Barton Deakin Brief: COVID-19 National Update

Date: Feb 2021

COVID-19 National Update

5 February 2021

Overview

As at 8pm, 4 February 2021, 13,128,847 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Australia. 28,838 (0.2%) were positive and 13,102,009 were negative (99.8%). Of the positive tests, 52 are currently active cases. There have been 909 deaths attributed to COVID-19. In the past seven days, there have been two locally acquired cases and 42 overseas acquired cases. National Cabinet convened on 5 February 2021. The National Cabinet discussed the rollout of vaccines, the management of hotel quarantine, interstate borders, and the broader reform agenda.

Vaccinations

Australia has secured a total of 150 million doses of vaccines, including an additional ten million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Commonwealth Government is developing a prioritisation schedule to guide the rollout of vaccines. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) stated that hotel quarantine will continue for the foreseeable future, notwithstanding vaccination. The Prime Minister (PM) confirmed that Australia would also be assisting pacific nations with the vaccine rollout.

Reform

The PM will be commissioning Phillip Gaetjens, the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, (PM&C) to advise on the level of risk post-COVID-19. Mr Gaetjens will be coordinating with State and Territories to develop strategies for appropriate and proportionate risk management.

Hotel Quarantine

Hotel quarantine remains the primary defence mechanism in containment of COVID-19. State and Territory Governments agreed to increase the capacity of hotel quarantine from 15 February 2021. Hotel quarantine capacity will return to previous levels for New South Wales and Queensland. South Australia will increase capacity by 530 and Victoria will increase capacity by 1,310.

Interstate Borders

Western Australia continues to restrict arrivals from New South Wales and Victoria. Individuals who have visited either State in the previous 14 days will be required to self-quarantine at a suitable premise for 14 days. If a suitable premise is not accessible, arrivals will be subjected to 14 days of hotel quarantine. Western Australia has reported one locally acquired case in the past seven days. The West Australian Government imposed lockdown restrictions on the Perth metropolitan area, Peel and the South West. The lockdown will end at 6pm on 5 February 2021.

Victoria recorded one locally acquired case of COVID-19 on 4 February 2021. The Victorian border permit applies to all interstate arrivals. Interstate arrivals from locked-down areas of Western Australia are prohibited from entering Victoria.

Queensland has restricted arrivals from 46 Local Government Areas in Western Australia. Restrictions will remain until 14 February 2021. Arrivals from Greater Melbourne have been advised to test, isolate, and refrain from visiting aged care facilities.

The Northern Territory has restricted arrivals from ten Victorian LGAs, and from the relevant areas of Western Australia. Any arrivals from these areas will be required to undergo supervised quarantine.

Tasmania prohibits interstate arrivals from areas deemed to be ‘high risk’. These areas include several LGAs in Victoria and Western Australia. The full list is available here.

South Australia remains open to interstate arrivals. However, arrivals from relevant Western Australian LGAs are prohibited. Arrivals from Greater Sydney, Wollongong, and the Central Coast must test on the 1st, 5th, and 12th day in the State, and must isolate until a negative test result is received.

New South Wales remains open to all interstate arrivals.

Further Information

For more information on COVID-19 and related government matters see Barton Deakin briefs.

For information on Victorian, Western Australian, and Queensland responses to COVID-19 and related matters see here.

For more information, contact Barton Deakin here.

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