WA Restrictions that will be eased today


NSW Premier Glady Berejiklian stressed that you can still go shopping, as long as you abide by social distancing rules.

Speaking from a press conference in Sydney this morning, she said it's not the government's place to tell you what's essential, noting the state takes a different approach to other states on shopping.

"If a shop is open, you can go and buy something so long as you practice social distancing," she said. "It's not for government to decide what's essential for you to buy.

"But what we need to do is remind you that when you set foot in a retail shop, it's safe, you practice social distancing and wash your hands. Whether you're buying a piece of hardware, a loaf of bread or new shoes for your child, you need to ensure those rules are in practice."

READ MORE: Follow the latest virus news

Australia has now recorded over 6700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3004 in New South Wales, 1349 in Victoria, 1030 in Queensland, 438 in South Australia, 549 in Western Australia, 212 in Tasmania, 106 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory. A total of 83 deaths have been recorded nationally.

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Originally published as Restrictions that will be eased today

'We will not hesitate to clamp down again'

Gavin Fernando

The Queensland Premier reiterated that the social restrictions could be reinforced at any time if they see a spike in numbers.

This comes after the state announced it would relax a series of measures, including allowing picnics and drives of up to 50 kilometres.

"We will not hesitate to clamp down again," the Premier said.

9m agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

'Absolutely disgusting': Qld Premier slams worker abusers

Gavin Fernando

The Queensland Premier has urged people to show respect towards essential workers, slamming those who have been aggressive towards them.

"It's disgusting. It's absolutely disgusting to think some people are putting others' lives at risks," she said.

She said people are "taking their frustrations out" on essential workers. "It's not on."

22m agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

Fines of up to $13k for attacking workers in Qld

Gavin Fernando

Queenslanders who attack front-line workers and retail staff now face fines of up to $13,000.

"Today we are looking at clamping down people who attack front-lin workers and anyone who deliberately coughs, sneezes or spits on front-line workers, including health workers and police, but also people like shop assistants in that front-line, dealing with the community," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"Those people could be fined up to $1300 on-the-spot, or if it goes to court, $13,000."

26m agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

Three new cases in Queensland

Gavin Fernando

Queensland has confirmed three new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 1033.

1h agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

1.13m Australians download COVIDSafe app

Gavin Fernando

As of 6am this morning, 1.13 million Australians have downloaded the coronavirus tracing app, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

"We had hoped that perhaps we would get to the (one) million mark within five days and we were lucky to get there within five hours," he told ABC Breakfast. "Australians, just as they have done throughout the course of the virus, have responded magnificently and it is a simple thing.

"It is about helping find those people who might have been exposed to the virus, who might otherwise never have realised they had been in contact with someone and that can save their lives or our nurses, or our doctors, or prevent the virus from getting into an aged care home or a health facility."

1h agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

NSW's two-person limit to remain in place

Gavin Fernando

Dr Kerry Chant would not answer a question about when NSW might ease back its social limits from two to ten people, as WA announced yesterday.

"Our focus is seeing children returning to school. Those discussions will be ongoing. We obviously keep this situation under regular review, but the thing the community can support us with is to come forward for testing."

1h agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

'Several hundred' unknown cases in NSW

Gavin Fernando

The Premier says there are still "several hundred cases" where the source of the virus remains unknown.

"We do have several hundred cases where it has not been tracked down as to how they got the virus".

Ms Berejiklian noted that, while most cases were from overseas or a particular cluster or event, there is a "smaller percentage" of people where it remains unknown.

"That's the concern. That's why when you increase testing, that gives us better data as to where the virus is spreading."

1h agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

Easing restrictions will have 'consequences', Premier warns

Gavin Fernando

The Premier said she wants to ease restrictions in NSW, but warned it will come with "obvious consequences".

"Once people ease back into normal active life - and I'm not suggesting we will do that until the vaccine is found - the number of cases will go up," she said.

"Every time you go to the supermarket, your risk of getting the virus or giving it goes up substantially.

"Yes, we definitely want to ease restrictions and give people a greater sense of normality in their lives, but we also have to be aware that that comes with an obvious consequence. That obvious consequence is more cases and more people getting sick. We appreciate that that is unfortunately what will happen until we have a cure or vaccine.

"So long as everyone knows that, in due course when we start easing restrictions, people can make assessments about their own activity."

1h agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

'It's not for government to decide what you can buy'

Gavin Fernando

Ms Berejiklian has reiterated that NSW has taken a different approach to shopping than other states.

"If a shop is open, you can go and buy something so long as you practice social distancing," she said. "It's not for government to decide what's essential for you to buy.

"But what we need to do is remind you that when you set foot in a retail shop, it's safe, you practice social distancing and wash your hands. Whether you're buying a piece of hardware, a loaf of bread or new shoes for your child, you need to ensure those rules are in practice."

2h agoApril 27, 2020Highlight

NSW reveals new virus hotspots

Gavin Fernando

NSW authorities will now provide a weekly update with new COVID-19 hotspots.

Anyone who lives in these areas will be urged to get tested for the virus.

Five new spots have been announced in NSW: Lithgow, Blue Mountains, Hornsby, Lane Cove and the Northern Beaches.

This is in addition to the ten existing hotspots: Blacktown, Canada Bay, Cumberland, Goulburn, Inner West, Liverpool, Parramatta, Ryde, Randwick and Waverley.

"We have identified a number of hotspots for testing," said Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant. "Whilst anyone across the state is urged to come forward with respiratory symptoms, we will also be naming those hotspots on a weekly basis where we want to have particularly enhanced testing."

NSW records two new cases

Gavin Fernando

NSW has recorded just two new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 3004.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian commended the state for getting tested in higher rates.

"In the last 24 hour batch of testing, we had 4,400 people come forward and get tested. That's excellent, given for the same period last week, it was only 1300," she said at her Sydney press conference this morning.

She urged anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 to get tested.

"Even if you have mild symptoms or if you have come in contact with someone with the virus, it is very important that you get tested."

There are 160 people with coronavirus being treated in NSW, with 19 people in ICU and 15 of those requiring ventilators.

NSW'S COVID-19 cases top 3000

NSW's COVID-19 cases have topped 3000 as a sixth resident at a western Sydney aged care facility died.

The 82-year-old resident of Newmarch House in Caddens - where almost 50 people have been infected with the coronavirus - died on Saturday, operator Anglicare Sydney said.

The man's death brought the NSW COVID-19 death toll to 36.

The Anglicare aged care facility is the state's largest ongoing cluster, with some 31 of the almost 100 residents having been infected as well as 17 staff members.

Eight new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in NSW on Sunday, taking the state total to 3002 with 19 people currently in intensive care. There were fewer than 800 current cases in the state.

Among the new cases was a medical worker at Nepean Hospital who had not been in contact with patients for 48 hours before symptom onset.

Two staff members were in isolation, as were eight staff members at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.

On Saturday, an aged care worker at Catholic Healthcare Bodington in the Blue Mountains also tested positive for coronavirus but had not contacted residents within 48 hours of showing symptoms.

Some 20 residents have tested negative to the virus.

"Whilst this is a particularly difficult and challenging virus, we also know it still hasn't managed to get through the community in NSW, indeed Australia, to the extent it certainly has in other jurisdictions," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Sunday.

"We're keeping in fairly low numbers." Mr Hazzard reiterated that NSW residents should continue following social distancing measures and frequently wash their hands.


Elective surgeries to resume today

Gavin Fernando

Elective surgeries will resume in Australian hospitals today.

Category two and some category three elective surgeries will recommence from today, including IVF, dental work, screening programs, all child surgeries, joint replacements, eye procedures, endoscopies and colonoscopies.

Elective surgeries were postponed last month to free up beds and save personal protective equipment, amid fears the COVID-19 outbreak would overwhelm the health system.

'We urge all Australians to download the COVID-19 tracing app'

Gavin Fernando

Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, has issued the following statement:

"The RACGP supports the Covid-19 tracing app and we urge all Australians to download it when it becomes available tonight.

"We understand that many Australians have perfectly valid privacy concerns and it's vital that government carefully manages how this app operates. The stakes are high and we need to get this right.

"In the interests of combating this pandemic it's essential that people take advantage of this app so that we can better track cases of Covid-19 and limit its spread in the community. We are all in this together, we all have a role to play in combating this once in a lifetime pandemic.

"Effective contact tracing is one of the most important steps in allowing us to eventually lift the restrictions currently being enforced in our communities."

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