians to continue getting tested as the state reopens.

Over the past 14 days, nearly 200,000 tests have been received, but Sutton has said that Victorians need to remain vigilant and maintain these testing numbers.

“All Victorians, regardless of where they live, are encouraged to come forward for testing even if they have the mildest of symptoms, while also practising physical distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing a mask,” he said.

The state has recorded no new cases or deaths from the virus again on Monday, the 17th straight day of double doughnuts.

Updated at 4.18am GMT

4.10am GMT

The ASX equity market has closed for the rest of the day after a technical outage.

The ASX said the underlying issue has been identified, and that it is attempting to deal with it, saying trading should be able to resume from tomorrow morning.

Updated at 4.14am GMT

4.06am GMT

There’ll be much analysis in the coming days, however some early reactions to the Productivity Commission’s report into mental health services have pointed to some interesting observations:

Updated at 4.09am GMT

3.53am GMT

In the meantime, New South Wales is sweltering under its hottest day in months. Bit upsetting that it comes on a Monday, but what can we do.

The Bureau of Meteorology says numerous areas in NSW and the ACT are experiencing unusually significant increases in temperature, with Sydney hitting around 36C and western suburbs going up to 40C.

BoM said peak temperatures aren’t expected until later in the day, around 5pm. A southerly cool change is not expected until late tonight, with conditions expected to ease tomorrow.

It comes as the bureau announced Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.44C since 1910.

Updated at 3.56am GMT

3.39am GMT

New South Wales authorities are contacting people who have recently arrived from South Australia after a cluster emerged in Adelaide.

Contact tracers have kicked into gear, with passengers on recent flights to Sydney and Broken Hill being contacted by NSW Health.

NSW Health is also screening everyone arriving on flights or trains from SA, with passengers being asked if they’ve visited any venue of concern.

Updated at 3.40am GMT

3.26am GMT

Anglicare South Australia has announced that two employees from its Brompton aged care home have tested positive to Covid. The facility has closed, all staff and residents are now being tested and the site is receiving a full clean.

Updated at 3.28am GMT

3.15am GMT

A quick map of border closures for SA.

3.14am GMT

I just want to note the incredible timing that as the news broke that the government will be repaying a .2bn settlement for robodebt, the PM was announcing funding for mental health services.

Updated at 3.15am GMT

3.11am GMT

The former opposition leader Bill Shorten is facing the media in Melbourne as well, saying Labor will push for a robotdebt royal commission.

“Even a crocodile wouldn’t swallow the government’s defence today.”

“In Australia, you shouldn’t have to go, in the biggest class action in Australian history, to get this government to adhere to the law,” he says.

“And furthermore, whatever happened to the notion of ministerial accountability? The Morrison government needs to tell us which minister authorised the program, when did they know it was illegal, and why does it take a class action, and a lot of brave people, to force the Morrison government to repay an eye-watering .2bn in illegal debts it raised against Australians.

“Of course I think the government should apologise.”

Updated at 3.18am GMT

3.03am GMT

The Northern Territory government has some updates on its border closure, including declaring all of South Australia a coronavirus hotspot.

Anyone travelling from South Australia to the NT will now need to undergo 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine.

“The outbreak in South Australia has grown quickly and the decisions made in the coming days to contain it will be critical. This is why I have made the decision to go hard and wide and declare all of South Australia as a hotspot,” Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie said.

Thos who arrived from South Australia today will have the choice of eithe returning home or entering mandatory quarantine in either Alice Springs or Howard Springs.

Anyone who has arrived in NT from SA in the past fortnight will need to contact with COVID-19 hotline, submit to a test, as well as remain vigilant on hygiene and any emerging symptoms.

Heggie also said that Greater Melbourne will no longer be considered a hotspot from 30 November.

Victoria has done an extraordinary job to beat a second wave of COVID-19. No other place in the world has had this success.

Updated at 3.13am GMT

2.51am GMT

Government to settle robodebt class action for an extra 2m

The government will pay an extra 2m to about 400,000 robodebt victims after the firm running a class action struck a deal on the same day a federal court trial was set to begin.

Counsel for Gordon Legal, Bernie Quinn QC, told the court on Monday afternoon he was “delighted” to say the matter had been “resolved”.

The firm said in a press release the government had agreed to pay “2m in compensation to approximately 400,000 eligible individual group members, including legal costs”.

It said other details of the settlement included:

“The commonwealth has agreed to drop claims for approximately 8m in debts it had invalidly asserted against group members of the class action. Subject to court approval, a settlement distribution scheme will provide that eligible individual group members’ entitlements will be assessed and all amounts due to them be paid in 2021.”

The government had already promised to repay about 0m and wipe about 0m in debts in May.

Gordon Legal will hold a press conference at 2.30pm.

Updated at 3.13am GMT

2.47am GMT

South Australian opposition leader Peter Malinauskas has sent a letter on behalf of his party to the government of South Australia, saying they will agree to a delay to the state’s Budget Estimates hearings so that the government can focus on the emerging cluster in Adelaide.

2.42am GMT

The federal government may avoid a potentially embarrassing court trial over the robodebt scandal as the class action edges towards a settlement.

On the first day of the two-week trial, federal court justice Bernard Murphy immediately adjourned the proceedings to allow the parties to continue what were described as “productive” discussions this morning.

The move came in response to a request from the lead counsel for Gordon Legal, Bernie Quinn QC. He had noted at a case management hearing last week there were ongoing discussions between the parties.

The hearing will now resume at 1.30pm.

In May, the government agreed to pay back 1 million and wipe about 0 million in further debts, but the class action is also seeking interest payments and damages on behalf of hundreds of thousands of victims.

2.40am GMT

PM Scott Morrison announces mental health funding

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, is speaking now in Melbourne, announcing funding for mental health services.

He stressed a focus on young people, as well as prevention and early intervention

He said the government will extend the early psychosis youth services program for a further year, until June 2022. The extension will cost around m.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a walk-through at the physiotherapy business at a visit to Upwell Health Collective in Camberwell, on November 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Matray - Pool/Getty Images)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a walk-through at the physiotherapy business at a visit to Upwell Health Collective in Camberwell, on November 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Matray – Pool/Getty Images) Photograph: Getty Images

He also announced the government will extend the national mental health education initiative run by Beyond Blue called Be You, for a further two years for m. The program is run in around 70% of schools nationally.

He also announced more funding for the Emerging Minds program, for a further m.

Updated at 3.21am GMT

2.30am GMT

People in Adelaide are piling into testing clinics across the city, after news of a growing cluster in the northern suburbs emerged this morning.

2.26am GMT

One in five consumers using buy-now-pay-later services are missing payments and are having to cut back on essentials to repay their debt.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has released a report into the buy-now-pay-later industry, detailing an explosion in the services’ popularity and the risks they pose to consumers.

The popularity of buy-now-pay-later services such as Afterpay and Zip has grown recently.
The popularity of buy-now-pay-later services such as Afterpay and Zip has grown recently. Photograph: Stephen Coates/Reuters

Buy-now-pay-later transactions increased from 16.8m in the 2017-18 financial year to 32m in 2018-19, a 90% increase.

But the report also outlines how many consumers are being harmed by the industry, with missed payment revenue in 2018-19 totalling over m, a growth of 38% compared with the previous financial year.

But Asic held back from recommending regulations on the industry to match the regulations on credit card companies, instead saying the industry was developing a code of conduct.

Updated at 2.34am GMT

2.16am GMT

Cheers Matilda, an amazing job as always.

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you’re having a good start to the week. It’s already been a busy day, so let’s get stuck in.

2.13am GMT

And with that, I might leave you for this morning (and what a morning it has been!), but don’t worry even for a second, the amazingly talented Mostafa Rachwani is taking over to guide you through the rest of the day’s news.

2.03am GMT

WA’s open SA border lasted only 48 hours

Travellers crossing the Nullarbor from South Australia are being told to return home if they’re not prepared to quarantine for two weeks.

Less than 48 hours after reopening its borders, Western Australia has reimposed restrictions for people entering from SA after the state detected a cluster of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, which has grown to 17.

Anyone arriving from SA at Perth Airport will be tested on arrival and directed to self-quarantine for 14 days at a suitable premise. They will also be required to get a test on day 11.

People driving across the Nullarbor will be ordered to self-quarantine and get tested on day two and day 11 of the 14-day period.

WA authorities are also contacting anyone who arrived from SA over the weekend to instruct them to get a Covid test and self-quarantine until they have the results.

The WA health minister, Roger Cook, told Perth radio 6PR the government is monitoring the situation closely and will strengthen measures if required.

The premier and I have always said in terms of moving to a controlled border that we will put the hard border back on if that’s what it takes to protect Western Australians.

We are certainly moving swiftly in relation to this South Australian outbreak because we don’t want that situation to come to WA.

WA’s hotel quarantine staff are currently subject to voluntary weekly Covid-19 testing.

We’re examining that at the moment to see if that is an adequate regime …

Obviously some have taken advantage but perhaps we haven’t had the uptake that we need to.

Updated at 2.09am GMT

1.59am GMT

Adelaide outbreak summary

For those who have just joined us, here is what we know so far about an emerging outbreak in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

  • There are 17 cases confirmed so far, with 15 thought to involve one family.
  • The outbreak was sparked by a family member who worked in one of Adelaide’s quarantine hotels.
  • The first case was identified when an 81-year-old woman tested positive at the Lyell McEwin hospital.
  • Contact tracing is under way for about 90 staff and patients at the Lyell McEwin hospital who may have come into contact with the woman.
  • Two schools have closed – Mawson Lakes School and Preschool, and Thomas More College, with at least one student infected at each location.
  • A Hungry Jack’s fast food outlet has closed at Port Adelaide after a worker tested positive.
  • There are concerns for Adelaide’s Yatala jail after one confirmed case in a worker.
  • An aged care centre is in lockdown after at least one worker testing positive.
  • Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory have mandated hotel quarantine for anyone entering from either all of South Australia or specific areas, including Adelaide.
  • New South Wales and Victoria have kept borders open, but the latter will interview all SA residents who arrive in Melbourne and testing may be required.

SA Health has also released the following list of possible infection sites, urging anyone who has been there to monitor for even the mildest symptoms.

You can find the key times for these locations using this link.

  • Bus 500 from Salisbury bus interchange
  • Bus 502 from Internode Adelaide bus stop on Grenfell Street
  • Bus (Ga1/Ga2/Ga3) from bus stop near train station
  • Bus 411 from Salisbury bus interchange
  • Salisbury bus interchange
  • Elizabeth Shopping Centre
  • Harris Scarf, Elizabeth Shopping Centre
  • Hollywood Plaza Surgery
  • Star Discount Chemist, Hollywood Plaza
  • Woolworths, Hollywood Plaza
  • The Aquadome, 1 Crockerton Road, Elizabeth
  • Hungry Jacks, 321 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide
  • Mantra On Frome
  • Fruit Barn Fruit Shop, Salisbury Fruit Barn
  • Ekam Indian Groceries, Enfield Plaza
  • Parafield Plaza Supermarket

Updated at 2.06am GMT

1.47am GMT

In non-Covid-19 news, former NRL player Sam Burgess’s ex-wife has given evidence at the Moss Vale local court on Monday about an incident in October 2019.

She described him as having “wild eyes” when he “went off” during a heated argument with his ex-wife’s father in his NSW Southern Highlands home, the court heard.

Phoebe Burgess spoke today about an incident she says happened in her absence at Mitchell Hooke’s home.

My father called me to let me know Sam had finally left … it wasn’t the call I was expecting …

He was emotional and shaky, he wasn’t making a lot of sense, saying he’s OK: ‘He’s gone, he had wild eyes … he just came at me.’

Former South Sydney captain Burgess, 31, has pleaded not guilty to stalking or intimidating with the intention to cause fear or physical harm, while an apprehended violence order has been taken out on behalf of Phoebe Burgess’s father by the police.

Shortly after returning to the Glenquarry home Phoebe Burgess was told by another family member: “Pheeb, he just went off.”

She said her father’s mouth was dry and he was visibly shaken.

Never seen my father quite like that before … He was wobbly on his feet … kept saying: ‘It’s OK, it’s OK … he just went at me.’

CCTV footage was played before the court showing Burgess interacting and taking pictures with fans while drinking four beers before he was due to visit the Southern Highlands home. Burgess’s lawyer, Phillip Boulten SC, accused Phoebe Burgess of seeking legal advice before calling the police.

Burgess retired in 2019 after a 270-game NRL and English Super League career. He stood down from roles as a commentator and South Sydney assistant coach in October.

The hearing continues before magistrate Robert Rabbidge.

Updated at 1.53am GMT

1.41am GMT

For the ninth consecutive day, New South Wales has recorded no new cases of locally acquired Covid-19, the AAP reports.

NSW Health reported there had been no local transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday while two cases were reported in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

The chief medical officer, Dr Kerry Chant, indicated she would be changing the work-from-home advice that had been in place since March.

“We are looking at providing incentive and even for people to start getting back to the office if they are not already there,” she said.

Meanwhile, NSW Health said one additional case had been added to the NSW total cases of Covid-19 but it was an old infection.

The person from western Sydney was linked to an earlier case, had tested for the disease on 23 October, but returned a negative result.

However, subsequent serological testing indicated the person previously had Covid-19, most likely earlier in October.

Updated at 1.47am GMT

1.38am GMT

Food delivery company Hungry Panda has abruptly failed to appear before a New South Wales parliamentary inquiry and “given no explanation” as to why.

The company had agreed to give testimony to a NSW inquiry into the gig economy after one of its food deliverers was killed in a car crash in Sydney last month.

It would have been the first public appearance for the company, which is headquartered in the UK and targets Chinese communities around the world.

Hungry Panda’s delivery manager, Luna Wei, was scheduled to speak at 11.45am today, and there was no indication that her testimony would be delayed.

But at 12pm, the chair of the committee, the Labor MP Daniel Mookhey, had to tell those watching that the company had simply not shown up.

Our next set of witnesses were meant to be from Hungry Panda …

Hungry Panda has failed to attend and not given any explanation. As a result, the committee will now adjourn until 1.45pm.

Last week, the widow of the worker who had been killed, Lihong Wei, testified before the same committee.

She also told Guardian Australia earlier that her husband’s death had left her family in financial ruin, and it was unclear whether Hungry Panda would pay her compensation for his death while working.

Updated at 1.42am GMT

1.33am GMT

The Queensland chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, is speaking now:

[It has been] recommended that all of the Adelaide, the city of Adelaide and the local government areas be made a hotspot.

As of 11.59pm tonight, anyone who comes into Queensland who has been in that part of South Australia since Monday of last week will need to go into hotel quarantine for 14 days.

I am also asking that anyone who has arrived in Queensland who has been in Adelaide since Monday of last week to immediately come forward and get themselves tested and go into quarantine wherever they are… until it’s been 14 days since they left Adelaide.

Young said that those arriving before midnight tonight will not be required to enter hotel quarantine but must still get tested upon arrival and self-isolate for 14 days.

When you arrive, you need to go and get yourself tested and we’ve already started speaking to people at three airports where we know that we’ve got flights coming into today in Queensland …

They should isolate themselves in their own accommodation from other people in that accommodation. If they’re coming to visit friends, or coming to stay in a place, then similarly, they should quarantine themselves from anyone else. That’s what they need to do.

Young suggested that it was “unlikely that [the] virus was circulating prior to last Monday”, suggesting the outbreak may have begun earlier than has been currently indicated by the SA government.

Updated at 1.37am GMT

1.24am GMT

And, just as expected, Queensland has closed its border to those who have been to Adelaide in the last 14 days.

Mandatory hotel quarantine will begin from midnight tonight. The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, is set to make an announcement soon.

Updated at 1.26am GMT

1.17am GMT

Oh, and by the way, there are no new Covid-19 cases in Queensland.

Updated at 1.19am GMT

1.15am GMT

Here is a bit more info on how Victoria will be tackling the South Australian outbreak.

Unlike WA, Tasmania and the NT, Victoria will not be requiring every SA traveller to go into quarantine but has declared the state a hotspot.

The premier, Daniel Andrews, says those arriving from SA will be assessed individually:

In terms of travel, I know that the Northern Territory and Tasmania have declared South Australia the hotspot.

We will do the same and there will be a process, a case-by-case basis. When somebody arrives at the airport, we sit down with them, [ask about] symptoms, have you been to any specific locations?

Rapid testing may be a feature of that, I can’t quite confirm that yet, but that [will be for] our public health team to look at that because we wouldn’t want to take any chances at all.

Updated at 1.29am GMT

1.06am GMT

A student from Thomas More college in Adelaide, which has been closed after a student tested positive to Covid-19, has spoken to ABC news.

The teenage girl, whose name wasn’t provided, was waiting to be tested at a pop-up site:

One of the kids in my class tested positive for Covid so I thought it was better to be safe.

One of my friends, he had been sick all week, you could tell by the way he was sounding and stuff so I guess it’s better to take the precaution and come out here.

Updated at 1.18am GMT

1.04am GMT

The Australian Medical Association president, Dr Omar Khorshid, has said the Adelaide outbreak “highlights the need for all Australians to remain vigilant and be tested for the virus”.

The AMA released a statement on the cluster this morning, suggesting that the rapid growth of infections from three to 17 cases is of particular concern:

There is no doubt that people are becoming more complacent as restrictions ease and governments aim for ‘Covid-normal’ by Christmas …

We must accept that until there is an effective vaccine, we must live with restrictions and remain Covid-cautious.

The statement noted that “restriction fatigue, falling numbers of infections and mixed government messaging all appear to be contributing to people becoming complacent, resulting in the significant drop in Covid testing across many parts of the country”:

People who do not get tested or delay getting tested for a few days after symptoms set in are putting their families, friends, and colleagues at risk. Covid-19 is a highly infectious disease that can spread rapidly.

Updated at 1.17am GMT

12.58am GMT

Homicide investigation in Melbourne

Victoria police homicide squad detectives have been called in after the discovery of a woman’s body inside a Mernda home this morning.

Police say the woman, who is yet to be formally identified, was located dead inside an Umbria Road property in Melbourne’s north-east about 4.10am.

A man, 35, has been arrested and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, where he remains under police guard.

A spokeswoman for Victoria police said it was believed the pair were known to each other:

The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be determined and the investigation remains ongoing.

Police have since established a secondary crime scene at the Mernda police station.

Updated at 1.14am GMT

12.52am GMT

South Australia’s cluster is a ‘wake-up call’, prime minister says

The Covid-19 outbreak in South Australia is a “wake-up call” to the entire country to avoid complacency as the virus “hasn’t gone anywhere”, according to Scott Morrison.

The prime minister told 3AW that the federal and SA governments had stood up an aged care response centre similar to the one that was established in Victoria a few months ago.

He said SA had engaged in very significant testing efforts over the last 24 to 36 hours, with large numbers of people placed into isolation this morning:

It’s a reminder even after a lockdown, even after all of this time, the virus hasn’t gone anywhere and it can be activated, and that’s why none of us can be off our game. We’ve got to stay match-fit on this all the time.

He called the new cases in SA a “wake-up call” to the whole country – “perhaps particularly for those states and territories that have been behind borders”.

Morrison said it was important that any steps were taken as “temporary measures” and on the basis of health advice.

Asked if he would object to Victoria and NSW closing their borders to SA, Morrison said it would “leave that to both of those states to make those judgments”.

Morrison said authorities needed to get on top of outbreaks as quickly as possible and “stay on the front foot”.

He noted, however, that compared with the rest of the world Australia was doing well on Covid management.

Morrison reiterated that Australia was not about to embrace home quarantine as an alternative to the hotel quarantine system, citing the elevated number of cases overseas. He said national cabinet had discussed it on Friday and the leaders were not convinced that at this time they could take such risks.

Updated at 1.13am GMT

12.50am GMT

The head of the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association, Prof Julian Rait, has told Victoria’s parliamentary inquiry into the state’s contact tracing system that the health department had a culture lacking transparency and there was a reluctance to admit to mistakes.

While Victoria’s health department ultimately reformed its contact-tracing system, adopting a centralised IT system and creating contact-tracing hubs with knowledge of the local areas in which they were located, flaws such as delayed and haphazard contact tracing were identified early in the state’s second wave.

But Rait said even as the department struggled to get on top of an early cluster at Cedar Meats, government officials had insisted the system was up to scratch. On Monday morning he told the inquiry:

The culture in medicine is one of seeking to continuously improve even if that means some loss of face, some humility, and I guess this is what’s very frustrating [about the health department]. There isn’t that sense of humility, and that willingness to learn or to admit that perhaps that things could be done better.

Despite the improvements to contact tracing, Rait said he had ongoing concerns about the culture within the department.

Open disclosure and honesty is what’s expected of medical professional. And it’s not something that’s basically been modelled by the department at all. They have instead decided to be very defensive.

Rait described how department staff had failed to immediately act on a cluster reported in August by a GP working in the city. The GP treats many international students, and became concerned after a number of them living in the same residential tower tested positive for Covid-19, he said.

It was very frustrating for a GP to know that there was a number of cases in a poorly ventilated, high-rise tower with very long corridors and poor air conditioning. The benchmark meant we should have been on top of those cases in 48 hours. We felt the department was dismissive of a very respected and astute GP. That could have been a source of a very significant outbreak right in the centre of the city, with many of these students working in jobs like cooks and cleaners and Uber drivers and they could have easily spread it more widely.

He added that when the Cedar Meats cluster was identified, GPs and a respiratory clinic in the area were not told until workers began showing up saying they had been told to be tested. The department needed to better engage GPs going forward, Rait said.

Updated at 1.10am GMT

12.47am GMT

Victoria declares SA a Covid-19 hotspot

It almost feels like a headline from an upside-down dimension. Formerly Covid-ravaged Victoria has declared South Australia a hotspot this morning.

Victoria, which has reported no new infections for 17 days, is not closing the border to South Australia, but those travelling from SA will be interviewed when they arrive in Melbourne and may be required to be tested.

So far Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have placed mandatory quarantine requirements on SA travellers, and Queensland seems set to do the same.

NSW says it will not close its border.

Updated at 1.06am GMT

12.37am GMT

SA Health has released a more comprehensive list of possible infection sites, as the Adelaide cluster grows to 17.

Those who have visited the following areas are note required to self-isolate but have been urged to monitor for even the mildest symptoms and get tested imminently if they appear.

You can key times for these locations using this link.

  • Bus 500 From Salisbury Bus Interchange
  • Bus 502 From Internode Adelaide Bus Stop On Grenfell Street
  • Bus (Ga1/Ga2/Ga3) From Bus Stop Near Train Station
  • Bus 411 From Salisbury Bus Interchange
  • Salisbury Bus Interchange
  • Elizabeth Shopping Centre
  • Harris Scarf, Elizabeth Shopping Centre
  • Hollywood Plaza Surgery
  • Star Discount Chemist, Hollywood Plaza
  • Woolworths, Hollywood Plaza
  • The Aquadome,1 Crockerton Rd Elizabeth
  • Hungry Jacks, 321 Commercial Rd Port Adelaide
  • Mantra On Frome
  • Fruit Barn Fruit Shop, Salisbury Fruit Barn
  • Ekam Indian Groceries, Enfield Plaza
  • Parafield Plaza Supermarket

Updated at 12.40am GMT

12.22am GMT

12.19am GMT

The NSW premier, Glady Berejiklian, has confirmed that NSW will not close its border to South Australia, despite the outbreak in Adelaide:

We need to learn to live with Covid. You can’t shut down the border and disrupt lives every time there is an outbreak and disrupt businesses …

If there was a similar outbreak in New South Wales, we would be arguing that that is no reason to shut off New South Wales citizens from the rest of the country …

But obviously, if the numbers were in hundreds or there were concerns that there were strains these were undetected, of course we would look at our situation, but New South Wales will not be moving as other states have.

Updated at 12.42am GMT

12.15am GMT

Royal Melbourne hospital has revealed that four in 10 of its Covid-19 infected staff were from the Royal Park campus, despite the site only accounting for about 10% of its workforce, reports the AAP.

In a new peer-reviewed report published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, the hospital laid out its response in curbing the outbreak.

The journal said it has been the nation’s largest institutional outbreak among healthcare workers.

There were 262 Royal Melbourne hospital staff who caught coronavirus from 1 July to 31 August, and more were forced into quarantine as close contacts, leading to “high workloads”.

The hardest-hit profession was nurses with 179 cases, while the 550-bed campus at Royal Park was the worst-affected site as it recorded 107 infections – making up 40.8% of all staff cases.

The campus closed four wards in August as cases exploded among staff after it received a large intake of Covid-positive aged care residents.

Although ventilation systems were found to satisfy requirements, RMH decided to move 15 patients to other health services and to transfer the remaining 45 to single rooms in more modern wards.

“We hypothesised that large numbers of patients in confined spaces may have created a high density of droplets, aerosols and environmental contamination,” wrote the authors, led by the infectious diseases physician Kirsty Buising.

“This triggered a detailed assessment of ward physical layout, including the possible role of patient placement and air circulation.”

Updated at 12.41am GMT

12.10am GMT

Queensland may close border to SA

The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, is set to front media soon, and is likely to give an update on the border with South Australia.

She has tweeted this morning confirming that the government is considering placing restrictions on SA travellers, including possible mandatory quarantine.

I will bring you an update as soon as we know more.

Updated at 12.16am GMT

12.02am GMT

Adelaide’s outbreak: what we know so far

So here is a bit of a rundown on everything we know so far about the Adelaide outbreak:

Here’s a list of all the sites that have been affected in Adelaide so far:

  • Thomas More college, Salisbury Downs.
  • Mawson Lakes primary school and preschool, Mawson Lakes.
  • Hungry Jack’s, Port Adelaide.
  • Lyell McEwin hospital, Elizabeth Vale.
  • Parafield Plaza Supermarket, Parafield Gardens.
  • Yatala labour prison, Northfield.
  • An unnamed quarantine medi-hotel facility, Adelaide CBD.
  • An unidentified aged care home (according to ABC reporting).

Updated at 12.41am GMT

11.50pm GMT

Adelaide residents are turning up in droves to be tested, after news of a growing outbreak in the city’s northern suburbs.

Updated at 11.53pm GMT

11.48pm GMT

In-person prison visits to resume in NSW

From next Monday families will once again be allowed to visit loved ones in NSW prisons.

In-person visits were banned in the state in March to try to ensure the virus did not enter the facilities which have proven, around the world, to be powerful incubators for coronavirus infection.

The Corrective Services NSW commissioner, Peter Severin, said in-persons visits would be slowly eased back in, with restrictions on the numbers and the length of visits, and strict physical distancing required:

Correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable environments and we all need to work together to reduce the risk of Covid-19 entering our centres.

I want to thank the families and friends of people in custody for their patience during this challenging time and for also embracing the new video visits we have introduced.

Close to 150,000 video visits have taken place across the state during the past seven months and we will continue to offer these as an alternative to in-person visits.

A statement from NSW corrections lists the restrictions as:

  • A limit of two visitors (two adults or one child and one adult) for each inmate.
  • A requirement for surgical masks to be worn for the entire visit.
  • A fist or elbow bump at the beginning and end of the visit is permitted, but inmates and their visitors must maintain physical distance at all other times.
  • The overall number of visits has been reduced to apply the 4 sq m rule.
  • A maximum of 30 minutes a visit.
  • No food or drinks available.

Phone lines will be open from Wednesday to book in-person visits.

Updated at 11.55pm GMT

11.40pm GMT

Just on Melbourne, a reminder that Victoria has now gone 17 days without a single case of Covid-19 or death.

(I remind you mostly because I am in Melbourne, and I am still revelling in our newfound ability to visit busy cafes and bars.)

Updated at 11.50pm GMT

11.36pm GMT

‘It’s great to be back in Melbourne,’ Scott Morrison says

Scott Morrison says he commends all Victorians for their efforts during “such a terribly difficult time” over the last few months.

The prime minister has been speaking to Neil Mitchell on radio 3AW on his first visit to Melbourne since early 2020. “It’s great to be back in Melbourne after quite a while,” he said.

Regarding Victoria’s recovery, Morrison added: “The comeback has begun.”

Morrison played down his government’s previous disputes with the Victorian government over the strict lockdown.

He was asked, in retrospect, whether the premier, Daniel Andrews, had been right in his approach to the second wave.

Morrison disputed some of the characterisation of the previous public battles, saying:

We supported the lockdown because it had become necessary because the outbreak had not been contained.

Morrison pointed again, briefly, to past issues with hotel quarantine in Victoria. He said contact tracing in Victoria had benefited from “significant improvements from were it was”, and if those improvements had been in place many months ago the trajectory may have been different.

Mitchell drew Morrison’s attention to Andrews’ past comments about the federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg – the Victorian who had been leading the federal government’s attacks on the state government’s performance – that he was “not a leader, he’s just a Liberal”.

Morrison said he personally got along “just fine” with Andrews and was looking forward to catching up with the premier this afternoon. He said national cabinet had met 31 times during the course of the year and the pair had disagreements from time to time but: “I can assure you we’re both leaders.”

Updated at 11.49pm GMT

11.31pm GMT

11.30pm GMT

The Northern Territory’s chief health officer, Dr Hugh Heggie, has also spoken about closing the border to South Australia:

We did do this early in Brisbane, if you recall. We did go hard and we went wide and then we narrowed down. That may be the case but at the moment Territorians need to be vigilant and I say that to those people who are here, those people who plan on travel and certainly those returning.

I apologise for the short notice that this means. There are literally people on a plane right now that when they land and hopefully on board they will be informed of what our current arrangement will be until with make an assessment.

Updated at 11.47pm GMT

11.26pm GMT

Tasmania asks South Australians to isolate

Tasmania premier, Peter Gutwein, is speaking now:

With the outbreak escalating in Adelaide, we are taking immediate precautionary action this morning. So, firstly, to anyone who has arrived in Tasmania from South Australia since last Monday 9th November, we would like you today to immediately self-isolate. If you are in a home residence to isolate there. If you are staying in accommodation, to go back to your hotel room and isolated there as well. Please contact the public health hotline on 1800671738. In terms of travellers from interstate, we are contacting them proactively as well through the Tassie travel app and we will be sending a similar message to them…

For those that would enter the state directly today from South Australia on the Spirit of Tasmania early tomorrow morning and anyone else who has spent time in South Australia since Monday 8th, we will expect you to quarantine on your arrival today. That can be either at a residence or in your Hotel room that you are intending to stay in.

Tasmania has not upgraded all of South Australia to “medium risk” which would require everyone entering the state to hotel quarantine, but Gutwin said there may be more updates this afternoon.

At this stage, I am hopeful that we can ge tto a point where this cluster can be contained, in terms of a geographic location in South Australia and we can put in place the appropriate ring fencing that is available to us there. But if we need to elevate to medium risk, then I would have no hesitation to do so.

Updated at 11.28pm GMT

11.14pm GMT

NT closes border to SA

The Northern Territory’s chief minister, Michael Gunner, has announced new travel restrictions for South Australia.

The security committee has just met to review the alarming developments in South Australia overnight. All of the information that we are getting right now concerns us and there is still so much we don’t for about this outbreak.

That is the critical point here. It is what we don’t know that worries us the most. Given this, we are declaring South Australia a hotspot for the purposes of travel to the Northern Territory, effective immediately.

That means that people who arrive here from South Australia this morning will be directed to supervised quarantine or given the option of returning to South Australia and people who intend to travel here later today in South Australia will need to make a decision now – to stay there, or if they come here, to enter supervised quarantine.

Because of this late notice, those who enter the Northern Territory today or tomorrow from South Australia will not need to pay the ,500.

Michael Gunner
Norther Territory chief minister Michael Gunner. Photograph: Glenn Campbell/AAP

Updated at 11.40pm GMT

11.10pm GMT

NT opens border to Melbourne from end of November

The Northern Territory’s chief minister, Michael Gunner, is speaking now:

We had planned to give some good news on Melbourne and we will still do that. A lot has happened overnight in South Australia. We will update you on that in a moment.

To Melbourne first, two weeks ago today we started to welcome regional Victorians back to the territory without needing to quarantine.

We said that we are monitoring greater Melbourne and weren’t ready to name a date to remove the hotspot. In the fortnight since then, there have been zero new cases in Melbourne or anywhere else in Victoria.

If you are as safe as we are then you are welcome here. Melbourne is safe. So very soon Melbourne will be welcome here. From Monday, 30 November, in two weeks’ time, greater Melbourne will no longer be considered a hotspot for the purposes of travel to the Northern Territory.

So we can get on the beers again with our Melbourne mates.

Updated at 11.44pm GMT

10.58pm GMT

Here’s the latest on a bushfire that has been burning on Fraser Island for the past month.

Queensland’s environment department says the fire is slow-moving and burning at a low intensity.

A spokesperson said:

This fire has been burning in remote and largely inaccessible parts of the island. Fire is a natural part of the bush landscape and, for the most part, this fire has been burning at an acceptable intensity …

QPWS is monitoring the fire and has crews on site. It is currently not a threat to life or property and it has not damaged any infrastructure.

The fire is moving in a south-southwest direction and is moving slowly. It is currently 1.2km north of Cathedrals.

The department said it didn’t hold serious concerns at this stage for habitats and wildlife on the island.

Campers at Cathedrals campground and Pippies Backpackers have been asked to relocate as a precaution and planning has begun for backburning at Cathedral Beach.

The majority of the island, including popular tourist spots, remains open and aerial waterbombing craft are on standby if required.

The department said smoke would affect townships and campsites along the island’s eastern beach over the coming days and beach drivers should exercise caution on the eastern beach.

Updated at 11.38pm GMT

10.48pm GMT

South Australia’s premier, Steven Marshall, was asked this morning if this cluster in the northern suburbs of Adelaide suggested there were problems with SA’s contact tracing program:

We subjected ourselves to an audit and we found that we were identified as conforming to best practice. That is my understanding. We are constantly looking at what is happening interstate and overseas for best practice.

So, I can only assure people that we do follow that best practice. But in this instance, clearly, there has been a problem. Somebody has become infected, and now we see the spread up to 17 people so far.

Marshall said he would be speaking to the SA police commissioner as to whether the state government required additional assistance from the ADF in controlling the outbreak.

Steven Marshall
South Australian premier Steven Marshall. Photograph: David Mariuz/AAP

Updated at 11.44pm GMT

10.42pm GMT

South Australia’s premier, Steven Marshall, has spoken to the Adelaide radio station 5AA.

It is a very dangerous situation that we’re in here in South Australia at the moment, and it’s really going to require the cooperation of every single citizen for us to get on top of this. Time is of the essence, and anybody, anybody who has got symptoms, don’t put off going and getting yourself tested …

I think many South Australians might have been becoming complacent over recent weeks.

Marshall did not rule out increase Covid-19 restriction to squash the cluster.

Look, we will do whatever it takes to get on top of this cluster. And what I can say though … is that the communicable disease control branch which has the unenviable task of doing all of the contact tracing at the moment, has had 100% cooperation and that is absolutely fantastic.

Updated at 11.36pm GMT

10.27pm GMT

Watch and act alert issued along NSW/Victoria border

Warnings for an out-of-control bush fire 7km south of the border town of Deniliquin has been upgraded to “watch and act” by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

The NSW RFS emergency map lists the fire-affected area as being about 1,000 hectares.

Updated at 11.35pm GMT

10.20pm GMT

WA/SA travel in jeopardy as Adelaide cluster grows

South Australian travellers who have just been given the green light to travel in Western Australia have been hit with another setback.

In the wake of Adelaide’s growing cluster, SA residents have been told they will be required to get tested and quarantine for 14 days if they travel to WA.

The WA government have released the following statement:

Anyone arriving from South Australia at Perth Airport will now be tested for Covid-19 on arrival (or within 24 hours of arrival at another Covid clinic) and given a direction to self-quarantine for 14 days in a suitable premise.

These arrivals will also be required to be tested for Covid-19 on Day 11.

Anyone arriving via road from South Australia will be given a direction to self-quarantine for 14 days in a suitable premise and required to take a Covid-19 test on Day 2 and on Day 11.

For any SA arrivals earlier today and yesterday, via road or air, they will be contacted by WA officials and will be required to be tested for Covid-19 in the next 48 hours and self-quarantine until results are returned.

The ABC has reported that people who entered the state by plane this morning were given the option of flying back to Adelaide after being told about the changes on arrival.

Updated at 11.35pm GMT

10.11pm GMT

Australia signs on to massive Asian-Pacific trade deal

There are hopes a new regional pact will allow Australia and China to resolve trade disputes after months of rising diplomatic tension.

Australia signed up to a 15-nation regional economic partnership at the weekend after eight years of negotiations, reports AAP.

A Chinese flag outside Parliament House in Canberra
A Chinese flag outside Parliament House in Canberra. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

Other countries involved in the pact include China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and 10 south-east Asian countries.

Australia already has bilateral deals with each nation, so the agreement will not lead to a drop in trade tariffs. But it could pave the way for talks to resume between Australian and Chinese officials.

The trade minister, Simon Birmingham, is keen to resolve battered relations, having been ignored by his Chinese counterpart for many months.

“We continue to be open to dialogue with China at any time,” Birmingham told ABC radio on Monday. “Our door is open and the ball is very much in their court.”

Chinese officials have launched trade strikes on Australian barley, wheat, timber, coal and lobster. Other valuable exports including beef and wine have also been in the line of fire.

Updated at 11.34pm GMT

10.08pm GMT

The Australian Associated Press has put out this update on the Adelaide cluster:

An outbreak of coronavirus in Adelaide north has now been linked to 17 cases of the infection.

South Australia’s chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier revealed the spike on Monday after SA Health on Sunday found three new locally acquired cases.

The new cases were picked up on Saturday after a woman in her 80s went to Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin hospital for testing and was admitted.

South Australia’s chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier.
South Australia’s chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier. Photograph: David Mariuz/EPA

Two of her family members, a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s, also tested positive.

One of the pair worked in a medi-hotel [hotel quarantine site] used by people travelling into the state and local residents who can’t quarantine at home.

Dr Spurrier said testing conducted overnight on Sunday included other members of the 80-year-old woman’s extended family.

“We just kept getting positives coming off the machine,” she told ABC radio on Monday, adding it was clear the cluster was linked to a medi-hotel.

“We haven’t got the genomics yet, but I’m absolutely certain it has come from a medi-hotel,” she said.

The 80-year-old woman lives independently and is the mother of one of the younger pair, who are in a relationship.

Contact tracing is also under way for about 90 staff and patients at the Lyell McEwin Hospital who may have come into contact with the older woman.

The woman had also visited Parafield Plaza Supermarket in Adelaide’s north on Thursday while infectious.

Updated at 11.32pm GMT

10.06pm GMT

Just a quick note on the Covid-19 numbers in South Australia.

There has been a bit of confusion this morning with some news publications reporting 17 new cases and 20 in total, rather than 13 new cases and 17 in total, as Guardian Australia and ABC are reporting.

From listening to the SA chief health officer Prof Nicola Spurrier’s interview with the Adelaide radio station 5AA it seems that 17 is the total. As soon as SA Health put out their daily update, I will confirm that for you.

Updated at 11.31pm GMT

9.57pm GMT

Details on exactly where the 17 cases in South Australia have come from are still emerging.

Here are the locations we know have been impacted so far. Some have had confirmed cases while some have been closed or cleaned as a precaution:

  • Thomas More College, Salisbury Downs.
  • Mawson Lakes Primary School and Preschool, Mawson Lakes.
  • Hungry Jacks, Port Adelaide.
  • Lyell McEwin Hospital, Elizabeth Vale.
  • Parafield Plaza Supermarket, Parafield Gardens.
  • Yatala Labour Prison, Northfield.
  • An unnamed quarantine “medi” hotel facility, Adelaide CBD.
  • An unidentified aged care home (according to ABC reporting).

Updated at 10.21pm GMT

9.46pm GMT

No new Covid-19 cases in Victoria

In more positive news, Victoria has recorded 17 consecutive days of no Covid-19 cases and no deaths.

9.43pm GMT

9.33pm GMT

Second school in SA closed

I was just sent in this tip-off from a blog reader. It seems the Thomas Moore College in the northern suburbs of Adelaide has also been closed with a confirmed Covid-19 case at the school.

The school posted on their Facebook page, urging students not to come into campus today.

If you see any updates make sure you send them through to me via Twitter, @MatildaBoseley, or by email on

Updated at 9.36pm GMT

9.19pm GMT

Some news from across the pond – UK prime minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after coming into contact with an MP who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister was present at a 35-minute meeting with a small group of Conservative MPs on Thursday morning. One of them, Lee Anderson, subsequently developed symptoms of Covid-19 and has tested positive.

Downing Street insisted that No 10 was a Covid-secure workplace but that test and trace had advised the prime minister that, because of factors including the length of the meeting, he should self-isolate as a precaution.

Johnson already contracted Covid-19 several months ago, which resulted in him receiving intensive hospital care.

You can read the full story by Heather Stewart below:

Updated at 9.48pm GMT

9.14pm GMT

I mentioned just before that a primary school had been caught up in this South Australia cluster. It appears that the Mawson Lakes Primary School and Preschool has been closed as a student is a close contact of a Covid-19 case, rather than the campus being an infection site.

The school posted this update on their website:

Mawson Lakes Primary School and Preschool will be closed on Monday 16 November following SA Health advice that a student who attends the school is a close contact to someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with SA Health guidance the site will shut for a minimum of 24 hours. People who need to self-isolate will be contacted with further instructions.

A thorough clean of all relevant areas will be carried out. Parents have been notified.

Updated at 9.28pm GMT

9.06pm GMT

South Australia Health has released the following alert on its website:

SA Health is in the process of contacting everyone who was in the Emergency Department at Lyell McEwin Hospital between 5:30pm Friday 13 November and 4:00am Saturday 14 November who may have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

However, if you visited this location during at this time, and have not been contacted by SA Health, you should self-quarantine immediately and call the SA COVID-19 Information line 1800 253 787

Authorities have also put out a warning for the Parafield Plaza Supermarket. If you visited the store on Thursday 12 November between 10.30 am and 11.30 am you should monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they appear, but are not required to isolated otherwise.

8.58pm GMT

A bit more information about those new Covid-19 case in South Australia coming through.

The Mawson Lakes Primary School and a Hungry Jacks restaurant in Port Adelaide have been close, presumably because they are linked to some of the 17 new infections.

Adelaide radio station 5aa is reporting the 15 of the cases are linked to one large family unit.

Updated at 9.02pm GMT

8.52pm GMT

South Australia cluster grows to 17 cases

South Australia’s chief health officer Nicola Spurrier, has told Adelaide radio station 5AA that the state’s Covid-19 cluster has more than quadrupled overnight, rising to 17 cases.

These are the first cases of community transmission in SA since April. The cluster was originally contained to a large family unit with connections to hotel quarantine and a SA prison.

It’s unclear where these new infections have come from.

Three new locally-acquired virus cases were diagnosed on Sunday after a woman in her 80s went to Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital for testing. A woman in her 50s and man in his 60s were later tested and also found to be infected.

Spurrier said:

One of those people works in our medi-hotels [hotel quarentine site]… This is where we are considering the source to be.

I am expecting that we will have more cases.

Spurrier said the infected trio has a very large family and four relatives were showing symptoms with test results expected later in the day.

The older woman lives independently not in an aged care facility and is now in isolation at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

She is the mother of one of the younger pair, who are in a relationship.

Contact tracing is also under way for about 90 staff and patients at the Lyell McEwin Hospital who may have come into contact with the 80-year-old woman.

Spurrier said the woman also visited Parafield Plaza Supermarket in Adelaide’s north while infectious.

All staff working at SA’s quarantine hotels have been ordered to undertake mandatory virus testing every seven days.

“It’s obvious that this is the highest risk in Australia right now is this risk of importation (of the virus) in our quarantine hotels,” Spurrier said.

The new rule includes police, nurses, concierge, cleaners and security guards.

Updated at 9.50pm GMT

8.41pm GMT

billon vaccine production program

Here is everything you need to know about the government’s new vaccine production program:

Melbourne will host the southern hemisphere’s largest influenza vaccine manufacturing centre, after a 0m investment from CSL subsidiary Seqirus.

The facility will be supported by a bn 12-year supply agreement with the federal government, to be announced on Monday, and help procuring land near Tullamarine airport from the Victorian government.

CSL offices and manufacturing plant in Parkville Melbourne, Australia.
CSL offices and manufacturing plant in Parkville Melbourne, Australia. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

The centre is expected to be operational by mid-2026, and will produce influenza pandemic vaccines, Q-Fever vaccine and anti-venoms for Australian snakes, spiders and marine creatures.

The new supply deal replaces an agreement set to expire in 2024-25, at which time Seqirus’ Parkville facility will be retired.

The facility will be the only cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the southern hemisphere, supporting a shift away from egg-based vaccines.

Seqirus claims the facility will support more than 1,000 Stem jobs in Victoria, with a supply chain worth more than 0m annually.

CSL chief executive officer, Paul Perreault said:

Providing safe and effective influenza vaccines is essential in securing our defences against serious public health threats.

Cell-based influenza vaccine technology offers many advantages over the existing process including being more scalable and offering faster production – particularly important in the case of influenza pandemics.

Scott Morrison said:

Keeping Australians safe is my number one priority and while we are rightly focused on both the health and economic challenges of Covid-19, we must also guard against future threats.

This agreement cements Australia’s long-term sovereign medical capabilities, giving us the ability to develop vaccines when we need them.

In October the federal government announced it would invest .3bn in local manufacturing, with medical products one of the priority areas.

The federal government has also committed .2bn to secure access to over 134.8m doses of potential Covid-19 vaccine candidates developed by the University of Oxford-Astra Zeneca and the University of Queensland, Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax.

Updated at 9.52pm GMT

8.37pm GMT

An expert whose work helped trigger the explosive war crimes inquiry says the details in its imminent report will leave the Australian defence force with “no choice” other than to fundamentally change special forces’ culture.

The chief of the defence force, Angus Campbell, is expected to this week release a redacted version of findings by the inspector general of the Australian defence force, Paul Brereton, detailing alleged war crimes committed by elements of the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

Brereton is widely expected to find that a small group of special forces troops committed shocking acts, including killing and brutalising unarmed Afghan civilians.

Read the full story here:

Updated at 11.30pm GMT

8.37pm GMT

News of the night

Good morning all, Matilda Boseley here to take you through the day’s news in Australia.

Let me know what’s going on in your city via Twitter @MatildaBoseley, or by email on

One of the big stories we’ll be following is this Covid-19 cluster in South Australia:

  • The ABC is reporting a prison worker has become the fourth case in South Australia, in the first instances of community transmission since April. Three cases were diagnosed on Sunday all part of a large family unit connected with one of South Australia’s hotel quarantine sites. SA Health has warned this cluster may grow.
  • The federal government will build the southern hemisphere’s largest flu vaccine manufacturing plant in a bid to shore up its response to future pandemics. The federal government has struck a bn, 12-year deal with CSL-owned subsidiary Seqirus for long-term access to influenza and fever vaccines, as well as lifesaving anti-venoms.
  • The Victorian government’s .3bn package to build 12,000 social housing homes across the state has been hailed for its health and economic potential. The package, to be included in the state’s 2020-21 budget released on 24 November, will deliver 9,300 new homes and replace 1,100 existing public housing units.
  • A 49-year-old man has died after being stabbed in Sydney’s north-west. Just before 10.30pm on Sunday emergency services were called to Budgeree Road, Toongabbie. NSW police say the man was found outside the front of a house with stab wounds to his chest and died at the scene.
  • The body of a teenage boy, 14, and a man, 65, have been recovered in separate apparent drownings in NSW. The tragedies come after a seven-year-old boy died after being pulled from the bottom of a swimming hole in the Blue Mountains on Sunday.
  • Victorians cannot be compelled to bring the state’s strict Covid-19 restrictions with them when they cross the border, the state government admits. The premier, Daniel Andrews, on Sunday said he would seek advice “whether Victorian rules follow you when you move into another state” but a spokeswoman later confirmed the government had no jurisdictional power over people outside of Victoria.

Updated at 11.28pm GMT © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Hits: 1222