Good morning and welcome to the live blog for Saturday. I’m Josh Taylor and will be taking you through the news of the day for Saturday.
New South Wales health officials will be spending this weekend developing a roadmap out of lockdown after the state recorded 136 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, with 53 of them not isolating during their infectious period.
Divisions are emerging in the federation, particularly between NSW and Victoria, after NSW sought more first doses of Pfizer, particularly focused on essential workers in south-west Sydney.
NSW was rejected by national cabinet, with the prime minister, Scott Morrison, confirming no Pfizer would be taken away from other states to meet this need:
We’re not going to disrupt the vaccination program around the rest of the country. That vaccination program is going and is hitting its marks and we want that to continue.”
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews was the most vocal against any redistribution of the vaccine. He has called on the state to put a “ring of steel” around greater Sydney, and argued he does not want vaccines redirected from Victoria to New South Wales while Victoria is also in lockdown.
National cabinet agreed to extend the wait period for second doses of Pfizer out to up to six weeks to maximise the supply of first doses in NSW, and the prime minister urged younger Australians to speak to their GP about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Eyes will also be on Victoria and South Australia, which also remain in lockdown, reporting 14 and two new cases on Friday, respectively.