Renewed push to get stragglers jabbed

·3-min read

Australia may be on track to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world but that's not stopping health officials launching another push to get stragglers immunised.

Australia has passed a major milestone of having 80 per cent of the national population aged 16 and over fully vaccinated with two COVID-19 inoculations.

"COVID will be in the community in each and every area of Australia over time as we open up," Deputy Chief Medical Official Sonya Bennett told reporters on Sunday.

"Everyone will be at risk of being exposed to COVID. The best way to protect yourself against diseases is to get vaccinated."

Meanwhile, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner is extending the three-day lockdown in Greater Darwin by 24 hours until midnight on Monday, while Katherine went from a lockdown to a lockout at 3 pm.

He said the source of the outbreak is now known but the additional time was needed for contact testing.

"If all goes well, Katherine will exit the lockout with Darwin at midnight tomorrow," Mr Gunner said.

While Australia's vaccination rollout is going from strength to strength, the death toll from the coronavirus continues to climb.

Victoria on Sunday reported another nine fatalities, while recording 1173 new infections.

In NSW there were 244 new cases and one death.

The ACT avoided adding to the death toll - which now stands at 1815 nationally - but recorded 13 new infections.

Queensland also announced three new cases, one a traveller from Melbourne who was possibly infectious while on the flight.

NSW is freeing up its Olympic Park arena vaccination hub to allow it to return to staging sport and entertainment events.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the closure would not slow the state's vaccination rate, which is now on the brink of hitting 90 per cent for those aged 16 over and fully jabbed.

"We're now in the tougher end of the vaccination (program) ... where people who have been reluctant for a variety of reasons are now contemplating whether or not they should be vaccinated," he said.

"They are coming forward but they're coming forward more slowly."

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has unveiled a $44 million package to revitalise Melbourne's CBD.

From November 15, diners will be able to reclaim 30 per cent of their food and beverage bills - up to $150 - between Monday and Thursday each week.

The package also includes $10.4 million to help businesses trade outdoors and at night, $15.7 million to boost the city's events calendar, $14 million to revitalise public areas and $3.6 million to provide an enhanced business concierge service.

"This is about getting people back to the CBD," Mr Andrews told reporters.

"Having people not only visiting but spending, and that's all about jobs. It's all about recovering what we lost."

ACT Health is working with nine schools across the territory to actively manage COVID-19 cases.

It and the Education Directorate want to ensure COVID Safe plans are in place to minimise transmission where a positive case may attend school while infectious.

"These school communities have been contacted and all impacted students and staff are receiving support from ACT Health and the Education Directorate," ACT Health said in a statement.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Queensland is likely to hit 80 per cent of its 16-plus population with at least their first vaccine dose by Tuesday.

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