Australia news LIVE: Regular international travel resumes in Sydney and Melbourne as total COVID cases continue to rise across the nation

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Key posts

  • Eleven NSW schools shut after COVID cases detected
  • First regular international flights touch down
  • G20 fails to agree on climate change goals
  • ‘I don’t think, I know’: French President Macron says Scott Morrison lied to him
  • Double-dose jab countdown ends ahead of Qld’s border reopening
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Eleven NSW schools shut after COVID cases detected

Eleven more NSW schools have been forced to temporarily close after people in their respective school communities tested positive to COVID-19.

The schools – of which eight are located in regional NSW – will be shut for at least 24 hours to allow for contact tracing and cleaning.

“All staff and students are asked to self-isolate and follow the NSW Health advice and protocols,” the Education Department said in a statement.

The closures come as NSW today lifts travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated between Sydney and regional areas, and ends quarantine requirements for international arrivals.

The following schools will be shut today:   

  • Drummond Memorial Public School;
  • Inverell High School;
  • Newcastle Junior School;
  • Eleebana Public School;
  • Jewells Public School;
  • Cabramatta West Public School;
  • Russell Vale Public School;
  • James Cook Boys High School;
  • Strathfield South High School;
  • Moama Public School; and
  • Albury North Public School.

First regular international flights touch down

The first of 16 quarantine-free international flights have touched down in Sydney this morning.

The first flight was from Singapore, while the second flight, which landed just after 6am, was a Qantas flight from Los Angeles.

Melbourne’s first regular, inbound international flight is due to touch down shortly before 11am.

From today, fully vaccinated Australians are able to travel overseas without first obtaining a travel exemption.

Australia closed its borders to non-residents and non-citizens in March 2020 and since that time has only been allowing a limited number of exemptions and repatriation flights, but with mandatory hotel quarantine.

Sydney and Melbourne now allow the fully vaccinated to skip hotel quarantine due to high vaccination rates in their respective states.

G20 fails to agree on climate change goals

Leaders from the world’s biggest economies have fractured in a tense negotiation over climate change that has stalled hopes for a global pact to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions and phase out the use of coal.

The G20 leaders scaled back plans by some of the group’s most powerful members, including the United States and European Union, for an ambitious agreement that would set a collective goal to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

A UN proposal to phase out coal was strongly opposed by Australia, China, India, Russia and other nations. Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

While the group backed the goal of limiting the rise in world temperatures, it made no firm commitments on how to keep the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius after warnings from scientists two months ago on the need to reach that goal.

Australia was strongly opposed to phasing out coal, and was also opposed to a call to reduce methane emissions by 2030.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres admitted the failure for leaders to agree on climate change at the summit in Rome, but held out hope of a commitment from a wider group of leaders when they meet at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Read the full story here.

‘I don’t think, I know’: French President Macron says Scott Morrison lied to him

French President Emmanuel Macron says Scott Morrison lied to him over the cancellation of a mammoth submarine contract, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two leaders.

Asked by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age at the G20 summit in Rome whether he could trust Morrison again, Macron replied: “We will see what he will deliver.

French President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 in Rome.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“I have a lot of respect for your country, a lot of respect and friendship for your people. I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line and consistent with this value.”

When also asked whether Morrison lied, Macron said: “I don’t think, I know.”

Morrison and Macron had the day before shook hands briefly, but Macron’s anger on the closing day of the Rome summit suggests the rift caused by Australia’s cancellation of a multi-billion dollar submarine contract will be long-lasting.

Read the full story here.

Double-dose jab countdown ends ahead of Qld’s border reopening

The Queensland Premier’s deadline for unvaccinated residents to be fully protected before infected interstate travellers pour across the border has expired, with the state still shy of the 80 per cent first-dose milestone.

Today also marks a significant changing of the guard as Dr Jeannette Young officially steps down as leader of the state’s pandemic response and is sworn in as the 27th Governor of Queensland.

According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, unvaccinated Queenslanders are now out of time to get protected before the border restrictions ease on December 17.Credit:Getty

Following Dr Krispin Hajkowicz’s shock decision last week to decline the role of chief health officer, as scheduled, Queensland has a fill-in CHO, Dr Peter Aitken.

Yesterday, the total number of Queensland residents aged 16 and older who had received one vaccine dose stood at 77.3 per cent, while 63.5 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk set Sunday as the deadline for Queenslanders to get their first jab if they wanted to ensure they were fully protected when the border restrictions ease on December 17.

Read more about the situation in Queensland here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, November 1. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s everything you need to know before we get started.

  • Qantas flight QF12 has touched-down in Sydney from Los Angeles this morning. It makes the beginning of the end of “fortress Australia”, with fully vaccinated travellers now able to skip mandatory hotel quarantine in Sydney and Melbourne off the back of statewide vaccination milestones. Fully vaccinated Australians are also able to leave the country from today without first seeking a travel exemption. The first regular international flight to touch-down in Melbourne this morning will be a Singapore Airlines flight, due to land just before 11am AEDT.
  • Travel between regional NSW and Greater Sydney resumes today. Premier Dominic Perrottet will hold a press conference around 9am AEDT, so stay tuned for that. Travel between regional Victoria and Greater Melbourne resumed on Friday.
  • Queensland’s unvaccinated residents have missed a key deadline to be fully vaccinated before the state’s borders reopen to coronavirus hotspots. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wanted 80 per cent of people aged 16 and older fully vaccinated as of yesterday. However, the state is about 2 per cent shy of that target. Queensland’s border restrictions are due to ease by December 17.
  • Leaders from the world’s biggest economies have failed to agree on how exactly to meet emission reduction targets. A UN proposal to phase out coal was strongly opposed by Australia, China, India, Russia and other nations. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron says Prime Minister Scott Morrison lied to him over the new AUKUS defence pact.
  • In NSW state politics, Premier Dominic Perrottet says his government will not pork barrel to win elections. In Australian politics, “pork barrelling” refers to governments using taxpayer funds to please voters and win votes (rather than strictly distributing funds on an independent, needs-only basis). NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption has been examining state government grants, with former premier Gladys Berejiklian due to give evidence for a second day today. She previously gave evidence last Friday.
  • In Victorian state politics, the state’s former shadow attorney-general Tim Smith resigned from his position over the weekend after his vehicle hit a car and then the wall of a Hawthorn home where there was a child inside. Mr Smith says he made a “serious error of judgment” in believing he was driving under the legal blood-alcohol limit.
  • And late TV star Bert Newton will be given a state funeral. The 83-year-old died while in palliative care in Melbourne on Saturday night. Wife Patti Newton says she hopes Bert will be remembered as a “wonderful, loving family man that was also a bit of a legend”.
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