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COVID live updates: Australia to welcome fully vaccinated visa holders from Japan and South Korea from December 1 – ABC News

Get up to speed with all the coronavirus news from across Australia.
Look back at how Monday unfolded in the blog below.
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By Jon Healy
If you don't see the numbers from your state yet, that's because we haven't heard from them yet.
By Nicholas McElroy
Thanks for following along. We'll be back with more updates early tomorrow morning.

By Nicholas McElroy
Western Australia's Premier has accused anti-vaccination protesters — who abused and heckled him in Bunbury — of crossing the line.
Mark McGowan was escorted to his vehicle by police after attending a community cabinet town hall event at Eaton last night.
Protesters yelled abuse regarding the government's mandatory vaccination policy, which will affect about 75 per cent of WA workers.
Mr McGowan said the behaviour was unnecessary.
"Peaceful protests is fine, people democratically exercising their rights you know but attacking people and swearing and abusing and attacking police officers, that's not right," he said.
By Nicholas McElroy
You can watch the press conference from ABC Adelaide here. But be warned, the press conference was called for a tennis announcement.
By Nicholas McElroy
As South Australia prepares to open its border on Tuesday, the state government's website for entry assessment has been inundated with more than 25,000 applications.
The EntryCheck SA website was scheduled to go live at 5pm last Friday but was not available until around 6pm.
The portal crashed under the high volume of traffic on Monday morning, telling users to "please try again later".
South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said the site had been inundated with more than 25,000 applications since Friday evening.
"Apologies for that portal being down today but it is up and running now," he said.
"It's processed 25,000 people looking to come into South Australia."
A screenshot of the website telling the user to try again shortly.
Mr Marshall said the website had been developed in "record time".
"It is a complex system and it needs to be because there are different arrangements for people coming in from different destinations based on their status," he said.
"The development of software like this would usually be a six- or a 12-month arrangement, especially one that was going to be under such a heavy use."
Everyone who wants to enter SA once the border is open needs to use the EntryCheck SA website to submit an application.
The website outlines the restrictions that apply to each applicant based on the location from which they are travelling.
By Nicholas McElroy
By Nicholas McElroy
A popular Indigenous elder has partnered with the State Government to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates in Victoria's First Nation's community.
About 80 per cent of Indigenous people, aged over 12, are fully vaccinated in Victoria — that's about 10 per cent less than the state average. 
Actor Uncle Jack Charles launched the Community, Unity, Immunity campaign today.
He's urging people to disregard anti-vaccination discourse and get vaccinated to protect their loved ones. 
"I'm a firm believer in imploring people to disregard the the messages you hear on your phones … so please, I beg you, get vaccinated," he said.
By Nicholas McElroy

With the deadline fast approaching, already some West Australians are choosing to leave their jobs rather than be vaccinated.
By Nicholas McElroy
WA's Premier has reiterated that the state will not welcome international visitors until 90 per cent of its eligible population is fully vaccinated.
The Prime Minister has announced double-dosed international students, temporary working holiday makers, refugees and skilled migrants will be able to enter Australia from December 1, without needing a travel exemption. 
Fully vaccinated citizens from Japan and Korea will also be able to enter, without needing to quarantine on arrival.
Mark McGowan says it makes sense to allow the move in New South Wales and Victoria — which have community coronavirus cases — but not in WA.
"We'll get to having students come in, international tourists and the like but it won't be until the new year till when we get to very high levels of vaccination," he said.
By Nicholas McElroy
They said a bit more than that. Here's today's story: 
By Jon Healy
Queensland has a new Chief Health Officer, with Gold Coast infectious diseases expert Dr John Gerrard taking over the role. 
He'll start in mid-December.
The job has been vacant after Dr Krispin Hajkowicz bowed out for personal reasons last month, just days before he was due to take over from Dr Jeannette Young.
Dr Peter Aitken has been in the role since then and will continue until Dr Gerrard takes over.
Dr Gerrard has praised the state's response to the pandemic.
"What we have seen in Queensland has been quite extraordinary. We have been able to keep the virus out of Queensland for the last two years and to allow Queenslanders to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It really is a profound honour to be asked to take on the role of the Chief Health Officer of Queensland."
By Nicholas McElroy
By Georgia Hitch
The new visa rules announced by the government today not only mean people from other countries with eligible visas can come to Australia, it also means anyone currently here who hasn’t been allowed to go home and come back, can now do that as well.
Starting on December 1, international students, skilled migrants and others who are on the eligible visas will be allowed to travel to Australia without having to apply for permission to do so and, if they’re travelling to NSW, the ACT or Vic, won’t have to quarantine.
It also means that visa holders who have been stuck in Australia will be able to go home and come back without needing to quarantine or re-apply to enter – previously it was only Australian citizens and permanent residents who were allowed back in.
Many had signed petitions asking for the government to extend relaxed border rules to them, saying some people hadn’t been able to go home and see their families since the pandemic started and the border was shut.
But anyone who does leave and wants to re-enter must follow the government’s new requirements – including that they have to leave from their home country, be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine and have one of the government-specific eligible visas. Full list here: covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers#toc-7
By Jon Healy
Dr Charles Pain says they expect to see more cases in Binjari, Katherine and elswhere, but he remains hopeful and optimistic.
"We've got to hunt those new cases down as we've done in Binjari and Robinson River.
"Our approach has been extraordinary. If we can hunt down those cases in Katherine and maintain our current controls for a reasonable period, I am optimistic, I'm very hopeful."
By Jon Healy
Michael Gunner was asked if he had demonised people who were against the mandate and unfairly labelled them as anti-vaxxers. He didn't appreciate the suggestion.
"If you are anti-mandate, you are absolutely anti-vaxx. I don't care what your personal vaccination status is.
"If you support, champion, give a greenlight, give comfort to, support anybody who argues against the vaccine, you are an anti-vaxxer. Your personal vaccination status is utterly irrelevant.
"If you campaign against the mandate, if you campaign against people being vaccinated in vulnerable settings, teachers in classrooms — I want to be clear, at that point in time, people are actually supporting the idea of a teacher being unvaccinated in a remote community classroom with kids who cannot be vaccinated. I reject that utterly.
"If you are out there in any way shape or form campaigning against this mandate, you are absolutely anti-vaxx. If you say 'pro-persuasion' — stuff it, shove it."
By Jon Healy
Of the 180 new cases in NSW:
By Jon Healy
Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker says the response from Katherine "has been nothing short of exceptional".
"We thank you very much for turning up and getting those tests yesterday. We do continue to urge you, though, to come forward and get the testing — particularly the vaccination. Particularly Aboriginal people in the Katherine area.
"We know that that is an area that really needs to have a lift in the vaccination rate. So please, help the rest of the Katherine community to get over that 80 per cent double-vaccinated status so we can look to other contingencies in the future.
"We hope that the work that you do over the next 48 hours will get us into a better posture, but we want to make sure that you are not going to be flipping in and out [of lockdown and lockout]."
By Jon Healy
After the deadline for the public-service vaccine mandate passed, 98 per cent of employees in the sector have received at least one dose, but about 400 have opted not to.
"A small number of these are frontline roles that will be filled with new hires, but overall, there will be a reduction in the public service of about 300 positions.
"Because our vaccination rate is so high, there are no impacts to service delivery expected from these people leaving their employment."
By Jon Healy
That means fully vaccinated residents can move around the community in the Robinson River area, including surrounding homelands.
Katherine will remain locked down until 6pm Wednesday.
"The first reason: There are more than 1,300 tests from Katherine and surrounding communities that we really want to get results back on and that won't happen until later today.
"The second reason: The advice that there is still highly likely to be one or more positive cases in Katherine East that we have not yet found. There is persistent positive wastewater in that area. The experience shows that persistent positive waste water is a potent for more positive cases. We're still expecting more positive cases."
By Jon Healy
Chief Minister Michael Gunner is speaking now.
Both local cases are in Katherine and come from 1,170 tests in the area.
"The first of those is a 33-year-old woman. She is the mother of a student at a primary school and she has connections to a previous positive case. Her child has tested negative twice so far. She lives in Katherine East, which may help explain the continued positive waste water there. We can speak more of this soon as there is highly likely to be other positive cases in that area."
The second case is a 67-year-old man, but that positive only just came in, so there are no more details aside from the fact he lives in Katherine.
There is a third case in the NT, but it's an international arrival.
By Jon Healy
Here's the link if you want it, but it'll be bumping up against a Northern Territory press conference, so I'll be bringing you updates from that.
I'll let you know what comes out of it though.
See our full coverage of coronavirus
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

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