Mark McGowan has urged Western Australians to stay home over the long weekend. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira
COVID-19 daily wrap: Premier says stay home at Easter
- Western Australia has reported 14 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the state’s total to 495.
- Four of the new cases came from cruise ships, which overall are responsible for 37 per cent of WA’s coronavirus infections.
- Two more healthcare workers in the Kimberly have tested positive to the virus. There are now 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, including four healthcare workers. Health Minister Roger Cook said the two new infected healthcare workers were close contacts of the first two.
- Mr Cook says the government remains confident no indigenous patients have been exposed to the virus. “We are very confident we have no Aboriginal patients or members of the community exposed to those workers,” he said. “We are keeping a very close eye on that”.
- 20,217 Western Australians have tested negative to the virus. The state’s death toll remains at six.
- Premier Mark McGowan has urged Western Australians to stay home this weekend. “We can’t be going travelling during this pandemic,” he said. “We’re asking everyone to do the right thing and stay home instead. We can still take the chance to relax and unwind, to catch up with friends and family in different ways.”
- The premier has threatened to close Perth beaches over the holiday if people do not abide to social distancing rules. “You can visit the beach this weekend. I just stress, keep your distance and minimise your risk,” Mr McGowan said. “Just go with your family. Don’t cross any regional boundaries to do it.”
- The premier said police have begun to patrol Cottesloe beach. “I’m advised that police patrols will continue over the long weekend to make sure people continue to do the right thing,” he said.
- Business News has launched a new feature on its COVID-19 dashboard, which calculates what benefits businesses, sole traders and others are eligible for under the stimulus packages announced to date.
- Australia has reported 90 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The nation's total stands at 6,103 confirmed cases. Fifty-one Australians have died from the virus.
- The federal government will make the first round of offers to banks and non-bank lenders to participate in the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support small and medium-sized businesses. The government will support up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs with turnover of less than $50 million until September 30.
- The federal government has also announced a $27 million support package for the arts sector. The package will allocate $10 million to industry charity Support Act to provide financial support and counselling to artists and crew, $10 million to the regional arts fund to help regional artists and organisations develop new work, and $7 million for the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program to assist Indigenous artists and arts centres.
- Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said independent schools no longer had the option to shut their doors during the coronavirus pandemic. They will be forced to open in term two. Schools ignoring the government order will risk funding.
- Virgin Australia has suspended all domestic flights, save for a once-daily service between Sydney and Melbourne. The airline is seeking $1.4 billion in assistance from the federal government.WA Police are investigating whether Fremantle Dockers captain Nat Fyfe violated the state’s intrastate travel ban, after the footballer was photographed surfing in Margaret River.
- The United Workers union says security guards at the Duxton and Pan Pacific virus quarantine hotels have been asked to remove facemasks, as they were “upsetting and intimidating” guests.