The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Monday July 19.

Federal government cancels Katie Hopkins' visa, sending her home.

Far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins will be deported after the federal government cancelled her visa overnight. 

Hopkins was brought to Australian by Channel 7 to join Big Brother's celebrity addition, but was dropped from the program after boasting about ways she was undermining the hotel's safety protocols while describing the lockdown as a "hoax".

In her home country, she is routinely labelled a "racist", a "bigot" and a "troll" for her views on a range of matters, from immigration to obesity.

More than 30,000 Australians had signed a petition calling for her to be sent home. 

Australian Government fast tracks three million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as shipment arrives overnight.

Australia has fast tracked an additional three million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed in an interview with 7News on Sunday night.

"In May, the Prime Minister and I wrote… to the CEO of Pfizer, we'd pushed for additional doses to be brought forward, that was successful.

"(Pfizer) responded with an additional three million doses for Australia to be brought forward, into the third quarter, and those doses are the ones which commence in the course of the week of 19 July,” Hunt said.

"And so, that means that we move to a million a week."

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was given credit for fast-tracking the Pfizer rollout in Australia after conversations with the company’s chairman Albert Bourla, a claim denied by the federal government.


"Even though it was to our detriment, we didn't disclose that because of the commercial in confidence nature that it was critical for Australia to maintain those relations," Hunt told the program.

One million doses arrived overnight, and it's hoped today marks a turning point in the bungled vaccine rollout which has been held back due to a lack of supply.

The ACT is set to cement its place as the fastest jurisdiction to rollout the COVID-19 vaccine with a move to allow 30 to 39 year olds to register for the jab from July 21. Close to half of all adults in the nation's capital have received one jab.

NSW case reduction may "take days" as tougher restrictions kick in.

It may take until the end of the week before Sydney's daily COVID-19 infection numbers start to decline.

Gladys Berejiklian says she expects a lag of between five or six days until cases begin to drop as a result of the latest lockdown restrictions.

The NSW premier admits her decision to impose the harshest measures yet on the Harbour City has caused her anguish.

"I'm not embarrassed to say that in public life, yesterday was probably the most difficult day I've had personally," she told reporters on Sunday.


Stay-at-home orders have been tightened in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool with locals not allowed to leave until July 30.

Tougher restrictions also apply to the entire Greater Sydney region, with only supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and few other retailers allowed to open and construction sites shut.

NSW police say they will target Sydney beaches to ensure compliance, with "high-visibility" patrols at Manly Beach, Bondi Beach and other coastal areas to ensure social distancing while people exercise.

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon reminded Sydney residents they are now required to carry a face mask when out of their homes and to wear them when appropriate.

NSW recorded 105 new virus cases and the death of a woman in her 90s in Sydney's southeast on Sunday. Ms Berejiklian said 27 had been infectious while in the community.

A total of 66 of Sunday's cases were linked to known clusters while 39 remain under investigation.

Officers on Saturday responded to some 860 reports from members of the community concerned about health order breaches, according to Mr Lanyon.

They included a woman who visited Sydney overnight before returning to the Newcastle area and numerous people who tried to run off or resist arrest for failing to wear masks.

In all, more than 240 people were issued $200 fines.

Expiry of Victoria's lockdown at risk.

Victoria's latest coronavirus outbreak is unfolding as hoped without any new chains of transmission, Daniel Andrews says.

However the premier warns it is still too early to tell whether the state can avoid an extension of its current five-day lockdown. 

Mr Andrews says the restrictions won't go any longer than they need to but at this stage he has no advice to shorten lockdown for any areas outside Melbourne either.


Victoria recorded 16 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to midnight on Saturday but authorities advised there had been an extra case added in the hour before Sunday's press conference. 

The additional infection was that of a man in Mildura who had presented at hospital with COVID-19 symptoms after attending the Carlton-Geelong AFL match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last weekend.

A stay-at-home order is due to expire at midnight on Tuesday but could be extended based on data including case numbers and exposure sites, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says.

"Every Victorian needs to ready themself for what might emerge over the next 24/48 hours," he said on Saturday.

"All I can say is the response couldn't have been better. The judgements that have been made around a hard and fast lockdown have been the right ones. And that's got us on a good track."

Call for mandatory jab for health workers.

The national cabinet is being urged to make vaccinations compulsory for all hospital staff and create a rollout plan to ensure every worker has a date in their diary to get a jab.

Catholic Health Australia, which represents Catholic not-for-profit hospitals, said every year healthcare staff are required to get vaccinated against the flu but yet there is no such directive for COVID.

"The high transmissibility of the Delta variant of COVID is putting workers and the people they care for at greater risk as well as putting extra strain on staff," CHA's health policy director James Kemp said.

"We need a single, uniform rule across Australia for everyone working in a hospital environment."

He said CHA's members are already redeploying unvaccinated staff to clinical areas where there is a lower risk of contact with COVID patients and vaccinating staff as and when Commonwealth supplies become available.


UNESCO pursuing 'endangered' reef plan.

Despite opposition in Australia, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is pushing ahead with plans to classify the Great Barrier Reef as an endangered natural site.

The draft decision is a proposal to place the site on the list of endangered world heritage, the committee's director Mechtild Roessler said during the 44th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the Chinese city of Fuzhou.

The proposal would be on the agenda on Friday, she said.

The director and the president of the 44th session, China's Vice Minister of Education Tian Xuejun, dismissed speculation that the move was related to political tensions between China and Australia.

"The recommendation is based on the reports and data provided to us by Australia," said Tian Xuejun, who objected to "baseless allegations."

As a result of climate change, the world's largest reef is threatened by warm water and coral bleaching. To prevent it from being red-listed, the Australian government had invited more than a dozen ambassadors on a snorkelling trip to the reef ahead of the meeting.

Nine of the 15 diplomats were from countries that would have voting rights at the committee's meeting.

In the UNESCO draft, the World Heritage Committee has urged Australia to take action against climate change. It also addressed the quality of the water around the reef, which has been a World Heritage Site since 1981. The long-term outlook for the natural wonder has gone from "poor" to "very poor."


Decisions on applications for classification as new World Heritage sites are to be made next weekend. There are 1,121 World Heritage sites worldwide.

Two Olympians test positive to COVID-19.

South African football players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi have become the first athletes to test positive for coronavirus in Olympic Village.

IOC president Bach said on Thursday the risk of the Japanese public being infected with the virus by a Games participant is "zero" but there's a rising concern in Tokyo with the city recording more than 1000 new cases for a fourth straight day.

The two players are in isolation in Kagashima where the sevens squad are at a pre-Games training camp.

147 Australian athletes - mainly rowers and swimmers - have arrived in Tokyo off a special charter flight from Cairns and were greeted by chef de mission Ian Chesterman at the Olympic village at 3am on Sunday after a lengthy processing through Narita airport.

There are now 194 Australian competitors checked into the Village, with another 49 athletes in sub sites and training camps around Japan.

Death toll rises as Europe floods spread.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the flooding that devastated parts of Europe as "terrifying" after the death toll across the region rose to 184 as a district of Bavaria was battered by the extreme weather.

Merkel on Sunday promised swift financial aid after visiting one of the areas worst affected by the record rainfall and floods that have killed at least 157 in Germany alone in recent days, in the country's worst natural disaster in almost six decades.


She also said governments would have to get better and faster in their efforts to tackle the impact of climate change only days after Europe outlined a package of steps towards "net zero" emissions by the middle of the century.

The European floods, which began on Wednesday, have mainly hit the German states of Rhineland Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia as well as parts of Belgium. Entire communities have been cut off, without power or communications.

Around the world.

- A leading COVID advisor to US President Joe Biden has warned Australia is among the countries where the virus could yet take its most tragic toll due to our low vaccination rates, reports 7News.

- As Britain prepares to end restrictions, every adult has been offered a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. So far 87.8 per cent of adults have received a first shot. 

- The hottest day of the year so far has been recorded in all four UK nations, with England recording 30.7C, Northern Ireland 31.2C, Scotland 28.2C and Wales 29C. 

- An Australian-born French-based mum is speaking out about being told to cover up while breastfeeding at Disneyland Paris. The incident stirred a social media storm in France where there's debate about legal protections for breastfeeding mothers. 

- French director Julia Ducournau joins New Zealand's Jane Campion as one of the only women to receive the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

- With AAP

Feature image: Katie Hopkins Instagram/Getty/Yuichi Yamazaki.