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The Informer: Omicron COVID variant delivers sense of deja vu with talks of hard lockdowns

The 2021 annual Bikers For Kids Newcastle Toy Run to raise funds for disadvantaged families and provide toys for kids who would otherwise go without at Christmas. Picture: Peter Lorimer
The 2021 annual Bikers For Kids Newcastle Toy Run to raise funds for disadvantaged families and provide toys for kids who would otherwise go without at Christmas. Picture: Peter Lorimer

As the festive season approaches, so too does a sense of deja vu with uncertainty about tighter restrictions after discussions that jurisdictions may re-impose hard lockdowns to avoid the potential spread of the Omicron variant.

South Australia is the first to indicate such a move with Premier Steven Marshall not yet ruling out barring travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

"It may become necessary. I hope it doesn't," Mr Marshall said in a press conference on Saturday.

The state opened its borders only days prior.

What's changed this year, however, is the rate of vaccination with 92.8 per cent of people 16 years and older receiving at least one dose and 87.89 per cent double-dosed.

In good news for some parents, school-aged children are set to start receiving their coronavirus vaccine in January after a major regulatory hurdle was cleared.

As of Saturday, NSW has 15 cases of the latest variant while the ACT has two.

It comes after up to 10,000 people protested in central Melbourne against the Victorian government passing pandemic laws.

In other news, an estimated 57,000 Australians are admitted to hospital with heart attacks every year.

Thirty per cent of them are on their second heart attack and one in 10 will experience another event within 12 months.

The latest figures were found by the Heart Foundation with the organisation's general manager of health Bill Stavreski saying patients often underestimate the support they need.

In policing news, the Australian Federal Police is set to implement new "massively parallel sequencing" DNA analysis technology to narrow down suspects even further.

The AFP has said the new advanced technology could help investigators predict the gender, ancestry, eye, and soon hair colour of potential offenders from unmatched genetic evidence found at crime scenes.

While Omicron's arrival in Australia dominated the news this week, there are still feel-good moments with the best videos from around the country.

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*This edition of The Informer was written by Canberra Times reporter Toby Vue. If you'd like to show your support for the team behind The Informer, why not forward us to a friend?

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This story Vaccinations the contrast in deja vu festive season as Omicron arrives first appeared on The Canberra Times.