Lieutenant General John Frewen says a decision on booster shots for the general population is “imminent”, after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI) recommended them earlier this month for severely immunocompromised people.

Look back at all of Monday’s COVID-19 updates in the blog below.

Live updates

By Daniel Smith

Goodbye for now

Friends, we might wrap it up there – thanks for joining us today and tune in bright and early tomorrow as we bring you the latest. 

In the meantime, you can find all the latest COVID news at

By Daniel Smith

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Here’s the latest on the vaccine rollout across the country.

By Daniel Smith

Some Q&A

Is there a quarantine requirement if you come back from NSW and want to get into SA? This would be for essential work

-NSW bound

Hi there NSW bound! Here’s what the SA government’s website had to say about essential workers looking to enter the state from NSW:

Travellers arriving from New South Wales are currently prohibited from entering South Australia, except for Essential Travellers and some permitted arrivals.

Essential travellers, who have been in New South Wales in the 14 days prior to arrival, may enter South Australia subject to Level 4 requirements:

  • COVID-19 test on day 1, 5, and 13
  • Must self-quarantine for 14 days
  • A person must wear a face mask (covering mouth and nose) at any time that they come into contact with the public.

And then of course you’ll need to fill out a Cross Border Travel Registration too. 

Any updates on what time WA will review it’s border with Qld today since he transition to Qld very low risk was put on hold?


No word, I’m afraid. Needless to say, if I get wind of anything, I’ll pop it here.

By Daniel Smith

Vic schools forced to close due to COVID exposure

Back in Victoria, dozens of schools have been forced to shut due to COVID-19 exposure amid concerns schools are not prepared to have full classrooms again.

The Education Department has listed more than 100 Victorian schools that are currently closed

The government announced earlier this month 49,000 extra air purifiers would be provided to schools to improve ventilation.

Health Minister Martin Foley says the rollout is still underway.

“In regards to the air scrubbers, my understanding is they’re progressively coming in. Victoria has the greatest number of those both on the ground now and scheduled to come in over the course of the rest of the school year.”

By Daniel Smith

SA students getting vaccinations in pop-up clinics

Students at 20 schools across South Australia are getting COVID-19 vaccinations today as part of the government’s pop-up clinics initiative.

The clinics are targeting areas in the state that have lower vaccination rates, and are open to students, parents and community members.

Year nine Findon High School student Sapphira Brice got her first jab today and says it’ll help her continue to study and work – even if there’s a COVID outbreak.

“So I was encouraged by my parents to get it because I have a job, so they just encouraged me so I can go out and do daily things and just not worry about it … like I have the vaccine so I’ll be ok.”

By Daniel Smith

Vic retail workers to have a few weeks leeway for vaccination coverage

Jumping over to Victoria, the state government says retail staff won’t need to be fully vaccinated by the time shops reopen this Friday.

Mandatory vaccination was introduced for the hospitality sector when venues reopened last week, but a vaccine mandate for non-essential retail workers won’t come into effect until the end of November when the state is due to have 90 per cent double-vaccination coverage.

Health Minister Martin Foley said it was likely retail workers would be given another few weeks to get both doses.

“Of course we want everyone to be vaccianted, but when it comes to those arrangemnets, we won’t be excluding that workforce until such time as we’ve given them reasonable opportunity.”

By Daniel Smith

SA sitting at 79.3 per cent single dose

Anything from SA? Did we reach 80% first dose vax? I am desperate to see SA’s road map too. Are we to expect that anytime soon? I feel that in order to encourage people to get vaccinated the SA government needs to provide an idea of the freedoms that will be available to people when we open up the State, which we need to do.


Hi Sasasasasasa! The latest data I have shows SA at 79.3 per cent, single dose. 62.5 per cent of the population aged over 16 are fully vaccinated. As for a roadmap, the transition committee is meeting tomorrow – so hopefully we’ll know more then!

By Daniel Smith

Overseas whip-around

Let’s hit pause on the domestic news and take a quick look around at the state of play overseas, COVID-wise.

  • A northwestern Chinese province heavily dependent on tourism has closed all tourist sites after finding new COVID-19 cases. Gansu province lies along the ancient Silk Road and is famed for the Dunhuang grottoes filled with Buddhist images and other religious sites. The National Health Commission said 35 new cases of local transmission had been detected over the past 24 hours, four of them in Gansu. Another 19 cases were found in the Inner Mongolia region, with others spread across several provinces and cities. Residents in parts of Inner Mongolia have been ordered to stay indoors. Despite having largely stamped out cases of local infection, China maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward the pandemic, characterised by lockdowns, quarantines and compulsory testing for the virus.

  • Concerted international action is needed to support Papua New Guinea as a surge in cases overwhelms the Pacific country’s health system, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said. Coronavirus cases in the island nation of 9 million have been surging in recent weeks, with 385 new cases recorded on Thursday, according to latest available government data. There have been 26,731 officially confirmed cases and 329 deaths. Less than 1 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data figures, although the government anticipated months ago that it would have enough shots by now for everyone who wanted to be vaccinated. Misinformation, public apprehension, and logistical challenges with the rollout have slowed down vaccinations, the Red Cross said. A medical team from Australia arrived in Port Moresby this month, and Britain was also to send a team.

  • Brazil has registered 187 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 6,204 confirmed cases of the virus, according to data released on Sunday by the Health Ministry. Brazil has now reported 605,644 COVID-19 deaths, the most in the world after the United States. The BBC reported a few days ago that a major report – the culmination of a six-month inquiry – said Brazil’s president should be accused of a series of crimes over his handling of the pandemic. Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of failing to control the virus, and the panel wants him to face a number of criminal charges, including crimes against humanity. Reacting to the report, the President insisted that “we know that we are guilty of absolutely nothing”.

By Daniel Smith

WA update


Any news of a WA press conference today?


Good morning (WA time) afternoon your time

any word on a WA press conference, and an update on if the QLD rating will drop to very low again. My best friend arrives on Thursday and I was so excited knowing I could see them this week and not have to wait another 14 days while the quarantined

-WA resident desperate to see QLD friend

A few questions coming in about a WA update – unfortunately, there’s nothing on the horizon. But if that changes, you can be sure that I’ll be popping it in here as quick as I can.

By Daniel Smith

Housecalls in Vic

Can fully vaxxed people visit unvaccinated in vic please? Thanks for great work, blog team! U get me thru each day!


Hi Ange, up to 10 people (including dependents) per day can visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne.

Health officials strongly recommend that people only permit those aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home – but it’s not mandated. So yes.

For more on the current level of restrictions, you can check out our story here.

By Alexis Moran

NSW Government announces a Special Consideration Program for HSC students significantly impacted by lockdowns

Reporting by ABC Radio Sydney

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says the New South Wales Education Standards Authority will ensure marks are moderated to fairly reflect the learning environments and experiences of students this year.

Ms Mitchell says principals will be able to make the applications on behalf of the students affected.

“Either as individual students or here, in what were previously the 12 local government areas of concern, we will accept whole group cohorts because we know that these children particularly were quite significantly impacted.”

The New South Wales Government has also announced school sport will be back from November 1.

By Daniel Smith

Fed up with slow updates, Bendigo locals compile their own exposure site list

Reporting by Kimberly Price

In the space of a week, more than 20,000 people have joined a Bendigo Facebook group that lists local exposure sites, which organisers say take too long to be posted online by the health department.

One of the admins, Shannon Spooner, said she wanted people to be able to make “informed decisions” — particularly those who are immunocompromised, can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, or have young children.

She said she and her fellow admins started the page because they were receiving information from local businesses “long before” official notifications.

But Bendigo Health Public Health Unit executive director Bruce Bolam said the best policy was always to go to the Department of Health’s website, saying that was the “authoritative stuff” you should be concerned about.

You can read more here.

By Daniel Smith

That’s it from the Qld Deputy Premier

He was asked a few questions about Brisbane’s Olympic preparations for 2032 and some local government stuff, and then wrapped up.

By Alexis Moran

Mr Miles says he’s confident Queensland can reach 80pc double dose by December 17

“We’re quite confident we’ll be able to reach that target statewide, but as I say, our concern is that some regions are lagging behind.”

By Daniel Smith

Qld mayors urge people to get vaccinated

A collection of mayors from across Queensland are speaking, urging people to get vaccinated.

Mr Miles is back up for questions now. He says they’re confident the vaccination target will be met statewide, but some regions are lagging behind.

When asked whether he was concerned about the Uber driver on the Gold Coast who tested positive and reportedly tried to escape, he said hospitals and staff were well equipped to deal with patients, regardless of their behaviour.

“They’re equipped to deal with patients with a full range of medical conditions… they have systems in place to deal with that.”

We heard earlier from Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken that the man has been “very difficult to get the full story from … he’s been very sick and so that’s limited his ability to talk to us”, but “he’s been relatively cooperative”. He did not leave the hospital, Dr Aitken confirmed.

By Alexis Moran

Qld Deputy Premier has been meeting with local mayors about vaccination rates

Steven Miles says they’ve been discussing how to get all of the Queensland to the 80 per cent double dose target. 

“Who better to give us that advice other than local leaders,” he says. 

By Daniel Smith


My name is Dan Smith and I’m here to chew gum and keep you all up to date with COVID news – and I’m all outta gum.

Let’s get going.

By Alexis Moran

Watch the Queensland COVID update here

By Alexis Moran

Students return to face-to-face schooling in New South Wales

Reporting by Cecilia Connell

ABC News: Cecilia Connell

Thousands of students headed back to face-to-face learning at schools across NSW today, marking the end of months of home-schooling.

Schools have welcomed back Years 2 to 11, after kindy and Year 12 went back a week ago.

All teachers have to be vaccinated and face masks are compulsory for teachers and students from Year 7 up.

One of those back on school grounds is Nicholas Ly, School Captain at Fairvale High School in Sydney’s south west.

He’s anxious about his HSC exams but said the return to onsite learning has been great for revision.

“Lockdown was a bit rough at first but with the help of our teachers and parents we’ve adjusted correctly,” he said.

By Alexis Moran

New Zealand has reported 109 new COVID infections

That’s up from 80 yesterday. Most of the new cases are in Auckland.

New Zealand’s largest city remains on lockdown, with alert level three restrictions in place, while most of the rest of the country is on alert level two.

Posted , updated