The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Thursday February 4.

Hotel worker COVID positive in Victoria.

Victorians must again wear face masks and limit household gatherings after a Melbourne quarantine hotel worker tested positive to COVID-19, possibly contracted from an international tennis player.

The 26-year-old man from Noble Park in the city's southeast visited numerous public places and shops before returning a positive test on Wednesday.

He had been employed as a "resident support worker" at Melbourne's Grand Hyatt, where scores of international tennis players have been quarantining after arriving for the Australian Open. He worked his most recent shift last Friday.

It's not yet known if the man is carrying a potent offshore strain of the virus.

"Through an abundance of caution, we're assuming the worst. I think that's always a smart thing to do," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters overnight.

Andrews ordered that from Thursday, everyone in Victoria must wear face masks - including in public and private indoor settings - and household gatherings are limited to 15 people.

Plans to allow more workers back to offices have been paused and while the Australian Open is expected to go ahead as scheduled, some players may face re-testing and extended quarantine.


Visitors to the following venues at the specified times must isolate for 14 days and get tested:

Saturday, January 30:

* Club Noble, Noble Park, 2.30pm - 3.30pm

*Aces Sporting Club, Keysborough, 10pm - 11.15pm

Sunday, January 31:

* Northpoint Cafe, Brighton, 8.10am  - 9.30am


* Kmart Keysborough, 4pm - 5pm

* Kmart Brandon Park, 4.30pm - 5.10pm

* Coles Springvale, 5pm - 6pm

Monday, February 1:

* Bunnings Springvale, 11.30am - 12.15pm

* Melbourne Golf Academy, Heatherton, 5.15pm - 6.40pm

Perth bushfire flares after 71 homes lost.

Firefighters remain under pressure in Perth's northeast where an out-of-control bushfire has burnt more than 70 homes and threatens more as gusty winds fan it and spread burning embers.

Residents to the north of the blaze have been told to evacuate as southerly winds whip up.

The massive blaze with a 110km perimeter was late on Wednesday heading northwest after destroying 71 homes near the hills town of Wooroloo on Monday night.


No lives have been lost and no one is believed to be unaccounted for.

Residents in the suburbs of Shady Hills View and Bullsbrook - where the RAAF Base Pearce is located - have been told to evacuate with wind gusts up to 70km/h possible.

Residents of Avon Ridge, Joshua Mews, the area northwest of Gidgegannup and east of Walyunga National Park were told late on Wednesday it was too late to leave and they must shelter in place or actively defend.

Western Australia's Department of Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Operations Craig Waters said the shifting wind was making life tough for firefighters.

More than 70 homes have been destroyed by a bushfire that's been burning out of control in Perth's northeastern suburbs since Monday. Image: AAP Image/Supplied by DFES, Evan Collis. 

The fire has burned through about 10,000 hectares since it started near Werribee Road in Wooroloo on Monday, with 300 firefighters battling the fire.

Kyrgios stops play after time violation.

Nick Kyrgios refused to play for several minutes after receiving a time violation during his 6-2 7-6 (9-7) win over fellow Australian Harry Bourchier in an Australian Open warm-up event in Melbourne.

Kyrgios fought off three set points in the second-set tiebreak before finally getting over the top of world No.303 Bourchier in an entertaining clash on Wednesday night.

The biggest talking point came with the scores locked at 5-5 in the second set when Kyrgios was called for a time violation on his serve.


The issue had been brewing all match, with Kyrgios venting his anger at the chair umpire for repeatedly hurrying him whenever he walked back to grab a towel to wipe off sweat.

Kyrgios immediately refused to continue to play when he was called for the time violation late in the second set, with the world No.47 demanding to speak to the match supervisor.

Kyrgios argued he had already started his serving motion when the serving clock struck zero.

The 25-year-old didn't hold back when the supervisor arrived, labelling the chair umpire a "smart arse". 

"Tennis is not about the umpires," Kyrgios said.

"He's an extra to make sure all this s**t goes smoothly. I was in the motion of serving. Every technique is different. I wasn't bouncing the ball."

Kyrgios only agreed to continue playing when the supervisor assured him he wouldn't be fined.

Dragons abandon Folau talks over backlash.

St George Illawarra have abandoned their intentions to sign Israel Folau following intense backlash from NRL fans.

The pursuit of the former dual international was discussed at a general meeting on Wednesday night with club officials deciding they would not proceed with an official application process.

On Tuesday the club confirmed they had inquired with the NRL about signing the 31-year-old on a two-year deal from 2021.


"While the Dragons did inquire about signing Folau, the club can confirm that such discussions have now ceased," a statement read.

In the 24 hours since chief executive Ryan Webb confirmed the club was interested in bringing the controversial athlete back to the NRL, the Dragons were flooded with feedback from fans and members.

Ultimately it was decided his signature would not be worth any damage caused to the Dragons brand.

Gay conversion law to be debated in Vic.

A bill outlawing gay conversion therapy will be debated in Victoria's upper house, with some opposition MPs expected to defy their leader and cross the floor to vote against it. 

The coalition has confirmed it will not oppose the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill when it is debated in the Legislative Council on Thursday. 

Instead, they will put forward a number of amendments, which are likely to fail given the makeup of the chamber. 

"We are united in our opposition to conversion therapy but the other aspects of the bill we will seek to amend do worry some people within our party and the broader community," the opposition's leader in the upper house, David Davis, told reporters earlier in the week.


Asked whether he or any of his colleagues would cross the floor to vote against it if their amendments fail, he replied that some "certainly have strong views about the bill". 

"We do allow people to vote against the party position in a conscience vote. That is a good thing." 

UK PM leads clap for Captain Tom.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has joined people across the United Kingdom in clapping outside their front doors and balconies in a tribute to fundraiser Captain Tom Moore who died in hospital aged 100 after testing positive for COVID-19.

The family of Moore, who raised more than 30 million pounds ($A54 million) for the National Health Service, were among those who joined the applause at 6pm, saying they were incredibly touched by the idea to mark his passing.

"They will be taking part with huge love in their hearts for their father, grandfather and father-in-law," they said in a statement.

Earlier, the British parliament held a minute of silence in honour of Moore, who died on Tuesday in Bedford Hospital after suffering pneumonia and COVID-19, whilst condolences have poured in from around the world.

"We now all have the opportunity to show our appreciation of him and all that he stood for and believed in," said Johnson, who was joined by his fiancee Carrie to clap outside his Downing Street office.

Moore became renowned after his sponsored walk where he did 100 lengths of his garden with the aid of a walking frame and his cheerful outlook was credited with raising the public's spirits during last year's COVID-19 lockdown.

Myanmar police file Suu Kyi charges.

Myanmar police have filed charges against the country's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi for illegally importing communications equipment and she will be detained until February 15 for investigations, according to a police document.


Myanmar's army seized power on Monday, detaining Nobel laureate Suu Kyi and cutting short a transition to democracy in a takeover that has drawn condemnation from the United States and other Western nations.

A police request to a court detailing the accusations against 75-year-old Nobel laureate Suu Kyi said walkie-talkie radios had been found in a search of her home in the capital, Naypyidaw. 

It said the radios were imported illegally and used without permission.

The document reviewed on Wednesday requested Suu Kyi's detention "in order to question witnesses, request evidence and seek legal counsel after questioning the defendant".

Around the world.

- Donald Trump’s son Eric has lashed out at Scottish politicians ahead of a parliamentary debate on whether to launch an investigation into the financing of his father’s resorts in the country.

- A German veterinary clinic has trained sniffer dogs to detect the coronavirus in human saliva samples with 94 per cent accuracy.

- There will be an Eurovision Song Contest this year in the Netherlands, organisers of the event say, despite the pandemic. 

- A landmark Australian-led survey of more than 3000 galaxies may help answer why they can look so different, why they spin in different directions and what stops them forming new stars.

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty/AAP Image/Supplied by DFES, Evan Collis/Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty.