A daily 5 minute news wrap for English learners.

Presented by
Essam Al-Ghalib
Published on
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:54
File size
5 min 21 sec


Welcome to SBS News in Easy English. I'm Essam Al-Ghalib.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet want other states to scrap restrictions on domestic travel.

Border closures are costing the state approximately $180-million per week.

Meanwhile, Police in New South Wales have fined around 100 people who were not wearing masks.

Victoria has recorded no locally acquired cases of coronavirus for a 13th consecutive day.

However four infections have been recorded in hotel quarantine.

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 34, an increase of one.

It comes after the Victorian government eased travel restrictions to allow more people to return to the state.

Travellers from 25 local government areas in Greater Sydney can now apply for permits to enter Victoria.

Queensland has recorded 12 straight days of zero community transmission of COVID-19.

However three new cases have been recorded in hotel quarantine in returned travellers.

One of the cases was a woman who recently returned from South Africa.

Two other cases were flight crew who have since left the country.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says coronavirus restrictions should be eased in Greater Brisbane by this Friday.

"No concerns and we are on track to have those restrictions lifted. We only have two more days to go, so fingers crossed that all will be very good for Friday morning."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken with outgoing US Vice President Mike Pence.

Both leaders stressed the importance of the Australia-US alliance in the Indo-Pacific region.

Mr Morrison and Mr Pence thanked each other for their strong partnership over the past four years.

Vice-President elect Kamala Harris has resigned her Senate seat.

She has to do that before the Presidential inauguration ceremony on Thursday when she will become Vice-President.

"It's not going to be easy, as we have discussed, Joe has outlined our plan for vaccinations, our plans for recovery, and in particular, relief for working people, for families."]

Meanwhile, there are reports outgoing President Donald Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons before he leaves office.

To sport,

Japanese player Taro Daniel says some fellow competitors asked Tennis Australia to shorten the men's singles matches from five sets to three.

Mr Daniel says it is hard for players to be competetive for up to four or five hours, per match, when they have been confined to a hotel room and not able to train their bodies.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley dismissed the notion, saying the format will not change.

"We are a grand slam at the end of the day. Right now, three out of five sets for the men, and two out of three sets for the women, is the position we plan on sticking to, starting on February the 8th. We are sending a signal, Melbourne is sending a signal to the world that we are the capital city of major events and we want to remain that way. We are the sporting capital of the world."

Mr Tiley conducted a teleconference with more than 500 players last night and he says most of them are happy to be here and stick to the quarantine rules.

I'm Essam Al-Ghalib, this is SBS News in Easy English.