Australia: A school in Sydney on December 3, confirmed the first community transmission of Omicron. Authorities are looking into the source, and additional cases are expected, according to authorities. Authorities in Queensland suspected the first Omicron case in a traveller from South Africa, and genome sequencing was underway.
On Saturday, the Omicron coronavirus variant spread across Australia, putting the country's reopening plans to the test, as a cluster in Sydney swelled to 13 cases and an infection was detected in Queensland. The federal government is sticking to its plan to reopen the economy in the hopes that the new strain would be less severe than past strains, while several state and territory administrations have tightened their domestic border restrictions.
"The public health unit has ruled out Delta, but we haven't been able to determine if it's Omicron," said Australia's health minister. "However, it is regarded as if it is." Arrivals from New South Wales, Victoria, and the capital territory will be screened, according to authorities in South Australia. For the first time in months, the state reopened its interior borders just a few days ago.
Thousands of people protested vaccination mandates in Melbourne, with the rallies becoming a weekly event that draws both ordinary residents and far-right and conspiracy theory followers. A modest counter-protest called for an end to the city's far-right movement and support for vaccinations.