* Premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria will open up earlier than planned after the state recorded a single case of COVID-19.
* Victorian authorities are investigating whether the case recorded on Tuesday is active or if the person is “shedding” non-infectious fragments of the virus after earlier testing positive.
* If the case is removed, Tuesday would mark the first day since June 9 that the state has reported no new cases of COVID-19.
* No deaths were recorded on Tuesday, with the state’s death toll remaining at 817 and the national figure sitting at 905.
* Mr Andrews said he hoped to remove the “ring of steel” dividing metropolitan and regional Victoria in November.
* The Victorian government is looking at scaling back its trouble-plagued hotel quarantine program and using electronic monitoring devices for some returned travellers.
* Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has been asked to provide a new statement to the hotel quarantine inquiry after emails emerged contradicting his earlier testimony.
* The $ 6 million inquiry is due to hand down its final report on November 6, but head Jennifer Coate said a series of new developments may “unsettle” the deadline.
* South Australia has decided to open its borders to travellers from New Zealand and allow 12 recent arrivals already in hotel quarantine into the community. SA reported no new cases on Tuesday.
* Queensland has taken a different approach, forcing two New Zealand travellers into quarantine after they arrived in the state from Sydney.
* Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said there had been no further consideration about the Sunshine State joining the travel bubble with New Zealand as it recorded no new cases on Tuesday.
* The Morrison government continues to pile pressure on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to lift business restrictions more quickly, with cabinet minister Michaelia Cash dubbing him “Distraction Dan” for speaking out about Kiwi arrivals.
* NSW reported two new locally transmitted cases and three more infections among returned travellers in hotel quarantine. Health authorities continue to warn the state remains at a critical point and want testing numbers to triple.
* Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan blamed “oversight” for not disclosing that two crew disembarked a COVID-hit livestock ship. There were a further 24 cases from the Al Messilah reported on Tuesday, taking the carrier’s cluster to 25.
* October 26 – Tasmania’s state of emergency due to expire and people from low-risk states free to enter.
* November 1 – More restrictions due to be eased in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Queensland border reopened to NSW visitors subject to conditions being met.
* November 2 – Residents from NSW could be allowed into Tasmania, with the situation being monitored. Regional Victorian residents allowed to travel to the Northern Territory if case numbers remain low.
* November 6 – Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry report due.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* There were 30 new cases in Australia, including 24 in Western Australia, five in NSW, and one in Victoria.
* The national death toll is 905: Victoria 817, NSW 55, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states.)
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Cases: at least 40,425,000
* Deaths: at least 1,118,000
* Recovered: at least 27,714,000
Data current as of 2030 AEDT October 20, taking in federal and state/territory government updates, Worldometer and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
Australian Associated Press