LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS:
* Victoria recorded 221 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases as regional areas prepare to emerge from lockdown from Friday.
* Regional Victorians will be able to leave home for any reason from 11.59pm on Thursday, while most businesses and venues can reopen with strict capacity limits and some students may return to school.
* The regional Victorian area of Greater Shepparton, however, will remain in lockdown as it continues to drive down an outbreak.
* Six people from an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community were fined $5452 each after they illegally gathered in southeast Melbourne to mark the Rosh Hashanah holiday on Tuesday.
* Victorians stuck on the NSW border can apply to return and quarantine at home under a 200-place pilot program.
* Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the "final touches" are being added to the NSW roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown and could be revealed shortly.
* NSW reported 1480 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, including a western Sydney man in his 20s.
* A third Aboriginal person from western NSW was also among the latest COVID-19 deaths, with authorities revealing almost two-thirds of those testing positive in the region are Indigenous.
* ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr warned restrictions cannot ease significantly in Canberra without higher vaccination rates, as the territory recorded 20 new infections on Wednesday.
* Queensland recorded no new virus cases as it plans a COVID-19 quarantine bubble for up to 400 returning soldiers tasked with an eleventh-hour evacuation mission in Afghanistan.
* Coronavirus vaccinations will be mandatory for truckies who want to enter South Australia from high-risk areas.
* Australia has cleared coronavirus vaccine passports for takeoff from next month in preparation for international jetsetting to again take flight.
* The federal opposition renewed its attack over the vaccination program, pointing to documents released under freedom of information which show Pfizer made first contact with the government on June 26 last year.
* Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium will host this year's NRL grand final as Sydney continues to battle its coronavirus outbreak.
AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NUMBERS:
* There have been 21,539,586 doses administered in the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout up to Tuesday, including 294,651 in the previous 24 hours.
* Of the total, 12,444,167 have been administered by the Commonwealth (an increase of 177,686 in the previous 24 hours).
* 9,095,419 have been administered by the states and territories, including 116,965 in the previous 24 hours.
* Nationwide, 64.6 per cent of people aged over 16 have received one vaccine dose while 39.7 per cent are fully vaccinated.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Australia reported 1721 local cases on Wednesday: 1480 in NSW, 221 in Victoria and 20 in the ACT.
* There was also one overseas-acquired case reported in SA.
* The national death toll is 1059: Victoria 823, NSW 204, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 7, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Cases: at least 221,936,000.
* Deaths: at least 4,586,000.
* Vaccine doses administered: at least 5,532,236,000.
Data current as at 1800 AEST on September 8, taking in federal and state/territory government updates and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre figures.