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COVID update: Mask rules relaxed, a quarantine scare and WA borders open

Real family taking a selfie together while they are wearing protecting masks. Source: Digital Vision

In this week’s COVID-19 update, Victoria relaxes its rules around face coverings, New South Wales had a hotel quarantine scare and Western Australia permitted quarantine-free travel for people from New South Wales and Victoria.

Victoria has relaxed its rules on face coverings.

 They're now only required on public transport, in shops and department stores and in environments where it's difficult to maintain a physical distance.

 Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration Professor John Skerritt says it will be well placed to make decisions on vaccine approvals by the end of next month.

An international airline crew from the United States is suspected of being the source of an infection for a hotel quarantine cleaner in Sydney.

 The woman became infected after working at one of Sydney's quarantine hotels.

 Under the current rules, international airline crew are not required to have COVID-19 tests before arriving in quarantine because many of them only stay for a short period before returning home. 

A police officer's error at Sydney Airport enabled a German national and her son to board a plane to Melbourne.

 The 53 year old woman and 15 year old boy are now in quarantine in Melbourne and passengers on board the flight were forced to go into isolation and get tested. 

 New South Wales Police have taken responsibility for the error, with Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy saying miscommunication was to blame.

Victoria has started receiving returned travellers from overseas in its revamped hotel quarantine system.

 The state stopped receiving returned travellers in June after its hotel quarantine failures saw the virus spread through the community and trigger a devastating second wave of infections.  

 To avoid a repeat of that catastrophe, the state has set up an agency, COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, which has complete oversight of the new program

  The doctor who detected COVID-19 in the Adelaide community is now back at work.

 The outbreak saw more than 30 cases

 Emergency department doctor Dharminy Thurairatnam says she is overwhelmed and humbled by the community's support of her efforts in noticing the symptoms in an 81-year-old patient.

Western Australia will allow quarantine free travel from Victoria and New South Wales from the 8th of December.

Meanwhile, travellers from South Australia will be allowed to enter W-A without needing to quarantine from Friday , pending no further coronavirus outbreaks.

 For health and support measures currently in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in your language, visit



  • People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 
  • If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • News and information is available in 63 languages at
  •  Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.  

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