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Vaccinated people catching COVID are no cause for alarm: experts

Cases of fully vaccinated Australians catching COVID-19 are part and parcel of how vaccines work and should not raise undue concerns.

Experts in the field say vaccines against COVID-19 dramatically cut a person’s risk of being infected and of getting seriously ill or dying but do not offer 100 per cent protection. However, if a vaccinated person does catch the virus, they are at dramatically lower risk of passing it on.

Read Liam Mannix’s full story.

NSW looks set to clamp down on retail

Almost 170 mystery cases spread across 20 Sydney local government areas have put the Berejiklian government on course to order more retail businesses to close their doors in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

NSW crisis cabinet ministers convened for health briefings late on Friday after Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier foreshadowed that more needed to be done to stop people from moving around the city’s south-west.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday.Credit:James Brickwood

Options under consideration included limiting how far residents in Fairfield could travel beyond the local government area, restrictions on exercise and tightening rules around some high-risk workplaces, such as those visited by a wide range of workers.

The ministers are due to meet again on Saturday morning ahead of an announcement, which is initially expected to focus on tightening rules around non-essential retail.

You can read our full story here.

Welcome to today’s live COVID-19 coverage

Good morning, I’m Tom Rabe and welcome to today’s coronavirus news blog. We’re here to bring you all the latest news from across the country.

Here’s what you need to know as we start the day:

  • NSW recorded 97 new local cases of COVID-19 on Friday – 46 of those were in the community for at least some of their infectious periods. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian anticipates today’s numbers will be even higher and the government is looking at forcing more retail shops to close.
  • Greater Sydney is in the midst of a lockdown that will run for at least another two weeks. The NSW Premier says health authorities are reviewing the state’s restrictions and “if we need to go harder, of course we will”.
  • Australian Medical Association President Dr Omar Khorshid called on NSW to implement a “Victoria-style lockdown,” calling it “absolutely ridiculous” that upmarket stores in Greater Sydney are still open during lockdown.
  • Victoria has entered the first day of its snap five-day lockdown today, its fifth lockdown of the pandemic. The state recorded six new local cases on Friday on top of four cases announced late on Thursday.
  • The number of exposure sites in Victoria on Friday night hit 155. View the full list here.
  • WA has closed its border to the entire eastern seaboard after WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson announced a hard border with Victoria.
  • Queensland has declared Victoria a COVID-19 hotspot from 1am on Saturday. “Anyone returning after that time will have to do the 14 days’ mandatory quarantine,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Stay tuned for more developments as they happen.

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