SBS News in Easy English (SBS)

A daily 5 minute news wrap for English learners. 

Presented by
Stephanie Corsetti
Published on
Friday, October 22, 2021 - 12:00
File size
4 min 32 sec


Welcome to SBS News in Easy English.

Victoria has reported a record 16 deaths and another day of over 2000 new Covid-19 cases on Melbourne's first day out of lockdown.

There were 2,178 new local infections in the 24 hour reporting period.

There are 784 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Victoria.

From Friday, Melburnians can have visitors at home, leave the house for any reason, get a haircut, and dine out at the city's cafes and restaurants.

The Health Department is also making changes to isolation rules for fully vaccinated non-household primary close contacts, who will only have to quarantine for seven days, instead of 14.

There have been another 345 new local cases of COVID-19 reported in New South Wales, and five further deaths.

There are now 482 people in hospital with coronavirus in New South Wales.

Meanwhile, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged possible changes to the state's border with Victoria.

"The challenge that we have is that we've set a 1 November date for travel between Sydney and regional NSW as those vaccination rates increase. But I spoke to the Premier last night, we want to have that border open as quickly a possible and we'll have something to say about that shortly."

Qantas has announced it will bring forward the restart of international flights as Australia reopens its borders for the first time since March 2020.

The airline says it follows the border reopening from the 1st of November and a decision by New South Wales to scrap quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers.

Qantas says the changes will mean 11,000 stood down staff will be reinstated.

The airline's chairman Alan Joyce has called it the biggest and best news the company has had in two years.

"But there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's very clear that because Australians have rolled up their sleeves and take the jab we can see that light."

A prison in central Queensland remains in lockdown more than 17 hours after a riot by inmates.

The riot broke out at the Capricornia Correctional Centre just north of Rockhampton on Thursday morning.

Police say they're considering laying criminal charges against prisoners who damaged property and lit fires, although no corrections staff were injured.

It's not know what the riot was about.

The union for prison staff has raised concerns about over crowding in Queensland jails - at the time of the riot, the facility was 92.7 per cent full.

And Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Queen Elizabeth spent the night in hospital on Wednesday but has returned home to Windsor Castle in "good spirits".

The 95 year-old was forced to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland after she fell ill, and was ordered to rest by doctors.

The Palace says the monarch went to hospital for some "preliminary investigations", but was back at her desk on Thursday to undertake light duties.

This is SBS News in Easy English, thanks for joining us. I am Stephanie Corsetti.