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Inside Dave Sullivan Jr’s lavish London bachelor pad

EXCLUSIVE: FEMAIL gets a glimpse inside David Sullivan Jr's three-storey bachelor pad in London..

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  • EXCLUSIVE: FEMAIL gets a glimpse inside David Sullivan Jr's three-storey bachelor pad in London
  • Dave Sullivan Jr, son of West Ham United's co-owner, David Sullivan, is heir to a £1.1 billion fortune
  • He shows us around the central London pad that he has called home since leaving Chigwell School at 16
  • The mansion was bought by his father for £13 million at auction and features a cinema room and a bar

By Richard Price for MailOnline and Martha Cliff for MailOnline

Published: 11:29 EST, 27 December 2017 | Updated: 12:24 EST, 27 December 2017

He is the heir to a £1.1 billion fortune, with ambitions to match.

And if you think Dave Sullivan Jr. is a lucky man, rest assured that he has precious little time to enjoy the incredible riches at his disposal.

'People will always have a go, saying I've been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I work harder than just about anyone I know,' says the 20-year-old son of West Ham United's co-owner, David Sullivan.

'My dad came from a council house – he had nothing – and he built up a billion pound empire. Well if he can do that then I want to leave my own kids £5 billion, and the only way to do that is by hard work and imagination.'

One glance at the lifestyle Dave Jr. enjoys would be enough to turn most twentysomething men green with envy.

His fabulously extravagant central London pad has been home since he left Chigwell School, near his family's Essex mansion, after completing his GCSEs at the age of 16. Dave also earned top grades at A Level but has opted not to go to university choosing instead to focus on the family business, likening himself to one notorious businessman.

'When my mates ask me what my job is I tell them I basically do the job Hugh Hefner did at Playboy,' says Dave, whose father David Sr was responsible for over half of the UK's adult magazines in the late '70s and went on to snap up The Daily Sport and The Sunday Sport.

Dave Sullivan Jr. is the 20-year-old son of David Sullivan, the founder of Sport Newspapers and co-owner of West Ham 

Dave Sullivan Jr. is the 20-year-old son of David Sullivan, the founder of Sport Newspapers and co-owner of West Ham

Though he prefers a more informal setting, Dave recognises the importance of networking which is where his ornate dining room comes into playThough he prefers a more informal setting, Dave recognises the importance of networking which is where his ornate dining room comes into play

Though he prefers a more informal setting, Dave recognises the importance of networking which is where his ornate dining room comes into play

Entertaining in the gilt-edged dining room, complete with original oil paintings and antique chandelier, is a stylish experienceEntertaining in the gilt-edged dining room, complete with original oil paintings and antique chandelier, is a stylish experience

Entertaining in the gilt-edged dining room, complete with original oil paintings and antique chandelier, is a stylish experience

'This is where I spend a lot of my time relaxing,' says Dave of the bar. 'My friends come round before we head out for the night - it's a perfect pre-club venue' 'This is where I spend a lot of my time relaxing,' says Dave of the bar. 'My friends come round before we head out for the night - it's a perfect pre-club venue' 

'This is where I spend a lot of my time relaxing,' says Dave of the bar. 'My friends come round before we head out for the night – it's a perfect pre-club venue'

'My dad bought the building for £11 million after Lehman Brothers collapsed,' says Dave of his luxe apartment. 'It was a shell then – everything you see now has been built from scratch.

'I know I'm lucky that this has been home since I was a teenager. It's a great place to live and I've had a lot of fun here, but don't think I take it for granted.

'There are so many things I want to do and my life now is about learning the business. I'm learning every day, seven days a week. Compared to my mates who are at university I work so much harder – and I love it.'

The bespoke cornicing and chandelier of the dining room ceiling were made to order, as part of an intricate design scheme for the entire three-storey apartmentThe bespoke cornicing and chandelier of the dining room ceiling were made to order, as part of an intricate design scheme for the entire three-storey apartment

The bespoke cornicing and chandelier of the dining room ceiling were made to order, as part of an intricate design scheme for the entire three-storey apartment

Winston Churchill portraits - The legendary prime minister is an inspiration for two generations of SullivansWinston Churchill portraits - The legendary prime minister is an inspiration for two generations of Sullivans

Winston Churchill portraits – The legendary prime minister is an inspiration for two generations of Sullivans

The paintings in the apartment have been collected by the family as part of a collection worth a seven-figure sum. Pictured: Painting of a ballroom scene hung in the dining roomThe paintings in the apartment have been collected by the family as part of a collection worth a seven-figure sum. Pictured: Painting of a ballroom scene hung in the dining room

The paintings in the apartment have been collected by the family as part of a collection worth a seven-figure sum. Pictured: Painting of a ballroom scene hung in the dining room

The kitchen is the scene where family dinners are prepared when the Sullivans come down to London from their Essex mansion. This year they gathered on Christmas Eve for a huge feast prepared single-handedly by mother EmmaThe kitchen is the scene where family dinners are prepared when the Sullivans come down to London from their Essex mansion. This year they gathered on Christmas Eve for a huge feast prepared single-handedly by mother Emma

The kitchen is the scene where family dinners are prepared when the Sullivans come down to London from their Essex mansion. This year they gathered on Christmas Eve for a huge feast prepared single-handedly by mother Emma

A combination of bespoke pieces and antiques means Dave's sitting room would not look out of place in an aristocrat's country mansion A combination of bespoke pieces and antiques means Dave's sitting room would not look out of place in an aristocrat's country mansion 

A combination of bespoke pieces and antiques means Dave's sitting room would not look out of place in an aristocrat's country mansion

Dave has a team of florists come round several times a year to set up seasonal decorations including his ornate Christmas treeDave has a team of florists come round several times a year to set up seasonal decorations including his ornate Christmas tree

Dave has a team of florists come round several times a year to set up seasonal decorations including his ornate Christmas tree

The gilt edging of the sitting room has echoes of Versailles, while the choice of original oil paintings fits with the antique theme. The apartment boasts two large sitting rooms for entertainingThe gilt edging of the sitting room has echoes of Versailles, while the choice of original oil paintings fits with the antique theme. The apartment boasts two large sitting rooms for entertaining

The gilt edging of the sitting room has echoes of Versailles, while the choice of original oil paintings fits with the antique theme. The apartment boasts two large sitting rooms for entertaining

DAVE'S ORNATE INTERIORS AT A GLANCE

THE 30FT CHANDELIER – The centrepiece of the three-storey apartment is a vast 30ft Swarovski crystal chandelier, which took six workmen 10 days to install

THE CRYSTAL PANTHER – Dave's mother Emma spotted this Swarovski crystal panther on a family skiing holiday and snapped it up to form the apartment's main talking point

THE CINEMA ROOM – Part of Dave's bedroom suit, the cinema room is stocked with thousands of titles, as well as being linked up to Bluetooth for a surround-sound music experience. It is also equipped with plush leather seating and a plus-size screen for the full cinematic experience.

ICONIC ART WORK – The property is decorated with millions of pounds worth of art and antiques, including portraits of Winston Churchill and modern pieces by artists such as Mr Brainwash.

A WALK-IN WARDROBE – As a lover of fine tailoring the 20-year-old's suit includes a walk-in wardrobe containing an array of his favourite suits as well as showcasing designer pieces, notably his Christian Louboutin loafers.

CRYSTAL LAMBORGHINI – Dave admits his dream car is a Lamborghini Gallardo but for now he settles for this Swarovski crystal-encrusted replica that is among his most prized possessions in his bedroom.

THE AT-HOME BAR – The bar and cinema room are connected, to make a bespoke entertainment zone for Dave and his wide circle of friends. 'This is where I spend a lot of my time relaxing,' says Dave of the bar. 'My friends come round before we head out for the night – it's a perfect pre-club venue.'

Having a palatial bachelor pad to come home to surely helps. The centrepiece of the three-storey apartment is a vast 30ft Swarovski crystal chandelier, which took six workmen 10 days to install.

The property is decorated with millions of pounds worth of art and antiques, while Dave's bedroom suite comes with its own personal bar and cinema.

'I've got the most incredible mum and she did all the interior design,' he says. 'As you can see from the decor she's pretty creative, which is why she's so good.

The palatial central hallway is bedecked in gilt-edged marble, vast orchids and the centrepiece of the entire home, a 36ft crystal chandelierThe palatial central hallway is bedecked in gilt-edged marble, vast orchids and the centrepiece of the entire home, a 36ft crystal chandelier

The palatial central hallway is bedecked in gilt-edged marble, vast orchids and the centrepiece of the entire home, a 36ft crystal chandelier

The 30ft centrepiece chandelier was created especially for the apartment. Hanging down three stories in the centre of the spiral staircase, it is made up of thousands of Swarovski crystalsThe 30ft centrepiece chandelier was created especially for the apartment. Hanging down three stories in the centre of the spiral staircase, it is made up of thousands of Swarovski crystals

The 30ft centrepiece chandelier was created especially for the apartment. Hanging down three stories in the centre of the spiral staircase, it is made up of thousands of Swarovski crystals

With the property sprawled across three high-ceilinged stories, a private lift is available to take the strainWith the property sprawled across three high-ceilinged stories, a private lift is available to take the strain

With the property sprawled across three high-ceilinged stories, a private lift is available to take the strain

FROM PORN TO THE PREMIERSHIP: THE DAVID SULLIVAN EMPIRE

Before taking on West-Ham, the welsh businessman and Dave's father made his name as a pornographer, initially selling soft porn photos alongside his partner David Gold.

The pair later expanded into sex shops, adult magazines as well as a few low-budget films seeing Sullivan become a millionaire by the age of 25, and by the late 70s he was responsible for over half of the adult magazine titles in the UK.

This was followed by several low-budget films that all starred his then girlfriend Mary Millington, who committed suicide in August 1979.

David Sullivan made his millions in the porn industry before taking on West Ham FC in 2013. Pictured: A portrait of Sullivan (below) and his son as a baby (top)David Sullivan made his millions in the porn industry before taking on West Ham FC in 2013. Pictured: A portrait of Sullivan (below) and his son as a baby (top)

David Sullivan made his millions in the porn industry before taking on West Ham FC in 2013. Pictured: A portrait of Sullivan (below) and his son as a baby (top)

Seven years on, he took on the Daily Sport and the Sunday Sport which stayed under his name for 21 years until he sold it for £40 million in 2007.

The first issue of the Sunday Sport went on sale on 14 September 1986. Advertising in the Sunday Sport was once the responsibility of Sullivan's protegee Karren Brady (now better known for her role as Alan Sugar's aide on the Apprentice), who went on to work alongside Sullivan in both of his football clubs.

It's sister title, Daily Sport came under threat when it went into administration in 2011. However, it shortly returned to publication on 8 May, after it was reacquired by Sullivan for £50,000.

Sullivan now publishes the paper three times a week as Midweek Sport (Wednesdays), Weekend Sport (Fridays) and Sunday Sport, through his company Sunday Sport.

The papers are reflective of Sullivan's history in the adult industry with it best known for its semi-nude content of women.

Meanwhile, Sullivan invested his interests in football, purchasing Birmingham City in 1993 eventually selling his share in the club 16 years on stepping down from the post in 2009.

Less than one year on in January 2010, joined by partner Gold, Sullivan invested in a 50 per cent share in West Ham United giving them commercial control and valuing the Premier League club at £105 million.

In July 2013 Sullivan became the largest single shareholder of West Ham United acquiring a further 25 per cent of shares in the club

And in April 2016, Sullivan was named by The Sunday Times as Britain's 117th equal richest man, with assets valued at £1 billion.

'There are so many conversation pieces here. We saw the crystal panther on a skiing holiday and we just had to have it. It's an amazing piece by an artist called Richard Orlinski.

'If you stand on the second floor and look down it looks absolutely enormous but up close it's not really that big.'

Placed alongside the Swarovski chandelier, it is remarkable that anybody can pay attention to the panther. Yet art lovers will find no end of unique pieces to keep them occupied.

Dave is a self confessed lover of fine tailoring, setting off a huge wardrobe of items with his favourite pair of Christian Louboutin loafersDave is a self confessed lover of fine tailoring, setting off a huge wardrobe of items with his favourite pair of Christian Louboutin loafers

Dave is a self confessed lover of fine tailoring, setting off a huge wardrobe of items with his favourite pair of Christian Louboutin loafers

The upstairs sitting room has a more modern feel and is reserved for daytime meetings with tall windows maximising the light, making for a relaxed feelThe upstairs sitting room has a more modern feel and is reserved for daytime meetings with tall windows maximising the light, making for a relaxed feel

The upstairs sitting room has a more modern feel and is reserved for daytime meetings with tall windows maximising the light, making for a relaxed feel

The bar is predominantly for show, as Dave says this room is mostly used for having a cup of tea with friends and business contactsThe bar is predominantly for show, as Dave says this room is mostly used for having a cup of tea with friends and business contacts

The bar is predominantly for show, as Dave says this room is mostly used for having a cup of tea with friends and business contacts

A large TV in the corner of the upstairs living room means Dave can always stay on top of his football obsessionA large TV in the corner of the upstairs living room means Dave can always stay on top of his football obsession

A large TV in the corner of the upstairs living room means Dave can always stay on top of his football obsession

Florists have arranged Christmas motifs throughout the apartment and Dave's Christmas presents even complemented the surrounds of the living room Florists have arranged Christmas motifs throughout the apartment and Dave's Christmas presents even complemented the surrounds of the living room 

Florists have arranged Christmas motifs throughout the apartment and Dave's Christmas presents even complemented the surrounds of the living room

Extravagant cornicing sets off the ingenious modern lighting setup in the snug TV area of the upstairs living room Extravagant cornicing sets off the ingenious modern lighting setup in the snug TV area of the upstairs living room 

Extravagant cornicing sets off the ingenious modern lighting setup in the snug TV area of the upstairs living room

The bathrooms are every bit as plush as the other rooms in the house featuring marble tiling from floor to ceilingThe bathrooms are every bit as plush as the other rooms in the house featuring marble tiling from floor to ceiling

The bathrooms are every bit as plush as the other rooms in the house featuring marble tiling from floor to ceiling

Some aspects of the apartment are priceless - such as this incredible bird's eye view of London's skyline from the bedroomSome aspects of the apartment are priceless - such as this incredible bird's eye view of London's skyline from the bedroom

Some aspects of the apartment are priceless – such as this incredible bird's eye view of London's skyline from the bedroom

Each bedroom has its own colour scheme, designed to reflect the interconnecting marble hallwaysEach bedroom has its own colour scheme, designed to reflect the interconnecting marble hallways

Each bedroom has its own colour scheme, designed to reflect the interconnecting marble hallways

Dave's mother spotted this Swarovski crystal panther on a family skiing holiday and snapped it up to form the apartment's main talking pointDave's mother spotted this Swarovski crystal panther on a family skiing holiday and snapped it up to form the apartment's main talking point

Dave's mother spotted this Swarovski crystal panther on a family skiing holiday and snapped it up to form the apartment's main talking point

Even the art on the walls is selected to reflect the mood of each room, such as this unique modern printEven the art on the walls is selected to reflect the mood of each room, such as this unique modern print

Even the art on the walls is selected to reflect the mood of each room, such as this unique modern print

For Dave, who recently took over as publisher of his father's Sport newspapers, the works serve as a daily inspiration.

It is no secret that David Sr. built his fortune on pornography, first as the publisher of several racy magazines and subsequently through an empire of sex shops. With the latter struggling to make money (the family concede they are only kept going because of the loyal staff who work there), the focus now falls on the Sport.

After Dave Jr. took over as publisher, profits went up by two and a half times in two months, thanks to the renegotiation of printing contracts and the carefully managed launch of an online version.

A five-star hotel would be proud of the setup, though Dave admits his tastes are relatively simple. 'I can mix my own vodka and coke, so a lot of it doesn't get much use,' he saysA five-star hotel would be proud of the setup, though Dave admits his tastes are relatively simple. 'I can mix my own vodka and coke, so a lot of it doesn't get much use,' he says

A five-star hotel would be proud of the setup, though Dave admits his tastes are relatively simple. 'I can mix my own vodka and coke, so a lot of it doesn't get much use,' he says

The cinema room is stocked with thousands of titles, as well as being linked up to Bluetooth for a surround-sound music experienceThe cinema room is stocked with thousands of titles, as well as being linked up to Bluetooth for a surround-sound music experience

The cinema room is stocked with thousands of titles, as well as being linked up to Bluetooth for a surround-sound music experience

A crystal-encrusted ceiling makes for a nightclub-at-home experience in the luxurious bar areaA crystal-encrusted ceiling makes for a nightclub-at-home experience in the luxurious bar area

A crystal-encrusted ceiling makes for a nightclub-at-home experience in the luxurious bar area

A pair of Philippe Starck lamps set off this bright setting outside the entertainment zone and you wouldn't get much change out of £5,000 for this pair of lampsA pair of Philippe Starck lamps set off this bright setting outside the entertainment zone and you wouldn't get much change out of £5,000 for this pair of lamps

A pair of Philippe Starck lamps set off this bright setting outside the entertainment zone and you wouldn't get much change out of £5,000 for this pair of lamps

Dave likes to relax with his friends in front of a movie, though it won't be long before a new system is put in. 'It's five years old and the technology has moved on massively since then - who knows what we'll be watching five years from now,' he saysDave likes to relax with his friends in front of a movie, though it won't be long before a new system is put in. 'It's five years old and the technology has moved on massively since then - who knows what we'll be watching five years from now,' he says

Dave likes to relax with his friends in front of a movie, though it won't be long before a new system is put in. 'It's five years old and the technology has moved on massively since then – who knows what we'll be watching five years from now,' he says

Dave's master suite is a typical bachelor's bedroom, decked out in black and chrome with modern art on the walls

Dave's en suite bathroom includes a massive black granite-style bath. 'It's so big, when I sit in it the sides go right up to my neck,' he saysDave's en suite bathroom includes a massive black granite-style bath. 'It's so big, when I sit in it the sides go right up to my neck,' he says

Dave's en suite bathroom includes a massive black granite-style bath. 'It's so big, when I sit in it the sides go right up to my neck,' he says

The fixtures and fittings are all black and the tiles decorated with skull and crossbones motifs The fixtures and fittings are all black and the tiles decorated with skull and crossbones motifs 

The fixtures and fittings are all black and the tiles decorated with skull and crossbones motifs

Dave admits his dream car is a Lamborghini Gallardo but for now he settles for this Swarovski crystal-encrusted replica. 'I'd probably write it off within a week, so I'm happy with my Mercedes for now,' he says. 'Maybe in a few years I'll indulge myself'Dave admits his dream car is a Lamborghini Gallardo but for now he settles for this Swarovski crystal-encrusted replica. 'I'd probably write it off within a week, so I'm happy with my Mercedes for now,' he says. 'Maybe in a few years I'll indulge myself'

Dave admits his dream car is a Lamborghini Gallardo but for now he settles for this Swarovski crystal-encrusted replica. 'I'd probably write it off within a week, so I'm happy with my Mercedes for now,' he says. 'Maybe in a few years I'll indulge myself'

'When my mates ask me what my job is I tell them I basically do the job Hugh Hefner did at Playboy,' says Dave.

'Publishing is a declining business so it won't go on for ever, just like the sex shops. But my dad has brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people down the years with these businesses, and that can only be a good thing.

'Looking to the future, though, we have a huge property portfolio and of course West Ham United. That's why I'm spending so much time getting to know the business, so when my dad decides to move on I'm in a good position to take things forward.'

In the meantime Dave is living a lifestyle most young men can only dream of.

Currently single, he is not short of options. Though coy about his romantic entanglements, he admits he has been close to one particular young lady for the past couple of months. While they are 'not officially together', fingers are crossed for the future.

'I work hard and I play hard, but the emphasis is definitely on the work side of things,' he says. 'The fact is anyone can have the same life as me. My dad has proved that – and I'm well aware that I have a lot to live up to.'

Dave's dressing room is packed with designer labels, with an overall price tag bigger than some families' family homeDave's dressing room is packed with designer labels, with an overall price tag bigger than some families' family home

Dave's dressing room is packed with designer labels, with an overall price tag bigger than some families' family home

'I do like my designer gear, I'm not going to lie,' he says. 'I like D Squared jeans and Alexander McQueen tops. With my suits I tend to go for Dolce & Gabbana because they're so beautifully tailored''I do like my designer gear, I'm not going to lie,' he says. 'I like D Squared jeans and Alexander McQueen tops. With my suits I tend to go for Dolce & Gabbana because they're so beautifully tailored'

'I do like my designer gear, I'm not going to lie,' he says. 'I like D Squared jeans and Alexander McQueen tops. With my suits I tend to go for Dolce & Gabbana because they're so beautifully tailored'

Dave's dressing table is kept immaculate with an ornate mirror adding scale to his bedroom  Dave's dressing table is kept immaculate with an ornate mirror adding scale to his bedroom  

Dave's dressing table is kept immaculate with an ornate mirror adding scale to his bedroom

'This painting by an amazing artist called Mr Brainwash is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning,' says Dave. 'He went from being a nobody to selling his art for thousands and thousands of pounds, through sheer force of will. It inspires me to be the best I can be''This painting by an amazing artist called Mr Brainwash is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning,' says Dave. 'He went from being a nobody to selling his art for thousands and thousands of pounds, through sheer force of will. It inspires me to be the best I can be'

'This painting by an amazing artist called Mr Brainwash is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning,' says Dave. 'He went from being a nobody to selling his art for thousands and thousands of pounds, through sheer force of will. It inspires me to be the best I can be'

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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