LIVE COVID-19 breaking news: Victoria records 473 new cases; NSW wakes to new freedoms as 11am pressers axed; Queensland re-opens border bubble; South Australia could open border by Christmas

Welcome to the 9News.com.au live blog for Monday, September 13, 2021. New South Wales has awoken to new freedoms, though depending on where residents live, this may be limited. The Queensland-NSW border bubble has returned and a Victorian school has been accused of breaking lockdown rules amid a fresh vaccination blitz. South Australia could open its border by Christmas.

– Sydney restrictions ease today as vaccine rollout widens

– Warning for border communities as Queensland-NSW bubble reopens

– Melbourne COVID-19 hotspots targeted in vaccine blitz as school outbreak has community on edge

– You can follow the 11am NSW COVID-19 cases number update in our live blog or by downloading the 9News app and switching on breaking news notifications

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‘Fed-up’ Sydney MP slams lockdown inequality
By 9News Staff05:41

Watson MP Tony Burke has said people in western Sydney are “fed up” with the lockdown, claiming the rules are not being applied equably.

Mr Burke spoke to Today after scenes of crowded Sydney beaches were seen yesterday.

“Here we’re in a situation where people know the outbreak started at Bondi, and we know that Bondi wasn’t locked down originally and that is part of how the whole thing’s unravelled,” he said.

“We knew that yesterday the rules were still officially that at Bondi, and the at the beaches, you were meant to wear a mask if you weren’t exercising.

“You look at that, I’m not sure when sun baking started to be considered exercise. But the rules here are enforced pretty strictly.

“We’re on a curfew, people get woken up in the middle of the night with helicopters flying overhead.

“You’ve got a situation where if you are wandering around without a mask, you will be pulled up here and yet the exact same rule is not being applied in the areas where this started.”

NSW Premier to speak at 11am
By 9News Staff05:39

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will be holding a press conference at 11am today.

Ms Berejiklian announced last week that the daily COVID-19 press conferences would end from today, and that they would instead by conducted on an “as needs” basis.

You can watch the press conference at 11am (AEST) live at the top of this blog.

Principal’s son has COVID-19
By Christine Ahern05:18

Frewen says federal government ‘engaged’ with Victoria after premier’s vaccine comments
By 9News Staff05:09

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout commander, Lieutenant General John Frewen, has said federal authorities are “working closely” with Victorian counterparts, after Premier Daniel Andrews claimed he was unaware extra vaccine doses were coming into the state.

Mr Andrews said on the weekend he had not been told 400,000 extra vaccines were being delivered into Victoria by the Federal Government.

“We’ve been engaged with the state authorities all weekend on this,” Lieutenant General Frewen told Today.

“There’s a number of individuals who lead the vaccine rollout program. So I work with them.

“I know the minister has been working with his counterpart down there.

“So we’re closely engaged and as you’ve seen, there has been a very rapid response this weekend to provide support to Victoria.”

WA re-opening forecast ‘optimistic’
By 9News Staff04:51

New modelling in Western Australia has prompted a call for higher vaccination rates before the state reopens to the rest of the country.

Professor George Milne of the University of Western Australia said the data estimated the state would suffer 186 deaths, 13,000 COVID-19 cases and 1400 hospitalisations in the six months after re-opening.

Professor Milne said previous forecasts had been too optimistic.

He has suggested WA aim for reopening at with a vaccination level of 85 per cent.

Premier Mark McGowan has previously suggested the state could maintain its hard border into 2022

 

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