Australia has recorded at least 6727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 89 people have died.
More than 3 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 207,000 people have died from it.
Here is what is happening with coronavirus in Australia today:
1. NSW’s Warning About 2 Person Visit Rule: ‘This Is Not A Holiday’
From Friday, two adults will be able to visit another household anywhere in NSW and also bring their children into the home.
Berejiklian stressed that people should have a conversation about how they navigate the new arrangements.
“This is not a holiday,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
“The reason we’re allowing people to do this (is to) reduce isolation, to improve mental health and give people that bit of contact which they haven’t had.”
The premier added that the government has not “put a limit on how far you can travel in order to visit a loved one” but said if people break the rules, NSW will go backwards.
“The four reasons why you can leave the house still remain,” she said.
“Working or going to school, whether you need to buy something, for exercise, or whether it’s for care and medical needs.
“And the fact you can visit another person’s household is an extension of the definition of care.”
If you’re planning on visiting family or friends this weekend, Berejiklian said to consider the following:
Will there be physical contact?
How long will the visit be?
What risks are associated with everyone?
Does everyone feel well?
Do you work with vulnerable people?
2. Families Demand Action From Anglicare After 4 Deaths In 1 Day
Families of COVID-19 victims at Sydney aged care facility Newmarch House are calling for more communication from the rest home.
There have been 11 coronavirus-related deaths at the Anglicare facility, with four residents passing away in 21 hours from Monday through Tuesday.
At least 54 Newmarch House residents and staff have tested positive to coronavirus, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Louise Payne, whose 89-year-old mum resides at Newmarch and tested positive for coronavirus on April 14, has drafted a letter representing 94 worried family members of residents. The letter, directed at Anglicare and politicians, has 10 demands around a higher duty of care.
Payne praised the hard work of the health care workers involved but wants better communication and to be able to see family members - even through a window.
“We have residents passing away and their families haven’t been allowed to see them,” Payne told the ABC’s News Breakfast.
“It’s over five weeks since we have seen them. The nurses, whilst they’re wonderful, our residents are faced with people that are masked from head to toe and their mental wellbeing, it must be just so low and they’re affected. It’s hard to fathom.”
3. NZ Back In Business
New Zealanders queued on Tuesday for takeaway burgers, fries and coffee, after being freed from a month-long lockdown.
“It’s hard to explain how good this tastes,” Christopher Bishop, a New Zealand lawmaker, said on Twitter after posting a picture with a takeaway coffee cup.
With COVID-19 lockdown measures easing slightly, restaurants and other food providers are adapting their operations to be able to trade again.
Hospitality businesses were forced to close across New Zealand when the nationwide lockdown came into effect on 26 March 2020, but since the country moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28 April, they are allowed to reopen for takeaway or delivery services only.
The Hip Restaurant Group, which runs four restaurants across Auckland, has now set up a base at Amano Restaurant in Britomart to provide a grocery delivery service, offering vegetables, bread, pastries, meats, pre prepared and meals to cook at home. Customers can also pick up coffee and baked goods from their bakery at Amano with contactless payments.
Staff are making the deliveries themselves, within a 10km radius from the restaurant and had received 60 home delivery orders for groceries in the first 24 hours of operation.
4. Australia, China Tensions Rise
Australia’s calls for an international inquiry into how the pandemic spread from China have been steadily adding to tensions between Canberra and Beijing that are now turning into thinly veiled threats over the future of their sizeable trading ties.
Cheng Jingye, Beijing’s ambassador to Australia, told a local newspaper on Monday that Chinese consumers could boycott Australian beef, wine, tourism and universities.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham retorted that Australia was a “crucial supplier” to China for imports like iron ore.