The Informer: Canberras special visitor and arsonist search

Health authorities now recommend COVID booster shots five months after a person's second dose. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Health authorities now recommend COVID booster shots five months after a person's second dose. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

While some parts of the country are finally opening up, others are introducing even tougher restrictions.

Queensland will reopen on Monday at 1am, with tens of thousands of people expected to enter the state.

Meanwhile, Western Australia - which has the slowest vaccine take-up as of Friday - is tightening its borders against the Sunshine State, requiring a two-week quarantine from any Queensland visitors, following a virus outbreak on the Gold Coast.

On the vaccine front, the wait to the get the COVID-19 booster is expected to be shortened by one month, meaning it will be available five months after people get their second jab.

As the Omicron variant continues to spread, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said data from Israel showed booster jabs lead to reductions in infection rates as well as the rate of severe disease and deaths.

"A booster dose, five or more months after the second dose, will make sure that the protection from the primary course is even stronger and longer lasting and should help prevent spread of the virus," he said.

Victoria recorded 1069 new COVID-19 infections and a further two deaths on Sunday, while NSW also sadly recorded two and a futher 485 cases.

A bushfire ravaging the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in WA was deliberately lit, police have said.

They are looking for any information to help identify a possible offender.

Canberra will be having a special visitor until Wednesday. South Korean president Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook will arrive in Canberra on Sunday to start their official visit.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton said it underscored the two countries' relationship as tensions with China increased.

"It's a very important visit, it comes at the end of his term, " Mr Dutton said.

Meanwhile, Australia along with Japan and the United States has helped fund an internet undersea cable to help improve internet connection in three Pacific countries.

The allies will work with the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, and Nauru to provide better internet capacity.

The six-country partnership would result in higher quality and more reliable and secure communications to about 100,000 people, a statement said.

The statement said the project came at a time of "unprecedented economic and strategic challenges in our region."

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This story The Informer: One state reopens as another tightens border rules first appeared on The Canberra Times.