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12 Jun 2020 | 10:16 AM UTC

Australia: Government announces further easing of lockdown measures in some areas June 12 /update 27

Australia News Alert

Australian authorities announce further easing of lockdown restrictions on June 12; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/12/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/11/2020, 11:59 PM (Australia/Melbourne). COUNTRY/REGION Australia

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Event

Australia's Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy and Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday, June 12, that lockdown restrictions are due to be eased further as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases fall in several parts of the country. Restrictions that will be eased include permission for stadiums that can seat up to 40,000 spectators to host a maximum of 10,000 people. The measure would apply to sports events, festivals, and concerts as long as venues do not exceed 25 percent capacity. While a definitive date has not been released thus far, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured that states are working to implement the measure in July. The limit of 100 people for outdoor public gatherings is also due to be lifted. Funerals and weddings will be permitted as long as venues allow guests to have 4 sq. m (10.7 sq. ft) of personal space to apply social distancing measures.

State authorities announced on May 20 that the state of New South Wales (NSW) will open its borders and allow the resumption of recreational travel within the state, while South Australia plans to reopen bars and restaurants. Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania will keep their state borders closed.

Victoria's premier Daniel Andrews relaxed certain restrictions imposed in the state 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.

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.

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 June 12 authorities have confirmed 7289 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 102 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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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