Melbourne

Celebrations as city exits sixth lockdown

More than five million people have spent more than 260 days under restrictions, with Melbourne dubbed the "world's most locked down city".

This most recent lockdown, which has been in place since August, came to an end after 70% of the city's population received both vaccine doses.

Images from the city's reopening show people celebrating in bars.

Some people on social media reported hearing fireworks and cheering in celebration.

Nervous wait as Victoria's COVID-19 exposure sites grow and cases increase

Authorities are still discussing how many days it will last. It is not yet known if the lockdown will also apply to regional Victoria.

It will be the fifth lockdown since the pandemic began and the third this year.

Mask rules were already tightened overnight to respond to the outbreak, which is now linked to 16 cases.

Two of those were confirmed this morning, adding to the 10 included in yesterday's numbers.

The new cases are understood to have acquired the virus at an AFL game at the MCG on Saturday which was also attended by a COVID-positive case.

Five new COVID-19 community cases in Victoria

Victoria has recorded five new locally acquired cases of coronavirus as the state enters its second day of a snap lockdown.

The five new cases were detected from 56,624 test results processed on Friday, an apparent record for the state.

The outbreak linked to Melbourne's northern suburbs had grown to 30 cases yesterday. Further information about whether the five new cases are linked to the cluster is expected later today.

There are now 45 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, which includes another two recorded in hotel quarantine.

Melbourne lockdown: Fears over outbreak sparks restrictions

The lockdown will begin at midnight on Thursday (14:00 GMT).

Authorities have so far found 26 cases, and identified 150 sites where people may have been exposed to the virus.

There is growing anxiety over the outbreak which reminds many locals of a devastating second wave that swept the state last year.

Victoria's acting Premier James Merlino said the outbreak involved a highly contagious strain of the virus, the B.1.617 variant. A returned traveller was infected with the strain, which Mr Merlino said was spreading "faster than we have ever recorded".

Melbourne Covid-19 case attended football match at MCG sports ground

The Victorian Department of Health tweeted on Tuesday evening that one of the nine positive cases attended the match and was seated in the Great Southern Stand of the ground.

The match was attended by just 23,415 AFL fans despite the AFL allowing the MCG to be up to 85 percent full of its maximum capacity of 100,024 fans.

The news came after restrictions were tightened across Greater Melbourne on Tuesday as authorities scrambled to find the missing link in a fresh outbreak, prompting New Zealand to pause a travel bubble with the state of Victoria.

Melbourne restrictions return as cluster grows

A man aged in his 60s returned a positive result this morning, and has been added to the four cases reported yesterday.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the man had symptoms prior to the first identified case, suggesting he could be the possible source case for the outbreak.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said testing had determined the new cases were the "so-called Indian variant".

"It is as infectious as any other variant that has been reported historically, so it is by no means want to be complacent about," he said.

Family of Tongan man killed in Melbourne appeal for suspects to come forward

Tuivasa’s father, who appeared on a live stream by Victoria Police earlier this month, said he has forgiven and forgotten and he is pleading for who anyone who saw the incident to come forward.

He said he wants to see who did this.

Tuivasa’s partner whom he have five children with said the family wants “closure and peace.”

Serena returns to tennis

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is warming up for the Australian Open, was at her dominant best after a slow start in which she saved four break points in the opening game of the contest at Margaret Court Arena.

Former world number one Williams has not played since withdrawing from last year's French Open second round in September with an Achilles injury, but made quick work of Gavrilova, striking 27 winners including 16 in the opening set.

Emirates to resume flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

From Monday, flights will resume to Sydney, while services will return to Melbourne from Tuesday and to Brisbane from Thursday.

Passenger flights between Dubai and Perth, as well as cargo operations to all Australian points, continue as scheduled.

Hundreds of Australians were last week left stranded after the major airline announced the cancellation on Friday night.

"We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers in the period where we had to temporarily suspend our services," a statement distributed by the airline read.

Players unable to practice before season-opening grand slam

Two dozen players who arrived from Los Angeles entered strict hotel quarantine after an aircrew member and Australian Open participant who is not a player tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Later, another non-player passenger on a flight from Abu Dhabi tested positive, prompting the organisers to usher 23 players into hotel quarantine.

All three who tested positive had been transferred to a health hotel, the organisers said in a statement.

The players would not be able to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days and until they are medically cleared, they said.