A daily 5 minute news wrap for English learners.

Published on
Friday, January 15, 2021 - 12:11
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4 min 56 sec


Welcome to SBS News in Easy English. I'm Sonia Lal.

Queensland authorities have rejected reports of a potential breach in hotel quarantine, defending the handling of a case who later tested positive for the the UK coronavirus variant.

The woman -- staying at Brisbane's Grand Chancellor Hotel -- left quarantine to accompany her father to hospital and help with translation .

The pair had arrived in the country from Lebanon.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, says there was no risk of exposure to the community.

She says all protocols were followed, including the wearing of PPE by the daughter and Queensland Ambulance staff.

"So there is no risk of the transport was done via QAS and that is QAS's job and they do it very, very effectively. They move infectious people, not just COVID but other infectious people. There is no issue here at all. The hospital asked that the daughter go with the father because of his lack of English."

The state recorded three new coronavirus cases: two new infections in hotel quarantine and one historical case.



New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she is seriously considering easing coronavirus restrictions, after another day of zero locally acquired cases.

Ms Berejiklian says testing numbers have fallen to 16-thousand people, and she would like to see that number higher before easing restrictions.

"The last thing we want is to suddenly ease restrictions and go back to where we were a few weeks ago. We just need to be confident that we have really clamped down on all those undetected strains."




Victoria has recorded its ninth straight day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews says he hopes to minimise border restrictions with New South Wales, allowing more Victorians to travel home quicker.

Under the state's new permit system, thousands of Victorians are trapped in New South Wales because they are in areas designated as red zones.

They can only return with a special exemption from Victorian health authorities.

Mr Andrews says he sympathises with Victorians who cannot come back, and he plans to make an announcement on easing restrictions as soon as public health experts say it is safe.





A gender non-binary option will be available on Australia's 2021 Census to be held on August 10.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says the measure addresses a data gap on gender and sex diversity of the nation's population.

The change involves a question specifically asking about someone's "sex recorded at birth".

There is also a recommendation that statisticians use pronouns like "they" rather than "he" or "she" in surveys, to be more inclusive of transgender, intersex and non-binary Australians.





Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has warned Australia's 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign cannot resume without help from the federal government.

The pandemic meant the national team has not played a single match in 2020.

Arnold says the upcoming home fixture against Kuwait, on March 25, cannot go ahead without government intervention.

Speaking on the RSN Breakfast Club radio show, he says the assistance should be similar to what happened with the Australian Open .

"I have to be honest with you, we need government help to be able to play here in Australia against Kuwait, to get our players - who are all overseas - back into Australia, to be able to get tested, at the airport, go to the hotel, train for three days, play and then to be able to go back out."

Australia will still have matches against Taiwan and Jordan to play between June 1 and June 15 to complete their World Cup qualifying group commitments.




“I’m Sonia Lal, this is SBS News in Easy English.”