Coronavirus LIVE updates: Victoria nervously awaits case data, more lockdown easings while NSW prepares for NRL grand final

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Queensland insists interstate parents visiting children enter quarantine

Queensland is still insisting separated parents entering the state to visit or drop off their children go into hotel quarantine at their own expense, a rule generally not enforced by NSW for visiting Victorian parents or in other states.

NSW closed its southern border in July amid Victoria's second wave of COVID-19 but typically says parents crossing the border to visit or drop off children should keep track of their movements and be vigilant about COVID-19.

Martin from Melbourne is reunited with his daughter Leni, 6, in Newcastle after he received a travel permit to enter NSW.

Queensland, which has has declared all of NSW and Victoria virus hotspots, says anyone entering the state from a hotspot must complete 14 days quarantine in government-arranged accommodation at their own expense. A child can visit their parent in quarantine but the parent cannot leave quarantine to spend time with their child.

"We understand how necessary it is for people to continue to fulfil their responsibilities, despite the pandemic," a Queensland Health spokesperson said. "We must balance this with our responsibility to protect the lives of Queenslanders."

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Vote early, vote safely: US study calls out 'sloppy mask' voters

Early voting has already generated long lines in many states, and with the November election just 11 days away, many states and cities have imposed safety measures to protect voters and poll workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

But polling places still have the potential to become "mass gathering events," the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warned in an advisory released Saturday, adding that measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could be improved.

The CDC based its latest advice on a survey from the experiences of 522 poll workers in Delaware's statewide primary in September.

The warnings about voter contagion come as the Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans asked a state judge on Friday to stop the count of Las Vegas-area mail-in ballots, alleging that “meaningful observation” of signature-checking is impossible in the state’s biggest and most Democratic-leaning county.

The New York Times, AP

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Melbourne's biggest step out of second wave hinges on Sunday's test results

Melbourne's biggest step out of its second wave of coronavirus restrictions hinges on the test results of thousands of people potentially linked to a growing outbreak in the city's north that will be received by Sunday morning.

Premier Daniel Andrews warned case numbers could "explode" if there was community transmission unfolding in Melbourne's north as retail and hospitality opened to customers for the first time in almost three months.

Nervous times: Melbourne’s reopening hinges on test results linked to an outbreak in the city’s north.Credit:Joe Armao

The outbreak grew by four to 32 cases across at least six households on Saturday. To understand the cluster's growth among over 400 identified contacts and whether more cases with an unknown source were appearing in the area, the Premier and the Victorian public health team were sweating on COVID-19 test results that will be delivered overnight.

"A lot of people had been banking on [Sunday] as the day where we would have absolute clarity about what October and November looks like," Mr Andrews said.

"If we can do that we will. But the appropriate thing to do, if you have thousands of tests in the laboratory being processed … you have to wait for the results."

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Good morning all

G'day everyone and welcome to today's live blog as we await news from the Victorian Government on what restrictions could be eased next although concern remains about a cluster of COVID-19 cases from two schools in Melbourne's north.

So we will have plenty of coverage to come today including developments from other states and around the world while it is also NRL grand final day with Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm to playoff for the belated NRL premiership tonight in Sydney.

As always you can leave a comment on the blog or send me a tweet at @rpjward on Twitter.

Please have a lovely day and enjoy the stories to come.

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