The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Friday September 10.

Deadline looms for unvaccinated in NSW.

The unvaccinated in NSW have a little over a month to get double jabbed if they want to be able to visit family and friends, dine out, travel and go to the hairdresser, gym or football matches.

Under a roadmap out of lockdown announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday, a suite of restrictions will be eased when 70 per cent of the state's residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Catching a movie at the cinema, hitting the pub, a trip to the nail salon, dining out and having a small number of household guests are all back on the cards, as is travel to the state's regions.

But the unvaccinated will miss out.

They will only be able to access "critical retail" like supermarkets.

"You have been warned - come forward and get vaccinated or you won't be able to participate," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

Some limits on where vaccinated people in hotspot areas can make the most of their new freedoms may remain.

The freedoms will be policed via a vaccination status feature on the state's QR code check-in system.

"If you want to go and buy something in what is regarded as a non-essential shop, you will put up the QR code and if it is not a green light saying you have been vaccinated, you won't be welcome inside," she said.

While NSW recorded 1405 new local COVID-19 cases and another five deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, some virus-free regional areas will be released from lockdown.


From Saturday, parts of the mid-north coast and the north coast will emerge from lockdown on the weekend. So too will the Riverina and Murrumbidgee areas, including Wagga Wagga and Albury.

While the plan was enthusiastically welcomed by business and tourism industry bodies, the Australian Medical Association criticised it as lacking sufficient detail.

President Dr Omar Khorshid is calling for the release of any modelling of future case numbers and health system impacts.

The health system is already under considerable stress, and the state would be easing restrictions while recording more than 500 infections each day, without the ability to trace contacts of all cases.

Meanwhile, the announcement of the HSC timetable is due on Friday, with Nine Newspapers reporting no exams will be cancelled.

Victoria's regions wake to greater freedom.

More than a million regional Victorians are waking to more freedoms as lockdown lifts for all areas outside Melbourne except Shepparton, but a number of restrictions remain.

People in the regions can now travel as far as they want from their homes after the stay-at-home order and five-kilometre travel limit ended at midnight on Thursday.

While businesses can now reopen in regional Victoria, a number of strict rules applying to the hospitality industry make it unviable for many venues to open.


Retail businesses have been given a density limit of one person per four square metres, but hospitality venues are allowed a maximum of 10 people seated inside and 20 outside.

Schools can reopen from Friday for years prep to two and year 12, but all other students must continue their studies remotely.

Also coming into effect on Friday is a relief for some Victorians who have been stuck living in a NSW local government border area.

Victorians who have resided in those areas for at least 14 days, from Wednesday 25 August to Wednesday 8 September, will be able to apply for a new permit exemption category to come home.

Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews says detailed modelling from the Burnett Institute will be released in the next week forecasting the Victorian outbreak's peak and how the healthcare system will respond.

He said there is an "enormous amount of work" being done to prepare the state's hospitals for a surge in cases.

Melbourne and Shepparton remain under lockdown, after the state recorded more than 300 cases on Thursday with 195 of those located in Melbourne's north.

PM warns of virus pressure on hospitals, criticises WA timeline.

Scott Morrison has warned hospitals will come under pressure when Australia reopens but insists that shouldn't stop states from easing restrictions.

The prime minister has lauded the NSW government's plan to allow major freedoms to all fully vaccinated people when 70 per cent double-dose coverage is achieved.

He said the next stage of the pandemic would be hard, with cases set to rise as restrictions ease under the national reopening plan.

"That comes with additional pressure on the hospital system. That's understood. That is inevitable," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.


"If you want to live with the virus, you inevitably have to pass down that tunnel, and that will be true in every single state and territory in the country."

WA Premier Mark McGowan is adamant he won't reopen to infected states until early next year, when he predicts the state will reach 80 per cent vaccination coverage, and was criticised by Morrison on Thursday.

"My advice for Western Australia is to get vaccinated and get ready, get your hospital system ready, get your health system ready, and push through and we can all connect and be one again," the prime minister said.

While he's faced criticism for WA's nation-trailing rollout, Mr McGowan argues he can't speed it up until the Morrison government provides more vaccines.

The prime minister believes the state will reach 80 per cent faster than the premier thinks.

Australia has fully vaccinated 40.4 per cent of its over-16 population, while 65.4 per cent have received a single dose.

Payne, Dutton in Jakarta security talks.

The foreign and defence ministers of Indonesia and Australia have met in Jakarta, flagging deeper defence ties and jointly urging the Taliban to respect the human rights of Afghan women and girls.

Marise Payne and Peter Dutton engaged in security talks with their counterparts Retno Marsudi and Prabowo Subianto on Thursday.

It emerged from the talks that Indonesian troops could join regular training exercises on Australian soil as part of deepening defence ties.


Subianto said he and Dutton discussed "the possibility of Australia opening their training areas for the participation of Indonesian units to be training together with Australia".

Dutton said Australia and Indonesia were bolstering their security cooperation in "an increasingly contested region".

Dutton also said Australia would provide 15 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles to Indonesia for use in peacekeeping operations.

He said defence education programs would also be stepped up, with cadets from Indonesia's armed forces studying at Australian defence education facilities.

Marsudi said Indonesia was closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and hopes the country will not be used as "a breeding and training ground for terrorist organisations and activities that threaten peace and stability in the region."


The two foreign ministers on Thursday urged the Taliban to respect the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Indonesia has suffered a series of militant attacks since bombings on the tourist island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, including 88 Australians. The Bali bombings were blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah network.

"Indonesia has a significant role to play as a Muslim country with a strong voice on these issues," Payne said in a joint video news conference with Marsudi, Dutton and Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto.

Payne and Dutton arrived in Jakarta on Wednesday for the first of a series of meetings with foreign and defence ministers in Indonesia, India, South Korea and the United States to underscore Australia's role in the Indo-Pacific region, where China's influence and military power are growing.

Australia waters down climate in UK deal.

Australia is under fire for watering down climate change references and disappearing temperature targets from a UK trade deal. 

The British government has agreed to "drop both of the climate asks" including a reference to Paris Accord temperature goals to get its pending free trade deal with Australia over the line.

While specific references to temperature commitments are gone, a leaked email notes the Paris Agreement still gets a mention in the yet-to-be-inked deal.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended the move, saying the agreement with the UK is about trade and not climate.

"It wasn't a climate agreement, it was a trade agreement," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday. 

"In trade agreements I deal with trade issues. In climate agreements I deal with climate issues."

Coal and gas are among Australia's top exports.

Australia has not updated its 2015 Paris pledge of reducing emissions between 26 and 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 ahead of upcoming climate talks in Glasgow.

It continues to cop international criticism about failing to pull its weight, relative to comparable nations, on emissions reduction and the issue remains vexed within the coalition.

Officials await flu-COVID jab trial result.

Australian health officials will be keeping close tabs on the results of a trial which combines the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Novavax has announced the enrolment of the first participants in a study at a number of sites across Australia to check the safety and effectiveness of a combination vaccine using its seasonal influenza and COVID-19 jabs.

Results of the study are expected in mid-2022.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration, which assesses all COVID-19 vaccines before they can be used in Australia, will only register a vaccine if its benefits are much greater than its risks.

A health department spokeswoman told AAP the co-administration of a COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines is "not routinely recommended as this can sometimes lead to a higher frequency of mild to moderate adverse events or make the attribution of potential adverse events to vaccination more challenging".

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation currently recommends a preferred minimum interval between a flu shot and a Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab of seven days.

This can be shortened if there is an increased risk of COVID-19 or another vaccine-preventable disease, or logistical and scheduling issues.

Report exposes pandemic's indirect impacts.

Restrictions designed to preserve the health of Australians saw millions of them feed unhealthy habits and turn to their vices to cope, new research from the national health data agency suggests.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Friday released a report – based on several data sources and surveys – exploring the direct and indirect effects of the first year of the pandemic on Australians' health.


While the report found the country had fared comparatively well when it came to the direct impacts of the virus, the wellbeing of many Australians had suffered thanks to its indirect consequences.

During the country's initial lockdown between April and June in 2020, one in five people who drink alcohol noticed they were reaching for the bottle more, while a similar proportion of smokers and illicit drug users also upped their consumption.

While some saw the time as an opportunity to exercise more, a similar share of Australians decreased their physical activity.

One in four people had increased how often they indulged in snack foods, and more than half – 58 per cent – reported they'd been spending more time on their screens.

The initial impacts of the pandemic also appeared to have increased levels of psychological distress, particularly for adults aged 18–45, although suicide rates remained steady.

Emergency department presentations were lower, and the road toll during March and April was down on the five-year average by five per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

There was, however, a big increase in the number of ED presentations for do-it-yourself injuries, likely from many of those undertaking home projects.

There were 145,000 fewer mammograms through BreastScreen Australia between January and June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, and only a boost of 12,000 when restrictions ended.


The pandemic also further exposed inequality.

People living in the lowest socio-economic areas were 2.6 times more like to die with COVID-19 than those from the highest socio-economic areas, and in April one in five people in the labour force were either unemployed or underemployed.

But it all could have been much worse, the report concluded.

The key aim of lockdowns – to prevent hospitals becoming overwhelmed with COVID cases – was achieved.

"If Australia had experienced the same crude case and death rates as Canada, Sweden or the United Kingdom, by early April 2021 there would have been between 680,000 and 2 million cases instead of the 29,000 that did occur, and between 16,000 and 48,000 deaths, between 15 and 46 times the number of deaths," Dr Moon said.

US government sues Texas over abortion ban.

The US Department of Justice is suing Texas after President Joe Biden vowed to challenge a new law that almost entirely bans abortion in the state.

Democrats fear the right to abortion established 50 years ago may be at risk after the controversial new law came into effect earlier this month.

Full details of the lawsuit challenging the state law in federal court were not immediately available in a court filing system.

The US Supreme Court last week let stand the Texas law banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women realise they are pregnant. The decision represented a major victory for social conservatives who have been trying to ban the procedure since the court's 1973 Roe v Wade decision established the constitutional right to abortion.


Biden has warned the law would cause "unconstitutional chaos" because it relies on private citizens to enforce it by filing civil lawsuits against people who help a woman obtain an abortion after six weeks, whether it be a doctor who performs the procedure or a cabbie who drives a woman to a clinic.

The law allows the people who sue to receive bounties of at least $10,000 (AU$13,550) and makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest, although there are some very narrowly defined exemptions for the mother's health. 

Around the world.

- US President Joe Biden has announced sweeping new vaccine requirements, mandating that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.

- Britain has approved plans to turn away boats illegally carrying migrants to its shores, deepening a rift with France over how to deal with a surge of people risking their lives by trying to cross the English Channel in small dinghies.

- North Macedonia's government has declared three days of mourning following a deadly overnight fire in a COVID-19 field hospital that killed 14 people and injured a dozen more. There is speculation the blaze was connected to the facility's oxygen supply.

-With AAP.

Feature image: Getty/Twitter @PeterDutton_MP.

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