Australia news LIVE: NSW COVID cases continue to grow as Bondi cluster surges to 21

Key posts

  • Victoria declares seven areas of NSW ‘red zones’
  • New Zealand pauses travel bubble with NSW
  • This morning’s news at a glance
  • 1 of 1

Victoria declares seven areas of NSW ‘red zones’

Victoria has labelled seven NSW local government areas ‘red zones’.

This means Victorian residents returning from areas such as the City of Sydney will have to obtain a permit and quarantine at home for 14 days.

Victoria has declared the City of Sydney a ‘red zone’ for travel purposes.Credit:Peter Braig

Non-Victorian residents who have been in a red zone are barred from entering Victoria altogether (unless they obtain an exemption).

The red zones are:

  • The City of Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Woollahra
  • Bayside
  • Canada Bay
  • Inner West
  • Randwick

The changes came into effect at 1am this morning. Victoria’s health department says anyone arriving into the state from those local government areas without a valid travel permit will be fined and have to stay in hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, Victoria officially declared Wollongong an orange zone in the early hours of the morning. This means anyone entering Victoria from the Wollongong local government area in NSW must obtain a travel permit, isolate upon arrival, get a coronavirus test and stay isolated until they receive a negative result.

New Zealand pauses travel bubble with NSW

The travel bubble between New South Wales and New Zealand has burst – for now.

New Zealand’s health department says an Australian travelled from Sydney to Wellington over the weekend before returning to Australia on Monday and testing positive to COVID-19.

Health authorities say an Australian man flew from Wellington to Sydney on Monday while infectious.Credit:iStock

“This is the first time an Australian traveller has brought COVID-19 to NZ and since gone home,” NZ’s Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“Based on the time of their symptom onset and CT [cycle threshold] score it is most likely they contracted the virus in Sydney prior to their visit to New Zealand. Genome sequencing is underway in Australia to see if the case is linked to the current outbreak in Sydney.”

As a result, travel between NSW and New Zealand has been halted for the next few days.

NZ authorities say they have so far identified four close contacts of the Australian traveller. All are isolating as further contact tracing gets underway.

Passengers who also flew on the following flights must immediately isolate at their home or accommodation and call NZ health authorities on 1800 358 5453:

  • The Sydney to Wellington Qantas flight QF163 that left NSW on Friday, June 18 at 7.05pm AEST and landed in New Zealand on Saturday, June 19 at 12.12am NZST; and
  • The Wellington to Sydney Air New Zealand flight NZ247 that left NZ on Monday, June 21 at 10.13am NZST and arrived in Australia on Monday, 21 at 11.33am AEST.

“Australian health authorities will be contacting those on the return flight to Sydney to provide advice about testing and isolation,” NZ’s Ministry of Health said.

White House concedes it will miss July 4 vaccination goal

The White House has acknowledged the United States will miss President Joe Biden’s goal for 70 per cent of American adults to have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by the July 4 holiday.

When Biden announced the goal at the beginning of May the US appeared on track to reach the target, but the average daily vaccination rate has dropped significantly in subsequent weeks.

Earlier in the month Joe Biden had designated June a “national month of action” on vaccines. Credit:AP

Read the full story here.

This morning’s news at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company. It’s Wednesday, June 23. I’m Broede Carmody.

It’s set to be a busy day today, with some borders slammed shut and Sydneysiders waiting for the latest coronavirus numbers. Let’s jump straight into what’s making news today:

  • NSW health authorities are trying to track down how a year three student contracted coronavirus. Sydney’s Bondi cluster has grown to 21 cases and there are fears Queensland will soon slam its borders shut.
  • Meanwhile, Victoria has declared a number of NSW local government areas ‘red zones’. It comes as restrictions are set to ease across Greater Melbourne.
  • New Zealand has paused its travel bubble with New South Wales. It comes after a man travelled from Sydney to Wellington while infectious.
  • And in overseas news, Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has been banned from the sport for four years. It means the swimmer, who has clashed publicly with Australian Mack Horton, will miss this year’s Olympics.
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