Australia news LIVE: Victoria lockdown extended by a week; NSW COVID cases continue to grow; SA begins first day of lockdown

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‘I don’t want more cases from Sydney’: Andrews tightens border rules

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has questioned New South Wales’ containment of its coronavirus outbreak, labelling it a “second wave” as he escalated restrictions so Victorians north of the border cannot return home from Wednesday.

The hard block on entries from red zones, including all of NSW and the ACT, will last for at least two weeks and rehashes the rigid border policy that had not been adopted since the new year period, when thousands of Victorians found themselves stranded interstate.

Premier Daniel Andrews reintroduced the no-entry border policy used over the New Year’s period.Credit:Eddie Jim

Under the new rules, the only people allowed into Victoria are authorised workers and those who get approval for a compassionate exemption.

Read more about the latest travel restrictions here.

One in ten infected people in NSW caught COVID at work

The number of mystery cases in NSW has ballooned to levels not seen since the peak of the state’s March 2020 lockdown with figures showing almost one in tenCOVID-19 cases in the latest outbreak have been transmitted at work.

NSW health authorities have confirmed that 123 people have caught the virus through their workplace since the first case reported in June, with about 30 per cent going on to transmit the disease outside their household, including in healthcare and aged care facilities.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday.Credit:Janie Barrett

It comes as the virus spreads out of Greater Sydney, with Orange local government area in the state’s Central West plunged into a week-long lockdown from midnight on Tuesday after a case was identified in a factory worker following a case in a truck driver who travelled to the region.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company. It’s Wednesday, July 21. I’m Broede Carmody.

It’s set to be another busy day today, with three states across the country experiencing lockdowns (that’s more than 14 million people told to stay at home). And all eyes are on Queensland’s case numbers after a 20-year-old was found to have been infectious in the community after visiting a Melbourne exposure site.

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Residents of Orange and surrounding areas of regional NSW have been plunged into a 7-day lockdown after an infectious delivery driver visited the state’s Central Tablelands region. There were 78 new, locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in NSW yesterday. Of those cases, 21 were infectious in the community. There are currently 95 coronavirus patients in NSW hospitals. Twenty-seven are in intensive care.
  • From today, Victorians attempting to return home from red zones will be barred from entering the state. The tougher travel rules are part of Premier Daniel Andrews’ bid to contain the number of new infections (however, there will be exemptions on compassionate grounds). Meanwhile, Mildura – in Victoria’s north-west – has been labelled a hotspot. This means residents can access Commonwealth assistance. There were nine new cases of COVID-19 reported in Victoria yesterday. Lockdown has been extended until Tuesday night.
  • In Adelaide, residents are waking up to the first day of their state’s 7-day lockdown. There were two new cases in the state yesterday. There’s just five reasons for South Australians to leave their home: shopping for essential items, healthcare, outdoor exercise, essential work or caring for a loved one.
  • It’s decision day for the Brisbane Olympics bid. We’re set to find out if Australia will host the 2032 Games around 5pm AEST. It comes after Queensland recorded one new coronavirus case yesterday: a fully-vaccinated woman in her 20s who returned to the Sunshine State after visiting a Melbourne exposure site. Authorities say she was infectious in the community for a couple of days.
  • And in international news, the world’s richest man – Jeff Bezos – has blasted off into space on a private rocket. It comes just nine days after another billionaire, Richard Branson, travelled into space from New Mexico in what many say is the first step towards recreational space flights.
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