New South Wales will not relax any coronavirus restrictions until next week, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today.
On Friday the national cabinet will set out a three-step framework to ease the rules – but state and territory leaders will be able to chose when they implement the changes.
Premier Berejiklian today said she will not be changing any rules until after Mothers’ Day.
New South Wales will not relax any coronavirus restrictions until next week, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today
State and federal leaders will decide on what rules are to be eased on Friday at a crucial national cabinet meeting. Cafes are pegged as one of the first places likely to reopen
Gatherings of more than two people could be allowed under new national guidelines – but NSW will not be following them straight away
This means only four adults and their dependent children can gather at one time.
‘I want to manage expectations and say if national cabinet does suggest easing of restrictions, they won’t be able to be made in time for Mother’s Day,’ the Premier said.
‘Two adults and children can visit any mother at any one time and a mother can accept multiple visits a day so long as there is no too many people for each visit,’ she added.
However, Ms Berejiklian said life will start to return to normal over the coming weeks.
‘As we proceed through May and through June, there will be an easing of restrictions and that’s something all of us can look forward to. I suspect by the end of June, life will feel much more normal than it does now.’
Face-to-face teaching starts again in New South Wales on Monday and the government is encouraging more shops to open.
On Wednesday the state recorded three new coronavirus cases – all from known sources – from a record 10,000 tests.
Currently under national baseline rules people are allowed to leave their houses to exercise with no more than one other person from outside their own household. Pictured: People walking along a path in Burleigh Heads
Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said restrictions would be gradually eased rather than a wholesale return to life before the pandemic.
‘Some things will open – others will not,’ he told reporters in Canberra.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 6,875
New South Wales: 3,042
Western Australia: 551
South Australia: 438
Australian Capital Territory: 107
Northern Territory: 29
TOTAL CASES: 6,875
‘It will be scaled so that risk of increasing the number of cases is minimised while giving the maximum benefit to the economy and to normalisation of society.’
Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone is warning national cabinet not to feel pressured into lifting restrictions.
‘Friday’s meeting should continue to apply medical evidence when putting the health of all Australians first,’ he said.
He said reinstating isolation measures after a second wave of infections would be worse for health outcomes and the economy than a cautious relaxation.
‘People should not get their hopes up too high at this stage, because rushing to get things back to normal, without caution and safeguards, risks a huge setback for everyone,’ Dr Bartone said.
As of Wednesday night, there have been 6,875 cases of coronavirus in Australia, with 5,984 people recovered.
The death toll is 97 with 16 lives claimed at western Sydney nursing home Newmarch House, which faced regulatory action on Wednesday.
A cluster at a Melbourne abattoir is behind 49 cases, while the national infection rate had its highest increase for more than two weeks on Wednesday when 26 diagnoses were reported.
Australians arrive home at Sydney Airport from Cambodia. International travel will not be allowed for a long time, according to Mr Morrison
The effective reproduction number, which measures the ability of the virus to spread, will need to remain below one for eased restrictions to remain in place.
That means an infected person on average passed the disease on to less than one other.
Keeping the growth of infections low and demonstrating an ability to stay on top of outbreaks are other crucial factors.
‘As we look to open up society we will expect to see other outbreaks and the important thing is that we will need to be able to get on top of them quickly,’ Professor Kelly said.
More than 5.1 million people have downloaded and registered for the government’s coronavirus tracing app.
Pictured: Last drinks at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel in Sydney before bars closed on March 23. They could soon reopen