Coronavirus updates LIVE: Western Australia to relax NSW and Queensland border rules; Invasion Day rallies planned

Summary

  • Victoria reached 16 days without community transmission on Friday, while Queensland recorded no new local cases for the 11th day in the row. NSW has recorded a fifth consecutive day without a local coronavirus case on Friday.
  • Emirates will resume flights to Australia after working out how to meet tougher testing and quarantine requirements for foreign air crews, giving hope to thousands of citizens still stranded in Europe.
  • A Spanish tennis player who was already in hard lockdown in Melbourne after potentially being exposed to COVID-19 on an Australian Open charter flight says she has tested positive.
  • The International Olympic Committee vice-president, insists plans for the Tokyo Games are “proceeding fully”, after rumours of a cancellation due to COVID-19.

Victoria recruits more hotels for quarantine ahead of expected boost to arrivals cap

More hotels will be contracted to house people in quarantine ahead of an expected jump in the number of Australians landing in Melbourne from next month.

The Age can reveal the Andrews government has asked the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Melbourne’s CBD, which has 160 rooms and operated as a quarantine hotel from July until the government stopped using it in October last year, to prepare to host quarantine guests again from next month.

A government spokeswoman confirmed details of the new hotels would be announced once plans to expand the international arrivals cap were finalised.

Click here to read the story.

Invasion Day rallies planned

The organiser of Sydney’s Invasion Day rally to be held at the Domain on January 26 has said the march will go ahead and is likely to be well in excess of the COVID-19 legal limit for protests.

Raul Bossi, who was involved the Black Lives Matter protest on June 6 last year after receiving an 11th-hour green light from the Court of Appeal, said the organisers for the upcoming march did not lodge a form to police because they could not guarantee only 500 people would attend.

In a statement issued on Thursday, NSW Police said the organisation had not received the required form for the protest to go ahead as an authorised event.

Meanwhile, volunteer crowd marshals will be trained to separate protesters into groups of 100 after almost 5000 people indicated interest in attending Melbourne’s Invasion Day rally.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane tests positive

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Spanish club said early this mornig (AEDT).

The announcement came two days after Zidane coached the team in a 2-1 loss at third-tier Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.

Assistant coach David Bettoni, who said Zidane was feeling fine, will coach Madrid at Alavés on Saturday. The club has not provided any other information on Zidane’s health status.

Two weeks ago, Zidane tested negative for the virus after he had been in close contact with someone who was infected.

AP

WA’s hard border with NSW, Queensland to soften from Monday

Western Australia will be “open” to the rest of the country again from Monday after the state’s hard border with Queensland and NSW is eased.

NSW has recorded five consecutive days of no community cases and the Greater Brisbane area has gone 15 days since the last positive case tied to the Hotel Grand Chancellor outbreak, where a cleaner contracted the highly transmissible UK variant of the virus.

Full story here.

Good morning all

G’day everyone. I’m Roy Ward and I’ll be running today’s COVID-19 live blog.

Thanks for joining us and, as always, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the blog or shoot me a tweet directly at @rpjward on Twitter.

Before we get started here’s a quick recap of how things stand as we start the day:

  • Victoria reached 16 days without community transmission on Friday, while Queensland recorded no new local cases for the 11th day in the row. NSW has recorded a fifth consecutive day without a local coronavirus case on Friday.
  • Emirates will resume flights to Australia after working out how to meet tougher testing and quarantine requirements for foreign air crews, giving hope to thousands of citizens still stranded in Europe.
  • A Spanish tennis player who was already in hard lockdown in Melbourne after potentially being exposed to COVID-19 on an Australian Open charter flight says she has tested positive.
  • The International Olympic Committee vice-president, insists plans for the Tokyo Games are “proceeding fully”, after rumours of a cancellation due to COVID-19.

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