Authorities announced on Monday, October 26, that lockdown restrictions will be lifted in Melbourne from midnight on Tuesday, October 27, after no new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases or deaths were recorded on Monday.
Stay-at-home orders will be lifted, and retail and hospitality businesses will be permitted to reopen with group limits of 10 patrons indoors. Weddings are permitted to have up to ten people, and funerals up to 20. Beauty salons, services, and tattoo parlors will also be permitted to reopen. Authorities are expected to announce further measures on Tuesday regarding visits to other households. Restrictions on travel between Melbourne and other areas in Victoria will be lifted from November 8, with a 25km (15 mi) travel radius for city residents also set to be removed the same day. Travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria remains prohibited until then. Gyms and fitness studios are set to reopen from November 8 in Melbourne, and limitations on groups and capacities in restaurants and bars are set to increase then also.
Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday, October 25, that all other regional areas of the state will be permitted to resume some activities from midnight on Tuesday. Restrictions for gyms, indoor pools, food courts, and school graduation ceremonies, as well as outdoor live music will be eased. A maximum of 20 people seated indoors will be permitted at hospitality venues, and 50 people outdoors. This limit will also apply to religious services, including funerals. Residents are permitted to host up to five people at home from one household and public gatherings of up to ten people. Outdoor sports facilities and personal care services have also resumed operations.
Travelers from New Zealand have been permitted entry into South Australia State and Victoria State since Wednesday, October 21, without having to quarantine. New South Wales and the Northern Territory already allow travelers from New Zealand to enter without quarantine requirements. However, the arrangement is not currently reciprocal.
Social distancing and hygiene measures remain in place throughout Australia as do restrictions on public gatherings.
As of Monday, October 26, there have been 27,527 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 905 associated fatalities in Australia. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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).
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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 the 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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