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This was always going to be the case imho.

Looks quite doubtful that Kiwis will be able to come, am I right @AwonderfulKiwi? Judging by recent comments from Jacinda and other NZ people, Australia isn't on the agenda until at least the end of the year and more likely next year (with the potential exception of Tasmania, but tbh that seems highly unlikely as well because it would involve Tasmania cutting off the rest of Australia which is unfeasible as they are so entirely dependent on Victoria). Seems Australia and NZ have started to diverge a bit in their management strategies; even though Scotty from Marketing said that the suppression goal was zero community transmission, there are reports that in NSW (the most lockdown-averse state, it seems) they're reevaluating the number of cases they're prepared to have per day before they consider any type of lockdowns - some reports are saying they'd tolerate 15-20 per day, with upper estimates saying they'd tolerate 250 per day (!!!!!!!). Thankfully, it seems they'd be more keen to do it closer to the 15-20 mark rather than the 250. But all of this seems to suggest that NZ and Aus are not quite on the same page.

However, I do foresee a situation where the NZ stance softens a bit on "safer" countries within 6-12 months like Australia (which SHOULD be safer by that time...) and allows some kind of travel with quarantining and testing (maybe of the rapid kind?). I say this because I just can't imagine NZ will lock off everything forever, right? I can imagine the 700,000ish Kiwis in Australia will want to go back and forth at some time as well, no? What's the talk over there?

As for here, the situation in Melbourne is stabilising in terms of case numbers hovering (or, more accurately, yoyoing) in the same ballpark, but we are really in a tough spot because so many of the infections are happening in aged care homes and health services that are essential and cannot be shut down. The data coming through makes it very difficult to contemplate shutting anything else down that would make a meaningful difference. Apparently there's some talk of ways to help this by putting staff into some kind of bubble with the residents and patients to prevent infections from coming into nursing homes and healthcare facilities, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

To be honest, a vaccine seems super far away still, but I'm hopeful that we'll come a long way with treatment by the end of the year. There are multiple promising drugs that are both old and in development that seem to cut the rate of death and/or severity of the illness. It seems the death rate is also declining, so maybe general supportive treatment is improving too. I'm hopeful that by January these things will make this tournament safer and more possible.
 
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AFAIK the trans-Tasman bubble is still far away. Instead NZ is planning to open up to countries/territories in `the Realm' (what is that?) e.g. Cook Is., Niue ....
 

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AFAIK the trans-Tasman bubble is still far away. Instead NZ is planning to open up to countries/territories in `the Realm' (what is that?) e.g. Cook Is., Niue ....
Yeah the official "bubble" is a long way away imho.

But I'm wondering if NZ might allow some kind of compromise with travel to AUS that includes a quarantine or something.
 

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The United States Open 2020 in a couple of weeks will take place but the Australian Open 2021 in six months "may be cancelled". This a new level of irony even for WTA standards.

I wish they would cancel the US Open as the rsik is just too high given the number of infections in the USA. But on the other hand I think cancelling the first major of next calendar season (without considering ghost matches) in a country, which is far away from being the hot spot of the health crises, is the wrong signal.

I can see an important number of players retiring if tournaments keep on being cancelled in 2021.
 

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AFAIK the trans-Tasman bubble is still far away. Instead NZ is planning to open up to countries/territories in `the Realm' (what is that?) e.g. Cook Is., Niue ....
"The Realm" is our overseas territory (the Ross Dependency in Antarctica and Tokelau in the Pacific) and two associated independent states - the Cook Islands and Niue. They're the equivalent to Australia's Norfolk, Lord Howe, Cocos and Christmas Islands (and any other similar territories). Both of our countries also administer various sub-Antarctic island groups.
 

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The United States Open 2020 in a couple of weeks will take place but the Australian Open 2021 in six months "may be cancelled". This a new level of irony even for WTA standards.

I wish they would cancel the US Open as the rsik is just too high given the number of infections in the USA. But on the other hand I think cancelling the first major of next calendar season (without considering ghost matches) in a country, which is far away from being the hot spot of the health crises, is the wrong signal.

I can see an important number of players retiring if tournaments keep on being cancelled in 2021.
It's all speculation about the AO at this point. Just news outlets trying to get clicks.
 

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Looks quite doubtful that Kiwis will be able to come, am I right @AwonderfulKiwi?
Craig Tiley is hopeful that there might be New Zealand spectators.
Judging by recent comments from Jacinda and other NZ people, Australia isn't on the agenda until at least the end of the year and more likely next year (with the potential exception of Tasmania, but tbh that seems highly unlikely as well because it would involve Tasmania cutting off the rest of Australia which is unfeasible as they are so entirely dependent on Victoria).
I honestly don't know. Things were gradually tracking towards a trans-Tasman bubble by about September, but the new outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales have scuppered that idea.

However, Tasmania is not the only part of Australia which is close to being Covid-free - Western and South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland are all pretty much clear as well. It's possible that the various leaders may try to come up with some agreement to allow travel between those areas and New Zealand, although I certainly wouldn't expect it to happen within the next few weeks.

However, I do foresee a situation where the NZ stance softens a bit on "safer" countries within 6-12 months like Australia (which SHOULD be safer by that time...) and allows some kind of travel with quarantining and testing (maybe of the rapid kind?).
A throat swab has been developed here which is apparently just as accurate as the standard nasal swab, and is obviously much quicker and easier to administer. There's a BIG push to reopen travel to the Pacific Islands as soon as possible. Of those which are regular destinations for tourists and family reunions, only Fiji has had infections of Covid-19. The Cook Islands are on their knees because so much of their economy is dependent on tourism, mainly from New Zealand, and yet an Australian bubble has always been the priority for our politicians. Maybe that will change now. Tonga and Samoa are also desperate to re-establish regular links, as much for family reunification as for tourism because so many from those countries live in New Zealand.
I say this because I just can't imagine NZ will lock off everything forever, right? I can imagine the 700,000ish Kiwis in Australia will want to go back and forth at some time as well, no? What's the talk over there?
My baby sister lives in Adelaide, and I would definitely like to see her and her family again! We're not so insular that we WANT to lock off everything permanently but, so long as trade links are maintained, we can at least survive for a while without any other overseas input.
As for here, the situation in Melbourne is stabilising in terms of case numbers hovering (or, more accurately, yoyoing) in the same ballpark, but we are really in a tough spot because so many of the infections are happening in aged care homes and health services that are essential and cannot be shut down. The data coming through makes it very difficult to contemplate shutting anything else down that would make a meaningful difference. Apparently there's some talk of ways to help this by putting staff into some kind of bubble with the residents and patients to prevent infections from coming into nursing homes and healthcare facilities, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Quite a few of our resthomes had staff who decided to stay on-site and be part of the residents' bubble. That may well have been a factor in how well that sector came through lockdown. We had deaths amongst residents of only two resthomes (12 in one, four in the other), but they made up the majority of our total toll of 22.

... I'm hopeful that by January these things will make this tournament safer and more possible.
And so say all of us!
 

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Yeah the official "bubble" is a long way away imho.

But I'm wondering if NZ might allow some kind of compromise with travel to AUS that includes a quarantine or something.
I can't see it at the moment with the spike in cases in Victoria and New South Wales. Even if Australia allows New Zealanders to enter without quarantining, I'm sure that they would at least want proof of a negative Covid-19 test from everyone arriving. New Zealand is highly unlikely to make any changes to its quarantine rules anytime soon, so people wanting to go for a holiday would need to add two weeks to their vacation to cover the time in lockdown when they come back.

Our government is also finalising what it is going to charge people for their quarantine, as they feel that there has already been enough time for everyone to come back who wants to, and the murmurs of discontent at people getting four or five star accommodation for free are getting louder.
 

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The United States Open 2020 in a couple of weeks will take place but the Australian Open 2021 in six months "may be cancelled". This a new level of irony even for WTA standards.

I wish they would cancel the US Open as the rsik is just too high given the number of infections in the USA. But on the other hand I think cancelling the first major of next calendar season (without considering ghost matches) in a country, which is far away from being the hot spot of the health crises, is the wrong signal.

I can see an important number of players retiring if tournaments keep on being cancelled in 2021.
The Grand Slams aren't in any way run by the WTA.........
 

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Craig Tiley is hopeful that there might be New Zealand spectators.
I hope so too! I suppose given that Australian spectators make up 85% of total spectators, the event will survive regardless; but it would be great to have some Kiwis.

However, Tasmania is not the only part of Australia which is close to being Covid-free - Western and South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland are all pretty much clear as well. It's possible that the various leaders may try to come up with some agreement to allow travel between those areas and New Zealand, although I certainly wouldn't expect it to happen within the next few weeks.
I read one of the Kiwi ministers (I don't remember who) saying that the end of the year is the earliest possible for this kind of thing.

Tbh, I'm quite sceptical of this taking place without VIC and NSW. Australia still wants to function as a united country when it comes to its international borders. It would be majorly controversial to do this kind of thing without Victoria in the first place, but without Victoria and NSW? Quite unlikely, as that's 55% of the population. And given Queensland's border is open to NSW now, that makes up another like...20%?

The other issue with this is that Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are the closest airports to NZ (I think, unless Tas is closer?). Since the highest population of Kiwis in Australia is in QLD and Sydney and Melbourne are the biggest attractions city-wise, I just can't see Perth, Darwin and Adelaide drawing the same numbers of Kiwis (other than those with baby sisters in SA!) given that the flights are also longer. I also can't see huge numbers Perthies lining up in droves to take that flight either.

Long story short: it doesn't seem as attractive, let alone feasible, without VIC and NSW (and maybe even QLD).

A throat swab has been developed here which is apparently just as accurate as the standard nasal swab, and is obviously much quicker and easier to administer.
Hopefully that becomes a thing. Would it also depend on an incubation period though?

There's a BIG push to reopen travel to the Pacific Islands as soon as possible. Of those which are regular destinations for tourists and family reunions, only Fiji has had infections of Covid-19. The Cook Islands are on their knees because so much of their economy is dependent on tourism, mainly from New Zealand, and yet an Australian bubble has always been the priority for our politicians. Maybe that will change now. Tonga and Samoa are also desperate to re-establish regular links, as much for family reunification as for tourism because so many from those countries live in New Zealand.
Tbh we didn't hear that much about the bubble for some time - maybe only when it started looking less likely and NZ mentioned that the Cook Islands were their priority now.

I am really hoping that treatment improves drastically by the end of the year so that we aren't at the mercy of a vaccine being developed/produced/distributed.

Quite a few of our resthomes had staff who decided to stay on-site and be part of the residents' bubble. That may well have been a factor in how well that sector came through lockdown. We had deaths amongst residents of only two resthomes (12 in one, four in the other), but they made up the majority of our total toll of 22.
This whole thing is such a mess that it's actually hard to comprehend. Someone (I literally can't remember who lol) said that Australia was 1 security guard away from elimination without pursuing an elimination strategy.

After we hit over 450 cases again today (and 10 deaths - the highest ever), things are starting to get extremely tense politically. People want a face to blame. It's just not that easy - there's so much that needs to be looked into. The good news is that it's still not ballooning out (even though we may not have hit the peak yet) and the source of new infections is narrowing as a result of the lockdown. The impact of masks will be seen too - hopefully.

With 3.5 weeks left in the lockdown, I'd say it's 99% certain that it'll be extended. I'd take bets on it being another 2-4 weeks; but people's patience will really be wearing thin at that point and frustration will take hold.

Again, all I can say is that I think things will be good within 6 months and the AO will be held with or without spectators.
 
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Tbh, I'm quite sceptical of this taking place without VIC and NSW. Australia still wants to function as a united country when it comes to its international borders. It would be majorly controversial to do this kind of thing without Victoria in the first place, but without Victoria and NSW? Quite unlikely, as that's 55% of the population. And given Queensland's border is open to NSW now, that makes up another like...20%?
Agreed.
The other issue with this is that Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are the closest airports to NZ (I think, unless Tas is closer?).
Sydney is closest. There have only been occasional periods in the past with direct flights to Hobart (all, I think, from Christchurch) because there just isn't the demand in either direction.
Since the highest population of Kiwis in Australia is in QLD and Sydney and Melbourne are the biggest attractions city-wise, I just can't see Perth, Darwin and Adelaide drawing the same numbers of Kiwis (other than those with baby sisters in SA!) given that the flights are also longer. I also can't see huge numbers Perthies lining up in droves to take that flight either.
You might be surprised. There's a huge number of New Zealanders living in Perth, and also plenty working in the mines in Western Australia, so there is actually quite a demand for flights. Pre-Covid, Air New Zealand had two non-stop flights daily each way from Auckland to Perth (and also to Adelaide).
Long story short: it doesn't seem as attractive, let alone feasible, without VIC and NSW (and maybe even QLD).
Agreed.
Hopefully that becomes a thing. Would it also depend on an incubation period though?
Yes - it's exactly the same test, but just administered in a different way.
...
Again, all I can say is that I think things will be good within 6 months and the AO will be held with or without spectators.
Agree with that, too.
 

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True. The difference is that you risk hampering the economic recovery if you continue to put restrictions on borders and, by extension, restrictions on economic activity.

Like you say, there are pros and cons to each strategy. But I do feel that the cons of lockdowns do need to be looked at with far more scrutiny. Some of the language around lockdowns is frankly dogmatic.

Countries that went into lockdown very early may have low mortality rates, but still have to maintain or reinstate strict social distancing rules in case of new outbreaks; meanwhile, countries that went into lockdown later may have higher mortality rates but be able to return to normal life sooner without the risk of major outbreaks because their is some immunity in the community.

And again, it’s worth pointing out that lockdowns are not the only way to suppress the virus. There are much smarter & targeted policy options.

the trend you notice of people acting smug or superior because of their low mortality rates is exactly the kind of premature celebration im referring to. It’s way too early for that.
Where did you get the information that there is herd immunity from Covid-19? Doctors have said that is still unclear.

BTW, I'm a microbiologist. I know how viruses and immunity work. I just didn't know there was conclusive evidence. Can you provide that link so I can read it?? Thank you! Peer reviewed/authored journals are what I read every day.
 
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Whereas the rest of the world (except USA ?) is looking at this as a nation, Australia is looking (and shaming) at this as seperate states, really pitiful....I've seen pictures and names of people who have disobeyed certain rules on newssites...it's about as deep as you can get.....
 

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Whereas the rest of the world (except USA ?) is looking at this as a nation, Australia is looking (and shaming) at this as seperate states, really pitiful....I've seen pictures and names of people who have disobeyed certain rules on newssites...it's about as deep as you can get.....
Exactly, as you can see by certain comments on social media (and this thread).

The overwhelming majority of the country is united, but unfortunately our Prime Minister and certain Premiers of other states have decided to make this a competition between states.

This is a highly political issue. Melbourne (and Victoria) is the most liberal place in Australia and our government is formed by the opposition party to the national government.

Other states like to take this stupid sense of pride in having low levels of the virus. In reality, they have a tiny population, small economy, very low population density and were benefitting from NSW and VIC taking their returning citizens into quarantine.

The only comparable state is NSW, and Sydney and Melbourne are almost twin cities. This post doesn't apply to them.

It is extremely disappointing to know that the rest of the world sympathises with people suffering from the virus but people in your own country are laughing at you or abusing you.
 

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Whereas the rest of the world (except USA ?) is looking at this as a nation, Australia is looking (and shaming) at this as seperate states, really pitiful....I've seen pictures and names of people who have disobeyed certain rules on newssites...it's about as deep as you can get.....
Whilst I also deplore the lack of unity in Australia, the USA is not united on this issue at all. Look at the comments about how New York is so different from the other states in the way they've been able to cut down their infection numbers. It's the key driver in how so many of the American posters are united in wanting the US Open to go ahead. Look at the comments Lexington is starting to attract due to the spike in infections in that city.
 

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Whereas the rest of the world (except USA ?) is looking at this as a nation, Australia is looking (and shaming) at this as seperate states, really pitiful....I've seen pictures and names of people who have disobeyed certain rules on newssites...it's about as deep as you can get.....
Of course we're looking it as separate states because the alternative would be a pandemic managed nation wide by Scott Morrison. He initially wanted to go the Boris Johnson, economy before lives, route but because most of the authority for responding to a pandemic sits with the states the states took things into their own hands. I'm grateful for this because the alternative would've been much worse.

You can also blame News Corp of Fox News fame for publishing those identities.
 

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Oh heavens no! We are so very sorry for inconveniencing you smaller states (surely you can't be referring to NSW here) by dying from a global pandemic. Please accept our humble apologies for pissing you off :-( this is so very upsetting for us in Melbourne to hear. I mean I thought the fact that I've been forced to miss surgeries, not been able to say a last goodbye to a dying relative, stay inside for months and am now getting a curfew was bad. But nope - pissing off the rest of Australia is just the most upsetting thing to have ever happened to me.

I've genuinely never felt less Australian than I have during this pandemic. The competition between states was always pathetic, but since Victoria's outbreak it has gone to new levels.

While we in Victoria donate to charities, hold fundraisers and cry about bushfires, cyclones and other disasters in other states, the reaction from other states to our pandemic situation and restrictions has been absolutely disgusting. All we get is "you deserve this" "you are pissing us off" "the most selfish state" "Melbournians are so multicultural and all hipsters so this is their fault" "disgusting people".

Cool. Should we get independence from Australia then? Good luck to the smaller states that depend so heavily on our economy, facilities and cultural output then, not to mention our international events that benefit the entire country. Let's call this slam the Melbourne Open and be done with it.
You sound like one of our regions here with the highest daily numbers. They feel ostracized.
 

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We have got very off topic...whilst I agree this is important to discuss it has nothing to so with the Australian Open and has become highly emotive.
 
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