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Coronavirus Australia live news: Restaurants, cafes allowed to reopen under first stage of eased coronavirus restrictions

Restaurants and cafes can reopen in first stage of restrictions being lifted

Coronavirus Australia live news: Restaurants, cafes allowed to reopen under first stage of eased coronavirus restrictions


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Australians will be allowed to have five visitors at home and 10 people will be allowed to gather in businesses and public places under stage one of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions being lifted.

Restaurants and cafes meeting these requirements will also be able to reopen, as will libraries, community centres, playgrounds and exercise boot camps. Travel within states for non-essential reasons will also be allowed.
The Prime Minister revealed the details of a new roadmap to reopening Australia post-coronavirus, presenting a three-step route, which he said states and territories will progress through at their own pace.
In the first stage of loosening social distancing measures Mr Morrison also said funerals will be allowed 30 mourners if held outdoors and 20 mourners indoors, so long as each gathering records the contact details of those involved.

Weddings with ten guests will be allowed, as well as religious gatherings with the same number of people, so long as the contact details of those involved are recorded.
The second step will allow 20-person gatherings before later loosening restrictions to allow 100-person gatherings and interstate travel in the third stage.

The roadmap was presented following Scott Morrison's national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders and is designed to reopen activities that benefit the economy at a low health risk first.

The first stage of relaxing social distancing restrictions is expected to boost Australia's economy by more than $3 billion per month and restore 250,000 jobs, according to analysis presented by Mr Morrison.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said social-distancing measures would still be a requirement under the first stage.

"Allowing 10 people in a one person per four-square-metre distance in small cafes and restaurants means many won't be able to open, but many doing takeaway may want to put up enough distance tables to start gently serving 10 people at a time," he said.
"Some libraries and community centres, again, with only small numbers of people [can also open]."
National cabinet will review progress on the restrictions and the coronavirus case load every three weeks to decide when to move to the second and third stages.


Professor Murphy has urged Australians to keep testing for coronavirus, continue downloading the COVIDSafe app and to not go into work when sick in order to ensure the loosening of social distancing restrictions does not cause a resurgence of the virus.
"No more heroics of coming to work with a cough and a cold and a sore throat. That's off the agenda for every Australian for the foreseeable future. Please," Professor Murphy said.

"No matter how mild your cold or your cough, stay home when you're unwell, and please get a COVID test," he said.

"We want to make sure that outbreaks that occur are managed and controlled," Professor Murphy added. "Step one is cautious. It's gentle. It's not doing too much at once. Because we're in uncharted territory."

The second stage will allow gatherings of 20 people, and include the opening of gyms, beauty shops, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks, as well as caravan parks and camping grounds. Some interstate travel will also be allowed.
The second stage would boost the economy by another $3 billion per month and restore 275,000 jobs, according to the analysis.

The third stage would include gatherings of up to 100 people, the opening of nightclubs, food courts and saunas, and all interstate travel as well as the possibility of travel to New Zealand.

The third stage would boost the economy by $3.3 billion per month and restore approximately 325,000 jobs.

"We cannot allow our fear of going backwards from stopping us from going forwards," Mr Morrison said.


Max Koslowski
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Max is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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