And you thought we'd left 2020 behind? Rookie error.
Seems we haven't - just eight days in and were back talking lockdowns, travel advice, caps on international arrivals, exemption updates and, that old favourite, panic-buying. Yes, all that, just today.
Thanks to the presence of a highly contagious COVID strain discovered in Brisbane, which is now a national hotspot, the health authorities across all states and territories leapt into action. Queensland decided to lock down Brisvegas for three days from 6pm and that's meant there is a slew of new rules regarding border crossings involving the sunshine state (you can read them here).
There's also a lot of people stocking up on ... well, things. Things they need to survive three days, presumably. Either way, the "don't panic-buy message" was sent, received and promptly ignored.
The Prime Minister also announced new restrictions on international arrivals as health authorities race to curb those more infectious strains of COVID-19 in the community.
The main changes are:
- Caps on international arrivals in NSW, Western Australia and Queensland will be reduced by 50 per cent until February 15
- Overseas travellers must now return a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure to Australia, with some exemptions for "extenuating circumstances".
- Masks will also be mandatory in airports and on all international and domestic flights.
- Flight crews will be subject to stricter conditions and testing, while quarantine workers across Australia will be subject to stricter testing requirements.
And while we were all occupied by yesterday's US insurrection at the Capitol, COVID-19 killed more Americans than any other day - 3915 all up.
Also, more than 250,000 new cases were reported yesterday alone. Among the infected was newly sworn in Kansas congressman, Jake LaTurner. He tested positive for the virus hours after he'd been involved in certification of the election result.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum ... a Chinese city with a population bigger than London has "entered wartime mode" - after coronavirus cases more than doubled.
China locked down the 11 million people in Shijiazhuang after more than 100 new Covid cases were confirmed there. Residents are banned from leaving the city and schools have also been closed; buses have been cancelled, same too for many flights.
According to the state-run China Daily newspaper, three officials in Shijiazhuang's Gaocheng district have been punished for "negligence".
Stay safe. Avoid negligence, Australia.
THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- New rules for people flying to Australia, as numbers are cut
- Queensland border to remain open as NSW records four new cases
- Coronavirus vaccine to reach Tasmania in February
- The crisis in Washington: Rising pressure on Trump
- Travellers in Brisbane told to stay put, get tested to halt UK COVID variant
- Panic buy starts as Brisbane lockdown looms
- Fruit and veg losses top $38 million as worker shortage continues
- Dog-lovers, let the spirit of Bruce live on