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Australia news LIVE: Novak Djokovic wins bid to play in 2022 Australian Open; COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation

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  • ‘Code red’ for Melbourne ambulances
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Last few days ‘damaging’ for Djokovic: Association of Tennis Professionals

The Association of Tennis Professionals has called for clearer travel rules after complications damaged Novak Djokovic’s wellbeing and preparation for the Australian Open.

Welcoming the reversal of Djokovic’s visa cancellation, the association said it was clear the tennis star believed he had the necessary medical exemption to enter Australia.

“The ATP fully respects the sacrifices the people of Australia have made since the onset of COVID-19 and the stringent immigration policies that have been put in place,” the association said in a statement.

“Complications in recent days related to player entry into Australia have however highlighted the need for clearer understanding, communication and application of the rules.

“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open.”

The association strongly recommended vaccination for all players on tour, “which we believe is essential for our sport to navigate the pandemic”.

“We are encouraged that 97 per cent of the top 100 players are vaccinated leading into this year’s Australian Open.”

NSW seeks to enforce registration of positive rapid COVID tests

Here’s a little more detail on the news out of NSW, from my colleagues Tom Rabe and Mary Ward, that the state government is considering mandating the registration of positive rapid antigen test results.

The government has sought legal advice about the best way to ensure residents register the tests, at the request of Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Monday.Credit:Nick Moir

Premier Dominic Perrottet foreshadowed the changes on Monday as NSW recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic and public hospitals began diverting more patients into the private system.

“There has been much discussion regarding the possibility of mandatory enforcement and the health lawyers are consulting with Crown Solicitor’s to look at what may be possible,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

‘Code red’ for Melbourne ambulances

Ambulance Victoria has been struck by its second “code red” alert within a week, with authorities warning the service was facing “extremely high demand” across metropolitan Melbourne.

The alert, just after 12am on Tuesday, stayed in effect for more than three hours. The service said people should expect delays in paramedics getting to them.

“Our priority is to provide care to Victorians who require life-saving assistance,” Ambulance Victoria said.

The declaration has previously been issued for the Black Saturday bushfires and the deadly thunderstorm asthma event of 2016.

On Wednesday last week, Ambulance Victoria put a code red alert down to a surge in COVID-related patients calling triple zero for non-urgent care.

At the time, Ambulance Victoria’s acting chief executive Libby Murphy the situation was exacerbated by the number of paramedics in isolation, with 500 staff not working while awaiting COVID-19 test results.

This morning’s headlines

Good morning, thanks for joining me today.

I’m Rachel Eddie, and I’m filling in to run our live coverage for the first half of today, Tuesday, January 11.

Here’s the news from around the country before get started.

  • Novak Djokovic last night returned to the Rod Laver Arena for a late-night training session after sensationally being released by a Federal Circuit Court judge. He declared his intent to stay and compete in the Australian Open, in his first public comments since being detained by the Australian Border Force, but the threat of deportation still hangs over his head. We’ll bring you the latest on his case throughout the day.
  • NSW is expected to mandate residents to register positive COVID-19 results from rapid antigen tests, after yesterday recording its deadliest day in the pandemic. Eighteen people died, including a child under 5, while 20,293 new cases were reported.
  • Victoria yesterday recorded 34,808 new cases of COVID-19, half of which were through rapid antigen tests, as GPs are booked out en-masse.
  • Queensland recorded 9581 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, amid doubts about the true tally due to strains in the testing system.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants state and territory leaders to back plans to further ease quarantine rules for essential workers in transport and aviation, to fix chronic staff shortages that have disrupted food supplies.
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