Australia ‘Many Weeks Away’ From Relaxing Virus Restrictions

(Bloomberg) --

Australia is looking to parts of industry that can be restarted without creating greater health risks as the National Cabinet prepares to meet Thursday to discuss restrictions in place to quash the spread of the coronavirus.

“It’s a real trade-off, getting the best value of the restrictions that you can lift and at same time not put the health situation at greater risk,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Channel Seven’s Sunrise program on Tuesday, pointing to agribusiness and manufacturing as examples.

Australia emerges from the four-day Easter long weekend holiday following last week’s record $80 billion employment rescue package, without which Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said unemployment could be 5 percentage points higher. Australia reported 51 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the 24 hours to 6 a.m. Sydney time Monday. This brings the total number of infections to 6,289 with 57 deaths and more than 351,000 tests conducted.

Morrison said he hoped to move to less-restrictive measures, but said the nation was still many weeks away. “We have to keep going. We’re doing well but we can’t be complacent. ”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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