Late on Friday night NSW Health alerted that fragments of Covid-19 had been detected at the sewage treatment plant at Moss Vale in the NSW Southern Highlands where there were no known cases in this area. The department said this was of “great concern”.
Moss Vale area residents are asked to be vigilant for any symptoms and if they appear to immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
Northern Territory chief minister, Michael Gunner, has blasted a group of Victorian travellers for allegedly lying on their border entry forms so they could attend a wedding, AAP reports.
The six people, aged between 29 and 31, left Victoria – a declared hotspot – on 15 July and travelled into South Australia before arriving in Darwin on Tuesday.
“I’m furious that six w**kers from Melbourne thought they could gamble with Territory lives for a holiday and a wedding,” Gunner said in a statement after NT police released a statement about the group’s alleged actions.
Officers found the group was staying at the Winnellie Hotel in a Darwin industrial area.
They have since been moved to the Centre for Nations Resilience quarantine facility where they will “spend the majority of their time in the Territory”.
“They’re now in Howard Springs and are collectively going to be about $30,000 poorer,” Gunner said.
“Our message is simple – Don’t lie. Don’t come here if you’ve been in a hotspot. Don’t put Territorians at risk.”
Police issued each of the two men and four women with a $5056 infringement notice for failing to abide by the NT Chief Health Officer’s directions.
It will be alleged the group was travelling together and provided false information to border entry personnel on arrival in Darwin.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable that these people were willing to put the rest of our community at risk by their selfish actions,” police commander Hege Burns said.
Good morning and welcome to the live blog for Saturday. I’m Josh Taylor and will be taking you through the news of the day for Saturday.
New South Wales health officials will be spending this weekend developing a roadmap out of lockdown after the state recorded 136 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, with 53 of them not isolating during their infectious period.
Divisions are emerging in the federation, particularly between NSW and Victoria, after NSW sought more first doses of Pfizer, particularly focused on essential workers in south-west Sydney.
NSW was rejected by national cabinet, with the prime minister, Scott Morrison, confirming no Pfizer would be taken away from other states to meet this need:
We’re not going to disrupt the vaccination program around the rest of the country. That vaccination program is going and is hitting its marks and we want that to continue.”
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews was the most vocal against any redistribution of the vaccine. He has called on the state to put a “ring of steel” around greater Sydney, and argued he does not want vaccines redirected from Victoria to New South Wales while Victoria is also in lockdown.
National cabinet agreed to extend the wait period for second doses of Pfizer out to up to six weeks to maximise the supply of first doses in NSW, and the prime minister urged younger Australians to speak to their GP about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Eyes will also be on Victoria and South Australia, which also remain in lockdown, reporting 14 and two new cases on Friday, respectively.