So what has been a recurring theme for a week now, long queues at testing locations, looks to continue today.
It also comes as reports emerge that NSW Police are having to turn people away from a testing location in Penrith:
Queensland to allow rapid antigen test to cross border
Queensland has once again made a change to the testing requirements to cross the border.
From 1 January (Saturday), travellers will be able to present a negative rapid antigen test to be able to cross the border. That means PCR tests are no longer the only way to cross the border, with hopes this will ease testing congestion.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the change on Twitter, mentioning that more details will be provided at a press conference later this morning:
Good morning all. Mostafa Rachwani with you today, taking you through the morning’s news, and there is much to get stuck into.
We begin in New South Wales, with reports that the state government will seek to wind back isolation times for covid positive patients. The Australian is reporting a proposal favoured by officials for people to isolate for only five days after testing positive.
It comes as reports the nation’s chief health officers also consider a similar proposal, to match reduced isolation times in the US and the UK. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is expected to report back with the recommendations early next year.
The discussion around isolation periods also come as waiting times at testing sites in NSW and Victoria are overwhelmed, with reports the system is being strained. Some have reported queuing for hours and being turned away, and many have reported waiting up to six days for results.
NSW recorded 6,062 new cases and Victoria recorded 2,738 cases yesterday, with the rush for rapid antigen tests continuing. There is still no national guideline for using the tests, and the federal government has refused to buy kits and provide them en masse, exacerbating the situation.
South Australia saw a huge surge in cases, recording 995 yesterday, with concerns numbers could continue to rise. Premier Steven Marshall told reporters the numbers were “doubling every three to four days”.
The ACT also recorded its highest daily case numbers yesterday, reporting 252 new cases, as it also faces testing queues. Like in Queensland, the ACT has moved to reduce publishing exposure sites in an attempt to ease the pressure on the testing and tracing systems.
Covid will continue to undoubtedly dominate headlines, but we’ll be sure to keep our eyes on everything else happening around the country. Stay tuned.