Australia news LIVE: Novak Djokovic visa saga continues as star apologises for attending interview after positive test; COVID-19 cases continue to grow across the nation

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  • Djokovic situation now ‘diabolical’: Albanese
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Djokovic situation now ‘diabolical’: Albanese

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is doing the media rounds this morning.

He was on Nine’s Today show just moments ago and was asked for his thoughts on the Novak Djokovic saga. As mentioned earlier this morning, the federal government’s investigation into the tennis star’s visa has widened to include his breach of isolation requirements in Serbia as well as inconsistencies on the dates of his COVID-19 tests.

Novak Djokovic is in Australia despite not being vaccinated.Credit:Mark Baker

Here’s what the Labor leader had to say:

How is it that a … visa was granted in the first place?

This has been diabolical for Australia’s reputation, just in terms of our competence here and it is extraordinary that – as we are speaking – we still don’t know what the decision will be.

The decision should have been made before he was granted a visa. Either he was eligible or he wasn’t.

Australia has a policy of not allowing unvaccinated people into Australia. It is beyond may comprehension how we have got to this point.

[Australians with relatives overseas] know how tough it is to get someone into Australia. At any time it is difficult, but at this time, in particular, it is extremely difficult.

Why is it those checks and balances weren’t in place for … someone so prominent?

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was also on the Today show this morning, and had this to say prior to Mr Albanese’s appearance:

The vast majority of Australians … don’t like the idea that another individual, whether they’re a tennis player or the King of Spain or the Queen of England, can come up here and have a different set of rules to what everybody else has to deal with.

Whether they agree with the rules or not, they believe they should abide by the rules and that was the issue with Novak Djokovic.

I think that the rules that one person follows is the rules everybody should follow.

[Djokovic] is still a child of God like the rest of us, isn’t he. So he has to abide by the laws.

Nine, which broadcasts the Today show, is also the owner of this masthead.

More on Djokovic’s visa issues here.

New COVID-19 rules come into effect in Victoria

Eased isolation requirements and vaccination mandates for critical workers, along with new COVID-19 restrictions for healthcare and hospitality settings came into effect in Victoria from 11.59pm last night.

New pandemic orders mean workers in food and beverage manufacturing, packing, and distribution in the state are allowed to keep going to work even after they become a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

New coronavirus rules are now in effect across Melbourne and the rest of Victoria. Credit:Eddie Jim

The worker has to consent to the arrangement, as does their employer. The worker also has to return negative rapid antigen tests for five days to stay on the job, and they cannot go into shared break rooms.

Workers in key sectors who are eligible for a booster shot and are already required to be fully vaccinated must get their third dose by February 12 to keep working on site.

Aged care residents are now only allowed up to five visitors a day if their guests can show negative rapid antigen test results. Visitors to hospitals have to be fully vaccinated – or show proof of a negative rapid test result – and wear an N95 mask in a facility.

Indoor dancefloors at hospitality and entertainment venues, except for at weddings, were also banned from 11.59pm last night.

NSW records more than 80,000 new cases after RAT registrations open

More than 80,000 additional COVID-19 infections, detected since New Year’s Day, will be added to NSW’s official case numbers after the state government mandated the reporting of positive rapid antigen tests.

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said 82,000 people have uploaded positive COVID results to the Service NSW app or website since registrations opened from 9am yesterday.

NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello.Credit:Rhett Wyman

The flurry of new cases comes after Perrottet government announced that anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test since January 1 needs to register their result with the state government. From January 19, people who do not upload their positive result will face a $1000 fine.

But Mr Dominello has conceded the penalty will be almost impossible for authorities to enforce and is largely about messaging.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning.

It’s Thursday, January 13. I’m Broede Carmody and once again I’m anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what’s making headlines this morning.

  • The federal government’s investigation into Novak Djokovic’s visa has widened to include the tennis star’s breach of isolation requirements in Serbia as well as inconsistencies on the date of his COVID-19 test. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is yet to make his final decision after a court overturned the original visa cancellation earlier this week.
  • An additional 80,000 or so COVID-19 cases will be added to NSW’s official tally after tens of thousands of people registered their (current or historical) rapid antigen tests. From next week, it will be an offence not to report a positive RAT result. NSW yesterday reported 34,759 cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths.
  • Various changes to Victoria’s COVID-19 rules come into effect today. These include the indoor dancefloor ban (with weddings the key exception) from 11.59pm last night, and tighter visitation rules for aged care facilities and hospitals. Victoria yesterday reported 40,127 cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths.
  • Queensland is pushing for more at-home coronavirus tests after it was revealed half of 1 million rapid tests being supplied by the federal government will have to be performed by health professionals. The Sunshine State yesterday reported 22,069 cases of COVID-19.
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