The Informer: The eagle has landed and it's carrying vaccine

Eagle, now carrying vaccine, has arrived, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
Eagle, now carrying vaccine, has arrived, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

Monday's the day. That when the nation's vaccine rollout will begin now the "eagle has landed".

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt used precisely those words after earlier in the day being a little more circumspect about timings.

More than 142,000 doses have been taken to a secure location and batches will be assessed for damage and quality in the coming days.

Mr Hunt said 80,000 doses would be released in the first week, with the remainder to be kept aside for second doses. First up? Hotel quarantine staff, frontline health workers, and aged care workers and residents.

The vaccination process is all set to go in the Northern Territory and on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

There was one locally acquired COVID-19 case confirmed in Victoria on Monday, along with one new case among a returned traveller in hotel quarantine. And that has prompted Premier Daniel Andrews to say the signs were "promising" that the state's snap lockdown would end on Wednesday.

"We're well placed but right now is too early to be definitive ... However, I've never been one to try and make bold predictions."

Queensland stretched its COVID-free run to 38 consecutive days while New South Wales made it to day 29 without a locally-acquired infection.

While not brazenly criticising her southern colleague, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian let it be known her state avoids lockdown and closing borders at all costs. The state, she said, likes to "allow our citizens as much freedom as we can while we're managing the virus".

"I'm not willing to say one system or one way of doing things is better than another, but what we have done in NSW to this point has worked well for us."

If you have three minutes to spare, maybe have a click on this BBC link to check out quarantine from a couple of places. It's largely people eating and walking and just existing in a hotel room whiledoing their time. But - it's all new to the Brits.

The UK government rolled out mandatory hotel quarantine today for arrivals from dozens of countries deemed "high risk" for coronavirus variants, more than a year after the first fatality from COVID-19.

The new policy requires all UK citizens and permanent residents entering England from 33 countries on a wider travel ban list to self-isolate in approved hotels for 10 days and take several COVID-19 tests.

There are 16 hotels signed up to the government arrangement with 5000 rooms set aside and an additional 58,000 rooms on standby.

People exempt include defence personnel, visiting forces, government contractors and diplomatic missions. No mention of tennis players. Odd.

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