Queensland has added parts of NSW to its list of coronavirus hotspots. The NSW government is introducing new restrictions on pubs. Leaked emails show department officials were concerned about Victoria’s hotel quarantine from day one. And the White House attempts to discredit the US’s top coronavirus adviser.
New restrictions for NSW
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared two Sydney postcodes “hotspots”. People trying to enter Queensland who have been in the two suburbs — Liverpool and Campbelltown, which include the Crossroads Hotel in Casula — will have to quarantine for two weeks on entry to the state.
Queensland’s declaration comes as NSW last night decided on new restrictions for pubs following the outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south west, which is linked to 28 people so far.
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NSW authorities confirmed 13 new cases this morning — 10 connected to Casula cluster, two returned overseas travellers and one close contact of a returned traveller.
The limit for single group bookings at pubs will be reduced from 20 people to 10, with a maximum of 300 patrons allowed in larger venues. The restrictions are expected to stay in place for three to four weeks. Clubs, restaurants and casinos (including Star City, which has been fined for breaching social distancing rules) will not be affected by the rule change.
Officials are looking at the possibility a truck driver on the Melbourne to Sydney route may be “patient zero” for the outbreak at Casula.
Officials’ warnings on hotel quarantine
Department officials flagged issues with Victoria’s troubled hotel quarantine system early on, leaked emails show.
One senior bureaucrat at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions requested for police to man the hotels instead of security guards within 24 hours of the launch of the program in late March.
Breaches by guards, who have been accused of carpooling, sharing cigarette lighters and having sex with guests, are behind coronavirus outbreaks in Melbourne’s north and west.
This morning, Victoria confirmed 270 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Trump v Fauci
US President Donald Trump’s relationship with the man leading the country’s coronavirus responses has deteriorated further, with Trump sharing tweets and conspiracy theories discrediting National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases director Anthony Fauci.
Over the weekend, the White House sent the Washington Post a list of “mistakes” he’d made. The pair have not spoken in almost six weeks, though Fauci attended the White House yesterday to meet with Trump’s chief of staff.
Trump doesn’t have the power to remove Fauci from government.
Former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden supports Fauci.