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Here is AAP’s report on today’s national cabinet meeting:
Prime minister Scott Morrison will push to increase the weekly cap of 6000 international arrivals when he chairs a national cabinet meeting on Friday.
More than 32,000 Australians remain overseas.
Morrison imposed the weekly incoming passenger cap to ease pressure on hotel quarantine.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne wants states and territories to steadily increase their quarantine capacities.
“We would hope that it does gradually increase through the states and territories as they are able to deal with quarantine,”Payne told ABC radio on Friday.
It also wants Victoria to restart its quarantine scheme after bringing a second wave of coronavirus under control, given Melbourne was Australia’s second-largest international entry point.
The federal government has organised a burst of repatriation flights for vulnerable Australians.
The first flight from London will arrive in Darwin on Friday before the 161 passengers are taken to Howard Springs.
Senator Payne said the government had eight chartered flights in planning.
One will take off from New Dehli in India next week and another from Johannesburg in South Africa.
An in-depth review of the state-by-state schemes will be examined by national cabinet.
Former health department boss Jane Halton began her review in July and wrapped up on September 30.
Halton has examined the way clinical, hotel and security staff were trained in infection prevention and control.
She also investigated evidence of community cases linked to international travellers in hotel quarantine.
As well, she looked at the management of suspected and confirmed cases, provision of support services, management of vulnerable people and cultural diversity, and making more capacity available.
Victoria’s head of contact tracing, Prof Euan Wallace, is on ABC RN Breakfast talking to Dr Norman Swan.
He says in that northern Melbourne outbreak, the contact tracing team has “put a ring around it” in terms of “making sure that we keep that fire break between cases and contacts on the rest of the community”.
He says the outbreak is mostly between and within households, and households that know each other. He indicates that again it seems as though households were mixing when that is against the rules.
Wallace is talking up the improvements on the contact tracing system, including there now being 12 metro and regional hubs for tracing that are more embedded in the local communities, and he said some of the commentary around the contact tracing team has been “unjust”.
Hello and welcome to Friday. Josh Taylor here on the liveblog for you until this afternoon.
There is a bit of anxiety in Victoria today as a potential outbreak from a school in the northern suburbs of Melbourne could put at risk the run of low case numbers in the state over the past week.
Premier Daniel Andrews has insisted everything is being thrown at it, with around 500 people who are close contacts or close contacts of close contacts currently isolating and awaiting test results. It’s a public holiday in Melbourne today for the AFL grand final which is not being held in Melbourne tomorrow, but we are expecting the usual daily press conference today.
Ahead of the announced easing restrictions on Sunday, Guardian Australia has learned the Victorian government is seeking out intelligence firms to identify workplaces at risk of breaching Covid-safe rules.
There is a national cabinet meeting today, where the focus will be on removing the restrictions and getting the economy restarted.
The first returned travellers on a Qantas flight subsidised by the government is currently on its way from Darwin.
In federal politics, outgoing minister for finance, Mathias Cormann, has been spruiking a green recovery as part of his pitch for the job of secretary general for the OECD.
The Australian embassy in Paris has accidentally revealed the email addresses of people looking to get home by failing to put them in a BCC field of an email, the third such incident in recent months.
There will likely be some more wash up from Senate estimates this week today, potentially around Australia Post and those watches, but until then, let’s get into it.
Source: The Guardian
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