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Digital pass will allow vaccinated Aussies to travel; one NSW regional centre back in lockdown

Digital incoming passenger cards, which include vaccination status, will be rolled out to airports around the country by the end of the year, paving the way for a border reopening.

The federal government announced on Monday it had issued a contract to international IT company Accenture to deliver the latest iteration of the digital passenger declaration.

It will replace the paper-based form and COVID-19 declaration web form and will be available for passengers coming to Australia up to 72 hours before boarding their flight.

A Melbourne school at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak will be questioned amid claims it was operating at full capacity despite tough lockdown restrictions.

The Department of Health on Monday night said 29 students and staff had contracted the virus, while there were 82 close contacts associated with the outbreak.

There are about 60 students enrolled at the school, which describes itself as an "independent, alternative primary school".

Victoria now has a total number of active infections to 3507.

Three days after its restrictions were eased, Yass Valley Council in NSW southern tablelands has returned to two-week lockdown after a new COVID case was detected in the area.

Meanwhile after some confusion on Monday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian denied the unvaccinated would have their freedoms restored at 80 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage in NSW, saying policy was still being finalised.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham says he expects the need for federal COVID-19 support payments to be wound back by the end of the year.

Senator Birmingham said the eventual scaling back of the financial support measures would come after virus-affected states eased their restrictions.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his counterparts from India and Japan will meet with US President Joe Biden this month to discuss enhancing Indo-Pacific relations.

This will be the first in-person summit of leaders of the "Quad" countries, which have been seeking to enhance cooperation to push back against China's growing assertiveness.

Prince Andrew plans to challenge a US court's jurisdiction over a civil lawsuit by a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting and battering her two decades ago, according to court papers.

A lawyer for Andrew said the prince also plans to contest that he was properly served with the lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who has said she was also abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein.

And on a completely different note ...

Turns out cows can be potty trained as easily as toddlers. Maybe easier. It's no bull. Scientists put the task to the test and 11 out of 16 cows learned to use the 'MooLoo' when they had to go.

Read more because who knew a single cow can produce about 30 litres of urine a day?

- with AAP

This story Digital pass will allow vaccinated Aussies to travel first appeared on The Canberra Times.