State authorities announced on Wednesday, May 20, that measures in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, will be eased in June. The state of New South Wales (NSW) will open its borders and allow the resumption of recreational travel within the state, and Southern Australia plans to reopen bars and restaurants. Western Australia, Southern Australia, and Tasmania will keep their state borders closed.
Victoria's premier Daniel Andrews relaxed certain restrictions imposed in the state due to COVID-19 on May 12. Up to five people are allowed to visit family and friends and community gatherings permitted for groups of up to ten individuals.
NSW authorities relaxed quarantine restrictions in the state on May 15. Restaurants, cafes, outdoor pools, and playgrounds have been allowed to reopen. House visits are also permitted, as long as there are no more than five visitors per household. Weddings and funerals are allowed with up to ten and 20 attendees, respectively.
The majority of lockdown measures have been lifted in the Northern Territory (NT) as of May 1. Group limits have been removed for weddings, funerals, and sport, while parks and pools are also open. Individuals must maintain a 1.5 m (5 ft) distance from others. NT authorities also announced that as of May 15, restaurants, pubs, gyms, nail salons, and libraries may reopen. They further stated that all restrictions will be removed in early June, subject to further evaluation.
Some restrictions in the states of Western Australia and Queensland have been eased since late April. Gatherings of up to ten people are allowed in Western Australia. People are also permitted to leave home for non-contact recreational activities, including hiking, boating, camping, fishing, and picnics in parks with household members. In Queensland, individuals are allowed to go for drives within 50 km (31 mi) of their homes. Certain recreational activities like picnics are permitted, groups of two allowed to go out together, and shopping for nonessential items allowed. A distance of 1.5 meters (5 ft) between people will have to be maintained in public.
All Australian citizens returning from abroad will be quarantined in hotels for 14 days at the government's expense. Only Australian citizens, returning permanent residents, and their immediate family members are permitted to enter Australia until further notice.
As of Friday, May 22, authorities have confirmed 7083 cases of COVID-19 nationwide and 101 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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