The Informer: Hope on the breeze for lockdown states as premiers gear up for freedom plans

Ballarat butcher John Harbour basking in his team's success. Picture: Jeremy Bannister
Ballarat butcher John Harbour basking in his team's success. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

Australia is on the cusp of some good news - not just for the Demons fans after yesterday's AFL Grand Final win - but on pandemic restrictions too.

After weeks of skyrocketing cases in the two biggest COVID states, averaged new cases has plateaued in one and come down from a peak in the other, replaced in ever escalating numbers by the Australians taking their second shot of COVID-19 vaccine.

That means premiers will in short order get to announce, not deaths and ICU numbers, but borders and workplaces reopening. And then there's all the recreational stuff that other states have been enjoying while those in Victoria, NSW and the ACT are in lockdown.

Next week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will release updated plans for more activities that vaccinated residents will be able to enjoy in the coming months after passing 60 per cent of 16 and older "double dosed" today. At 70 per cent they get to visit hospitality venues and hairdressers. At 80 per cent ... she's staying mum on that one until the big announcement.

In Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews is gearing up for some modest easing of restrictions tied to single-dose vaccination targets - a more manageable approach, as the state has received significantly fewer vaccine doses from the federal government than NSW.

From midnight on Tuesday, the 10-kilometre radius movement restriction in the locked down areas will expand to 15kms, and fully vaccinated residents will be allowed to do personal training outdoors in larger groups.

Both states also announced deaths. Two in Victoria, nine in NSW. All but one unvaccinated.

With Scott Morrison out of the country, the top dogs of the federal government had two things on their mind today - fighting with the Queensland and WA governments over reopening plans in the coming months, and fighting with itself over net zero emissions commitments in time for the UN climate summit in November.

In better news, a trial six-month scheme whereby residents in Wagga can be rebated for half the cost of reusable nappies or menstrual products has been hailed as a "great success" of people power after starting with a petition run by two local mothers.

Another way of saving yourself a trip into town during a lockdown is to cut and colour your own hair at home. We sent a reporter to ask the experts how to do it - but the advice that's probably most useful is to not worry if you make a mistake - it's just hair, it'll grow back, or in the case of colour, grow out.

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