With that we will be closing the blog for today – but we will be back with the latest national news early tomorrow morning.
Here is what happened today:
- NSW reported 30 new locally acquired cases, the Northern Territory reported four new cases, Queensland reported three new cases, and Western Australia reported one new case, as multiple states and territories reported new outbreaks for the first time this year.
- The NT declared a lockdown for 48 hours for Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield, and WA introduced stage-one restrictions for Perth and the Peel region. The ACT introduced masks in some indoor settings.
- South Australia closed its borders to Queensland, WA, the NT and the ACT. The premier, Steven Marshall, said he was “thinking of” introducing restrictions and could announce them tomorrow.
- In the NT, the four new cases have the Delta strain of the virus, and are linked to a mine worker at the Granites gold mine 540km north-west of Alice Springs. This worker is believed to have contracted the virus in hotel quarantine in Brisbane. This Delta variant is different to the Delta variant spreading in Sydney.
- In Queensland, two of the cases were reported in the morning with the Alpha, not Delta, variant. A third case was reported on Saturday evening, and it is unclear what variant the person has.
- In WA, the new case was a woman who visited Sydney and returned to Perth. It is assumed she has the Delta variant.
- In other news, Bridget McKenzie was promoted back to the cabinet and Darren Chester was demoted to the backbench in the Nationals cabinet reshuffle after Barnaby Joyce returned to the party leadership.
- Victorian premier Daniel Andrews released a video where he described how he injured his back vertebrae, and his wife Catherine said she thought he was “going to die”.
The WA premier, Mark McGowan, is also scheduled to give another press conference at 4.30pm local time – ie: in 30 minutes.
Queensland reports another Covid case
Queensland has just reported a further locally acquired case of Covid-19.
Earlier today, the state reported two new cases.
The latest case is a miner who had returned from working in the Northern Territory, transited through Brisbane airport on Friday night and travelled to the Sunshine Coast.
The mine worker was infectious in the community for around a day, Queensland Health said.
Oppositions MPs have reacted to the demotion of former veterans affairs minister Darren Chester from the cabinet.
Labor MP Chris Bowen said Chester served with “distinction and respect” and his demotion was “shocking”.
Labor MP Andrew Giles paid tribute to Chester and used the reshuffle to attack the government.
Victoria designates Darwin a red zone
Victoria has effectively closed its border to Darwin, effective from 8pm today.
It includes Palmerston and Litchfield as well, which were included in the NT lockdown today.
The A-League final is being played tonight at AAMI park in Melbourne.
I’m hearing reports the all tickets for NSW and ACT addresses have been cancelled, unless people provide a negative result.
Some media, such as Vision Australia, are currently still unable to enter the stadium.
You can follow the game here:
NSW Health wrongly listed Crossroads Hotel exposure site
Quite a large correction has just been issued by NSW Health.
On Saturday, NSW Health incorrectly listed the Crossroads Hotel in Casula as a venue that had been visited by a confirmed case of Covid-19.
It turns out it was actually the Crossways Hotel, 482 Liverpool Road, in Strathfield South.
The two pubs are about 25km apart.
The Crossroads Hotel in Casula is a large, heavily frequented pub in the area that many may remember was at the centre of a previous outbreak last year.
The correction means potentially hundreds of people may have been wrongly told to isolate.
Anyone who was at the Crossways Hotel in Strathfield South on Wednesday 23 June, 7pm–10.30pm must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
Darren Chester, the former veterans’ affairs minister who was just demoted in the Nationals reshuffle, has said he hopes the government continues to support veterans in the upcoming royal commission.
“There was still plenty of work to be done but that task will fall to the incoming minister,” he said.
“As a backbencher, I want to see the Coalition government maintain the momentum for reform, and build on all the good work we are doing while the royal commission runs its course.”
He also thanked all the veterans and members of the defence force who he worked with during his time as minister.
“It’s been the greatest honour and privilege of my working life to spend time with you and represent your interests within the federal government,” he said.
He finishes with: “I love Gippsland, and I’m not going anywhere.”
ACT introduces mask restrictions
The Australian Capital Territory has made wearing face masks compulsory inside shops, hospitality venues, hairdressers and gyms, despite recording no new cases.