Good morning all.
NSW yesterday announced what restrictions will change when the state hits its 80% vaccination target. Expecting to reach that target in “late October”, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said travel within the state will be permitted, while caps on household and outdoor gatherings will be raised. Retail and businesses will be able to recommence trade under the four person per square metre rule, but unvaccinated people will continue to face harsher restrictions until December.
The state recorded 787 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday — its lowest in almost a month. Infectious disease experts told the Sydney Morning Herald that the strategy of pouring vaccines into COVID-19 outbreak areas is in fact working. “Pleasingly the hospitalisation rate has not been as high as we had seen in the modelling and the ICU admissions have been a bit lower as well but it doesn’t mean we are out of the woods in terms of overwhelming our hospitals,” Berejiklian said.
Victoria is on track to reach its 80% first dose milestone today. That means the 10km travel radius will be increased to 15km and some outdoor activities will return for the fully vaccinated. Unlike NSW, which has confirmed the economy will reopen for the unvaccinated at the beginning of December, Premier Daniel Andrews won’t give such assurances. “I wouldn’t want to give anyone a reason to wait five or six weeks [for greater freedoms for unvaccinated people], because I don’t think that’s a certainty,” Andrews said on Monday.
A number of exposure sites have been listed in Brisbane after a new case of COVID-19. The case was detected in a man in his 30s who works in the aviation industry and has “no recent history of overseas or interstate travel”. “The source of infection is under investigation,” a statement from Queensland Health said.
The lending crackdown looks like it might be almost here. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has “given the green light for regulators to crack down on high-debt home loans,” the AFR reports this morning. More than one in five home buyers are now borrowing more than six times their incomes amid record low interest rates.
A new OECD report has shone a light on the risks Australia’s workforce faces in the coming years, as some jobs become automated out of existence. More than one in 10 jobs are at ‘high risk’, while regional areas like the Hunter Valley and Mackay are the most exposed. The OECD warns that those involved in certain industries will need to transition to higher-skill positions or risk losing their old ones.
Newly released figures spotlight a public housing shortage across NSW and Queensland. Experts say a jump in rental prices is among the causes for the current spike in demand. They say government intervention is required to provide access to housing that counters the current rental and property systems.
Google has begun a five-day court battle with the EU over a $US5 billion fine issued in 2018. Lawmakers say Google used Android’s dominance to push its own apps and services. The company is facing mounting antitrust pressure in both the EU and the US.
The WHO is amassing a new team to investigate the coronavirus origins in China, the WSJ reported. One of its first tasks is to establish whether COVID-19 leaked from a lab, the report said. A previous WHO team was unable to reach a conclusion on that theory, which China denies.
El Salvador’s president has said 2.1 million people in the country are actively using the bitcoin wallet Chivo. Nayib Bukele said the wallet now has more users than any single bank in El Salvador. The claim from Bukele is the latest insight into how El Salvador’s controversial adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender is panning out.
An interesting Twitter thread here on ‘web3’ — the next iteration of the internet.