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The Queen attends Sunday service at Sandringham

The monarch looked elegant in a teal coat and hat as she was driven to church
Was accompanied by dau..

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  • The monarch looked elegant in a teal coat and hat as she was driven to church
  • Was accompanied by daughter-in-law Sophie who looked smart in checked coat
  • The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Prince Edward walked to church
  • Meghan was not in attendance after joining royals at Sandringham for Christmas

By Siofra Brennan For Mailonline

Published: 06:45 EST, 31 December 2017 | Updated: 07:07 EST, 31 December 2017

People across the country are still making the most of the Christmas break by spending time with family – and the Queen is no exception.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were joined at church in Sandringham this morning by family members including Sophie and her husband Edward and Princess Anne.

The monarch, 91, brightened up a dull morning in a teal coat with black collar and a matching hat as she was chauffeured to church with her daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex, 52, who looked smart in a checked coat.

Her husband Edward joined his father the Duke of Edinburgh, 96, on foot who chatted to Princess Anne as they made their way to the service.

However, there was no sign of younger family members such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle who attended church at Sandringham for the first time on Christmas Day.

The Queen was resplendent in a teal hat and coat as she was driven to church at Sandringham this morning with her daughter-in-law the Countess of Wessex 

The Queen was resplendent in a teal hat and coat as she was driven to church at Sandringham this morning with her daughter-in-law the Countess of Wessex

The Countess of Wessex looked impeccably smart in a checked coat teamed with a black feathered hat The Countess of Wessex looked impeccably smart in a checked coat teamed with a black feathered hat 

The Countess of Wessex looked impeccably smart in a checked coat teamed with a black feathered hat

Like her mother, Princess Anne opted for a green coat and hat, which she teamed with black knee high boots Like her mother, Princess Anne opted for a green coat and hat, which she teamed with black knee high boots 

Like her mother, Princess Anne opted for a green coat and hat, which she teamed with black knee high boots

The Suits star looked a little nervous as she was pictured with other members of the royal family, including the Duchess of Cambridge, for the first time.

And she appeared to wobble slightly as she gave her first cursty to the Queen after the service.

However, earlier this week, Prince Harry told the Today programme that her first royal family Christmas had been a resounding success.

When the fifth in line to the throne was quizzed by presenter Sarah Montague at the end of guest editing the three-hour show he replied: 'It was fantastic, she really enjoyed it.'

As is customary, Prince Philip, 96, made his way to the church service on foot with his daughter Princess Anne As is customary, Prince Philip, 96, made his way to the church service on foot with his daughter Princess Anne 

As is customary, Prince Philip, 96, made his way to the church service on foot with his daughter Princess Anne

Prince Edward also walked with his father, while his wife Sophie accompanied the Queen Prince Edward also walked with his father, while his wife Sophie accompanied the Queen 

Prince Edward also walked with his father, while his wife Sophie accompanied the Queen

Prince Philip, 86, looked smart as ever in a grey overcoat as he walked to church Prince Philip, 86, looked smart as ever in a grey overcoat as he walked to church 

Prince Philip, 86, looked smart as ever in a grey overcoat as he walked to church

Her Majesty arriving at church service at Sandringham - the final Sunday service of the year Her Majesty arriving at church service at Sandringham - the final Sunday service of the year 

Her Majesty arriving at church service at Sandringham – the final Sunday service of the year

Speaking about his fiancee, he said: 'The family loved having her there.

'There's always that family part of Christmas (where) there's always that work element there as well, and I think together we had an amazing time.

'We had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running round with the kids. 'Christmas was fantastic.'

The presenter asked the prince if there were any family traditions that had to be explained to Ms Markle and he replied: 'Oh plenty, I think we've got one of the biggest families that I know of, and every family is complex as well.

'No look, she's done an absolutely amazing job. She's getting in there and it's the family I suppose that she's never had.'

There was no sign today of Meghan Markle who joined the royals for Christmas for the first time last week There was no sign today of Meghan Markle who joined the royals for Christmas for the first time last week 

There was no sign today of Meghan Markle who joined the royals for Christmas for the first time last week

The former Suits star looked a little wobbly as she curtsied to the Queen following the service The former Suits star looked a little wobbly as she curtsied to the Queen following the service 

The former Suits star looked a little wobbly as she curtsied to the Queen following the service

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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

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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