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11 mai 2020 | 11h02 UTC

Australia: Victoria state relaxes COVID-19 restrictions from May 12 /update 25

Australia Alerte de sécurité

Victoria state authorities announce ease of COVID-19 restrictions as of May 12; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/5/2020, 12h00 until 11/6/2020, 11h59 (Australia/Melbourne). COUNTRY/REGION Victoria state

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Event

Victoria state's premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday, May 11, that certain restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be relaxed as of Tuesday, May 12. From Tuesday, up to five people will be allowed to visit family and friends and community gatherings will be permitted for groups of up to ten individuals.

New South Wales (NSW) authorities announced on Sunday, May 10, that quarantine restrictions that had been imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be relaxed from Friday, May 15. With the eased restrictions, restaurants, cafes, outdoor pools and playgrounds will be allowed to reopen. House visits will also be permitted, as long as there are no more than five visitors per household. Weddings and funerals will also be 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. Locals must maintain a 1.5 m (5 ft) distance from others. NT authorities also announced that as of Friday, 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 as of Monday, April 27. 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, as of Saturday, May 2, individuals are allowed to go for drives within 50 km (31 m) of their homes. Certain recreational activities like picnics will be permitted, groups of two will be allowed to go out together, and shopping for nonessential items will be allowed. A distance of 1.5 meters (5 ft) between people will have to be maintained in public.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday, April 16, that the existing nationwide restrictions will remain in place for an additional four weeks. Individual states and territories are responsible for enforcing and deciding specific movements and business restrictions. Generally, nonessential services and public spaces, including bars, clubs, cinemas, gyms, indoor sporting venues, and places of worship remain closed. Supermarkets, shopping centers, office buildings, banks, petrol stations, pharmacies, and convenience stores are among the businesses allowed to remain open.  

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 May 10, authorities have confirmed 3053 cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales and 44 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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