Vaccine mandate in force in Victoria while Canberrans wake to more freedoms

The COVID-19 vaccine mandate has kicked in for Victorian authorised workers, with all now needing their first dose or a scheduled booking to keep working on site.

The Victorian government gave the state's 1.25 million authorised workers a fortnight to get at least their first vaccination by Friday - or show proof of a booking within the next week - otherwise they would be stood down.

They must then be fully vaccinated by November 26.

In a NSW court, a vaccine mandate test case set to be decided soon has garnered more than 1.4 million views on YouTube, heralding a new era for Australian courts.

The NSW Supreme Court will on Friday afternoon hand down its decision on the validity of the state's vaccine mandates for certain workers and Sydneysiders.

ACT out of lockdown

After more than two months, restrictions have begun to ease with cafes, restaurants and pubs to reopen, while Canberrans can have up to five visitors at their homes.

As the lockdown ends, NSW health authorities have moved to ease COVID-19 restrictions for people entering NSW from the territory, making Canberrans "subject to the same rules as people who live in NSW".

There has been confusion and frustration over the border bubble discrepancies between the two jurisdictions. The late-night move has been met with calls for the ACT government to follow suit and ease restrictions for Canberrans wishing to travel freely beyond the capital region.

Sydnersiders to find out travel rules

With 77.8 per cent of the NSW population aged over 16 fully vaccinated, the state is likely to reach the 80 per cent threshold by the weekend.

That will trigger the next phase of reopening on Monday, but the senior government members charged with leading the state's COVID-19 response have reportedly decided to postpone regional travel, which is currently part of the roadmap for 80 per cent.

There's concern that opening up to travellers from Sydney would put communities with lower vaccination rates at risk.

Public hospitals in crisis

Public hospitals are caught in an unending cycle of crisis, the Australian Medical Association says in a new report.

"Our hospitals are full - there simply aren't enough hospital beds or enough doctors and nurses - and tragic stories of deaths, deterioration and delayed care are becoming increasingly commonplace," the report says.

It warns of dire consequences if all governments fail to act and says the hospital crisis was in full swing long before COVID-19 arrived.

- with Australian Associated Press

This story Vaccine mandate in force in Victoria while Canberrans wake to more freedoms first appeared on The Canberra Times.