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COVID-19: News and Updates (as at April 2, 2020)
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In the new world order of physical distancing, self-isolation and a creeping paranoia about other people’s germs, should you still puff and pant along a running attack, passing others who may have the coronavirus?
University of Queensland infectious disease expert Charles Gilks said it was technically possible to catch COVID-19 from a passing jogger, but that would be extremely unlucky.
“I can’t say there are no risks, but I think they’re very, very, very small,” Professor Gilks said. READ MORE
Source: ABC News
Coronavirus shutdowns: Retail remains open, beauty salons close, and Aussies urged to avoid “non essential” shopping
Thousands of additional businesses will be forced to shut down or further restrict their operations from midnight on Wednesday after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced tough new lockdown measures in a bid to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beauty and personal care service firms, auction houses, outdoor and indoor markets have been added to the list of restricted firms required to close within 24 hours as the federal government continues to resist mounting pressure from health professionals to institute a full-scale lockdown of non essential services in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking in Canberra late Tuesday night in the wake of a national cabinet meeting, Morrison declared shopping centres would remain open for the time being, but in an extraordinary step, he urged Australians to avoid shopping for anything but basics.
“Stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary that you go out,” Morrison said.
A closure of a number of HIGH use visitor locations in Queensland national parks, state forests and recreation areas is in effect until further notice
The closure will be immediately implemented in identified extreme COVID public risk areas, and progressively implemented in identified high COVID public risk areas subject to risk assessments.
The affected areas include high use picnic and day use areas, toilet and shower facilities, lookouts, swimming holes, mountain bike and walking tracks and trails, and four-wheel drive beach areas in National Parks, State Forests and recreation areas managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. The closures apply to all users including commercial tour operations.
Queenslanders now have access to a single source of truth on COVID-19 with the launch of a dedicated website with the latest news and advice from the Queensland Government … read more
Go to website: Unite against COVID-19
Coronavirus in Australia: how many cases are there?
All the Covid-19 confirmed cases, data and stats from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government response
Australia’s strict new coronavirus social distancing rules explained
Scott Morrison has tightened physical distancing restrictions, but how they are applied will be determined by each state. Find out what’s illegal, and what happens if you break the law.
On Sunday night (March 29), the prime minister announced the tightening of restrictions to try to stop the spread of Covid-19, gatherings are limited to a maximum of two people. But several states have gone much further while others have opted not to follow the new recommendations.
So what are the laws as they currently stand?
Queensland has announced a state of emergency, and along with enforcing the two-person limit, residents are now only allowed to leave their home for one of eight essential reasons. These are:
- Obtaining food or other essential goods or services.
- Obtaining medical treatment or other healthcare services.
- Engaging in physical exercise, either alone or in the company of no more than one other person; or in the company of a family group who ordinarily live in the same household.
- Performing work on behalf of an employer that is engaged in essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence.
- Visiting a terminally ill relative or to attend a funeral.
- Providing assistance, care or support to an immediate member of the person’s family.
- Attending any court of Australia or to comply with or give effect to orders of the court.
- Attending a childcare facility, school, university or other educational institution, to the extent care or instruction cannot reasonably be obtained in the person’s principal place of residence.
Queensland also restricts gatherings of more than two people. This applies both in public and private area but exempts members of the same household.
This means someone can still socialise with the family or roommates they live with, but if there are more than two people in the home, no visitors are allowed.
If someone lives alone they are allowed one social guest. That guest is allowed to leave their home to visit.
If someone leaves their house for an essential reason, such as exercise, they can be joined by only one other person or the members of their household.
Queensland police officers will be able to issue on-the-spot fines of $1,334.50 for individuals and $6,672.50 for corporations, who breach these laws. The maximum penalties available through the courts will be 10 times those amounts.
Those arriving in Queensland from other states are required to undertake a 14-day quarantine, as well as returning Queensland residents who have been to areas deemed to be “Covid-19” hotspots in Australia.
There are some exemptions for those who regularly cross the Queensland-NSW border for work.
Queensland police now have the option to issue on the spot fines for breaches of Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions to support community efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
An integral part of the Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) response is to ensure compliance with directions particularly around self-isolation, mass gathering, borders, non-essential business activity and now private residence gatherings.
From yesterday, officers now have the option of issuing infringement notices in appropriate circumstances.
Under the direction, homeowners or persons in control of a residence must not allow more than ten people to be present at the residence at any one time and to take reasonable steps to encourage occupants of and visitors to the residence to practise social distancing as much as possible.
This does not apply if more than ten people are present who ordinarily live at the residence.
During the implementation of this new compliance option officers will consider the circumstances and context of each incident and apply a decision-making model prior to issuing any notice.
If a person does not comply with quarantine directions, penalties of up to $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 for corporations may apply.
Officers can also issue on the spot fines of $1334.50 for individuals and $6,672.50 for corporations which fail to abide by the health directions. Read Full Story
Source: Queensland Police News
As of midnight tonight, gatherings in Australia will be restricted to two people in a further attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-person limit does not apply to people within your own household. But gatherings with other friends or family, outdoor or indoor, will need to comply with the new restriction.
What happens if you don’t comply will depend on which state you are in.’
In Queensland, on-the-spot fines of $1,330 for individuals and $6,670 for corporations can be issued by police for breaching new public health directions.
Those caught ignoring quarantine directions could face penalties of up to $13,345 or $66,670 for corporations. Read More
- Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information.
- Everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education.
- People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.
- Evictions will be put on hold for 6 months by the states and territories. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements. More information to come this week.
- If you are in self-isolation because you are confirmed or suspected to have Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, use this form to help us track the spread of the virus. Read more.
- Stay informed. Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join our WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.
The Guardian, March 29
Scott Morrison says gatherings in Australia will now be restricted to two people, down from 10, and there will be a six-month moratorium on evictions for commercial and residential tenants in financial distress because of the economic shock associated with the coronavirus outbreak. Read More
- These directions apply from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless they are revoked or replaced.
- A person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business, activity, or undertaking in the State of Queensland, including operating at a private residence, must not operate the business, activity or undertaking during the period specified in paragraph 5, subject to the exceptions set out in Column 2 of the Definitions table at paragraph 7.
Source: Queensland Health
The Guardian, March 25
Here’s what’s included …
As of midnight tonight, beauty services will close, but hairdressers will still be able to operate.
Personal training can go ahead, but with no more than 10 people, outdoors, and observing physical distancing rules.
You’d be forgiven for being confused by the Federal Government’s second stage of restrictions.
Let’s unpack them with five quick questions. READ MORE
The Palaszczuk Government today announced the closure of all campgrounds in national parks, state forests and state managed recreation and protected areas, in response to the COVID-19 (corona virus) outbreak.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said this decision is consistent with the expert medical advice of the state’s Chief Health Officer, with closures coming into effect from tomorrow.
“As the Easter school break approaches, closure of the campgrounds will help protect the health and safety of campers, the wider community as well as Queensland Park and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers and staff,” Minister Enoch said.
“The Premier has been very clear that Queenslanders should cancel their Easter break plans and stay close to home. Read More
Source: Media Statement
The Guardian, March 24
Exercise outdoors, while you still can
If you’re not self-isolating or unwell, the experts agree you and your family can still go outside to exercise at this stage.
But you must practise social distancing, keep up good hygiene practices, and wash your hands when you get home.
This advice may change in the event of widespread community transmission of this coronavirus, said Adam Kamradt-Scott, an expert in the spread and control of infectious diseases at the University of Sydney.
So walking, cycling and running are still on the menu … read more
You might be concerned for your friends and family.
That’s totally understandable. We are too.
We will get through this, because when faced with a crisis, Aussies pull together and have each other’s backs.
There’s a great example of this already on the ground and we’re going to play a part too.
Check out “Can I Help?” – it’s a little form you can print off and deliver to your neighbours, to let them know you’re there and you’re willing to help them if they need it.
The Guardian, March 24
With requirements for everyone entering the country in force, as well as interstate restrictions, here’s what it means to self-isolate.
Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland have also imposed mandatory self-isolation requirements on non-essential travellers from interstate – including residents returning home.
But what does self-isolation actually mean, and can you still Uber home from the airport? We answered your burning questions. READ MORE
Governments have now called for all swimming pools to close by midnight 25th March 2020. This includes all non-essential education services. It may allow for the continuation of swimming pools in the setting of Allied Health Facilities. Read More
Royal Life Saving Australia
From midday on Monday, Australia entered a new era in its history.
Widespread closure of businesses will be enforced, and people have been told to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.
With constantly evolving information and advice, some people may be confused about what exactly they can and cannot do. We’ve got some answers for you.
Source: ABC News (March 23)
The information on this page has been taken from credible sources and is shared with the best of intentions. While we have have done our best to provide the most up to date information, we cannot take responsibility for any person or organisation suffering as a result of using the information shared on this page. It is the responsibility of all organisations to do their research, to comply with all relevant legislation and to be aware of current government advice.