Prime Minister Scott Morrison has once again addressed the nation after the National Cabinet’s meeting this morning regarding COVID-19.
The Prime Minister thanked the country for the significant changes seen over the past week regarding government recommendations.
Over the past week, the percentage of people moving around in Melbourne and Sydney has fallen by 80% and at the G20 meeting last night, it became clear that Australia has the highest testing rate in the world today.
“We simply want to say thank you, you’re saving lives and saving livelihoods,” said the Prime Minister. He stressed that while Australians keep their distance, this does not have to mean disconnection.
Further Quarantine Measures Announced For Arrivals
The Prime Minister announced further measures to target the greatest area of concern, that being Australians returning from overseas.
Two thirds of the Coronavirus cases seen in Australia are from an Australian who has returned from overseas.
In addition to the isolation declaration card, which is enforceable by law, by no later than midnight tomorrow, states and territories will be quarantining all arrivals through airports in hotels and other forms of accommodation for the mandatory, fourteen day isolation.
People will be quarantined for the fourteen days in the city they arrive in, with states and territories doing the “heavy lifting” to support each other.
The Prime Minster stated the existing enforcement officers in states and territories will be supported by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The ADF will also be supporting compliance checks for existing isolation arrangements.
The cost of the accommodation is being managed by states and territories, with the Federal Government providing additional measures.
Third Stage Of Measures Coming
Scott Morrison stated the government is ready to put in place the third charge of measures to support Australians.
Part of this plan is to seek to “hibernate” Australian businesses, with more information to come regarding this innovative approach.
The intention is for businesses to be able to start again on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, for employees to come back, opportunities to come back, and the economy to come back.
“You can’t run a country without an economy, and we are doing everything we can to maintain that economy,” said the Prime Minister.
The Federal Government, Treasurer, and states and territories will be discussing this further.
Update On Schools
Each of the states and territories will be making arrangements with schools individually.
There is currently a variance in attendance levels at schools across Australia, which will impact how the influenza vaccine is rolled out for students.
South Australia is in a better position regarding the rollout of the influenza vaccine as a high number of students are still in schools. Students may have to go to pharmacies and GPs.
The Prime Minster confirmed that schools will remain available for parents or guardians who cannot take care of their children at home, or who need to attend work, reiterating that every job is an “essential” job.
Dr. Brendan Murphy’s Key Points:
- Just over 3,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia.
- The single most important thing we can do is to prevent anyone coming into Australia passing on the virus.
- Australia has the highest rate of testing in the world but if community transmission becomes an issue this will put the country in a bad place.
- Sustainable measures will be in place for months to come, including practicing social distancing, hand washing, and cough etiquette.
- Daily attention is being paid to any progress in community transmission.
More info to come.
- Testing Blitz For Recent Victoria Travellers & Mobile Testing Vans LaunchedEffective immediately, SA Health has launched a testing blitz, where anyone who has been to Victoria in recent weeks will be required to present themselves immediately for testing.
- SA Returns To Zero Active COVID-19 CasesA hard border closure is now in effect between SA and Victoria and all SA residents and essential travellers approved to enter SA will be required to quarantine for 14 days, or perform their essential duties under strict guidelines.
- SA Records Zero New COVID-19 Cases As Border With Victoria ClosesFrom midnight tonight, a hard border closure between Victoria and South Australia will come into effect.
- New Virus Surveillance Plan To Test Elective Surgery Patients For COVID-19Fourteen public and private hospitals across Australia are taking part in the project which will see about 3,000 patients get a nasal swab and blood samples taken while under general anaesthesia.
- SA Border To Victoria Closed, Nightclub Restrictions IncreasePolice Commissioner has announced that only South Australian residents from Victoria will be allowed into the state, with further changes to nightclubs and cap on repatriating SA residents announced.