Coronavirus updates LIVE: Victorian active cases fall, ADF leave Queensland border, national death toll at 882


  • Victoria recorded 10 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as Western Australia scrapped hotel quarantine requirements for Victorians entering the state.
  • In NSW, there were two new cases, both in hotel quarantine. Despite the Queensland border reopening to some northern NSW areas on Thursday, ADF personnel are finishing up their deployment in the area today.
  • Younger Australians will be offered new incentives to work on farms picking fruit and vegetables as part of a budget package that aims to boost farm production to $100 billion within a decade and fill a hole left by foreign workers during the pandemic.
  • Western Australia has called for tighter rules around foreign ships as it deals with a coronavirus cluster on an iron ore bulk carrier off the coast of the Pilbara.
  • There have been 33.4 million coronavirus cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally, and the global death rate has passed 1 million.

Today's front pages

Here's what is making news on the front pages of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald today.

  • Younger Australians will be offered new incentives to fill a growing jobs gap in the regions as part of a budget package that aims to boost farm production to $100 billion within a decade.

  • The department at the centre of Victoria’s failed hotel quarantine program may have broken the state’s public health laws by not adequately checking daily if thousands of returned travellers needed to remain under detention.

New York City introduces mandatory masks as coronavirus rate climbs

New York City will impose fines on people who refuse to wear a face covering as the rate of positive tests for the novel coronavirus climbed above 3 per cent for the first time in months, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Beyond New York, 28 other US states were seeing upticks in new coronavirus infections over the past two weeks, and COVID-19 hospitalisations were on the rise in several Midwest states.

New York City officials will first offer free masks to those caught not wearing one. If the person refuses, they will face an unspecified fine, de Blasio said.

"Our goal, of course, is to give everyone a free face mask," de Blasio said. "We don't want to fine people, but if we have to we will."

The mayor attributed the recent rise in part to nine postcodes out of 146 that city health officials say have seen a worrying uptick in cases, including several tight-knit Hasidic Jewish communities.

  • Read more: New York City’s daily positive coronavirus rate is over 3% for first time in months

ADF to be replaced with police in Queensland

Defence personnel are departing the Queensland border today, as per the state's agreement with the federal government, despite more NSW residents being allowed to cross into the state from tomorrow.

The 58 stationed troops will be replaced with 15 Queensland police officers at midnight tonight.

From Thursday, residents of Byron, Ballina, Glen Innes, Lismore and Richmond Valley will be included as part of Queensland's border bubble, prompting fears of delays as staffing is reduced.

Last week, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles accused the federal government of using the soldiers as a “bargaining chip” to pressure the state to reopen its borders at the end of the month.

Welcome to this morning's blog

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Welcome to another day of our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia and beyond. This is Mary Ward taking you through this morning's developments. You can read yesterday’s blog here.

On the agenda today, we expect the federal government will be spruiking their latest budget announcement: incentives will be put in place to encourage young Australians to do the fruit picking jobs left empty by the country’s foreign worker exodus in the pandemic. It will be curious to see if there is more to say about a plan to move away from mandatory hotel quarantine for returned overseas travellers, which the Prime Minister hinted at yesterday, although the next national cabinet meeting is not until October 16 so perhaps it will simmer until then.

In the states, Victoria's 14-day average and mystery case numbers have continued to trend towards their next stage targets. Defence personnel are finishing up on the Queensland border today (despite more NSW residents being allowed to cross from tomorrow). And it is now easier for Victorians to get into Western Australia than NSW, after the former announced a shift from hotel quarantine to home quarantine amid the lower case numbers.

We will be bringing you live updates throughout the day, as well as the coronavirus coverage in our papers today. Stay with us.

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