Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will ease some coronavirus restrictions as Australia demonstrates a concrete flattening of the coronavirus curve.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Mr Morrison touched on a wide range of topics, including schools, aged care, as well as updating Australians with the nation’s COVID-19 progress.
READ MORE: Which elective surgeries will now open
WE ARE STILL ‘IN THE MIDDLE’ OF BEATING THE VIRUS
Mr Morrison has said Australia is still “in the middle” of combating the coronavirus, despite less than 2,500 active cases.
The Prime Minister re-iterated to Australians caution must be heeded before restrictions would be eased, and pointed towards Singapore who recently experienced a second-wave of new cases.
Mr Morrison also outlined the prerequisites for easing restrictions, which are:
1. An effective rate of transmission under one
2. A testing, tracing and response capability on the ground
SOME ELECTIVE SURGERY WILL NOW GO AHEAD
The Prime Minister has announced all Category 2 elective surgeries will reopen, including IVF and joint replacement surgery for children under the age of 18.
Other procedures to have restrictions lifted include eye procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopies, post cancer procedures such as breast reconstruction and some dental work including fitting dentures and braces.
Upon reopening priority will be given to the most needy patients first, based on surgical advice of the medical facility where your elective surgery is scheduled.
A review will take place on May 11 as to whether more elective surgeries can go ahead.
THE FOUR SQUARE METRE RULE DOES NOT APPLY TO CLASSROOMS
The Prime Minister has doubled down on health advice for schools, re-iterating that the four-square metre rule to ensure social distancing does not apply to classrooms.
“That is not the advice and any suggestion that this is a requirement for schools is not the case,” Mr Morrison said.
The PM said the recommendation was for smaller class sizes, not smaller classrooms.
WE ARE ACTUALLY FLATTENING THE CURVE
Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed Australia has achieved a sustained flattening of the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last nine consecutive days Australia has had less than one per cent growth in cases.
“This is a collective national achievement but every Australian has been contributing and I want to say thank you for what people have done,” Mr Hunt said. “You have made this happen.”
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL AUTHORITIES PRAISE AUSTRALIA’S TESTING REGIME
Global medical authorities have recognised the widespread practice and accuracy of Australian coronavirus testing, saying the nation is at “the global forefront” of the virus.
Minister Hunt confirmed that Australia had now tested 434,000 people for COVID-19.
YOU CAN VISIT YOUR RELATIVE IN AGED CARE – ONLY IF YOU ARE HEALTHY
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy doubled down on advice to aged care facilities and residents, warning that anyone with “the slightest respiratory issue” should not attend.
Professor Murphy said anybody who work at an aged care facility is eligible for a COVID-19 test and the government is aware of the risk of outbreaks in homes.
Despite the warnings, Professor Murphy said this does not mean you can’t see your family in nursing homes.
“We don’t want lots of visitors, we want omitted visitors,” Professor Murphy said.
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