27/03/2020 - 15:26

COVID-19 daily wrap: New restrictions for international arrivals

27/03/2020 - 15:26


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Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces further restrictions for international arrivals, Health Minister Roger Cook confirms 24 new cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia, Premier Mark McGowan announces a ban on regional travel, and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston proposes new rules to help mineral exploration companies.

Roger Cook has confirmed 24 new cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia overnight.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said all international travellers, including Australian citizens, who arrive in Australia from midnight Saturday will be required to isolate for a period of 14 days, with the Australia Defence Force providing assistance where needed to enforce those laws. Mr Morrison said that a third of all COVID-19 patients in Australia had come from overseas, warranting a stricter approach to all arrivals.
  • Health Minister Roger Cook has confirmed 24 new cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia overnight, bringing the state’s total to 255. Among the infected were people ranging from a five-month old to an 82-year old.
  • Premier Mark McGowan has banned regional travel in WA from midnight Tuesday, with offenders facing a fine of up to $50,000. That comes days after Nationals MP Vince Catania told Business News that the state’s regional areas would not be able to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak. Exemptions to the ban will be made on compassionate grounds.
  • The federal government has outlined a plan that would allow businesses to go into hibernation rather than closing entirely as a result of the pandemic. In regard to debt relief measures for businesses, the Prime Minister today said the specifics of that would be negotiated as part of a third tranche of economic relief.
  • WA liquor licensing rules have been amended to allow restaurants to sell packaged alcohol to patrons who buy takeaway meals. with the new occasional liquor licence can be held for up to six months. Hotels and taverns may continue to sell packaged alcohol over the counter.
  • Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said tenement holders could be exempted from spending requirements if they cannot meet obligations because of COVID-19 or restrictions by governments.
  • Nine people who are confirmed or suspected to have been infected with coronavirus have stepped off the Artania cruise ship to be treated in WA, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed today.
  • Vasco da Gama will dock in Fremantle today, with passengers either leaving Australia, quarantining in a hotel or on Rottnest Island.
  • Premier Mark McGowan has said that the Magnifica cruise ship will not be allowed to dock in Fremantle, despite it no longer being allowed to dock in Dubai. No passengers on that ship are thought to be infected with coronavirus.
  • Chief health officer Andrew Robertson has said a Perth woman has been arrested and placed into quarantine after refusing to isolate herself despite having been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. The woman herself has not tested positive for the virus.
  • Opposition Leader Liza Harvey said this morning that the state government should suspend household fees and charges, saying it would help those who had either lost their jobs or had hours reduced in recent weeks. Mrs Harvey estimated households would save $1,785 over the next six months as a result, criticising the state government for offering relief and stimulus that wouldn’t take effect until June.
  • All gun shops in WA are closed as of midday today, following directions under stage two of the Emergency Management Act. Farmers and other rural landholders will be exempt and can still access ammunition for pest control purposes.
  • Kathmandu and Rip Curl will close all locations in the coming days, one day after Premier Investments announced it would close its stores, including Michael Hill, Athlete’s Foot and Noni B. Adair’s will also close its physical stores as of Sunday, though its online store will remain open.
  • The US leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, with at least 81,321 people in the country now infected. Despite now being the epicentre for the disease, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that the country should relax shelter in place orders and “open up” by Easter.


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