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Coronavirus: What we know today, May 8

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Follow this post for rolling updates on the impact of the coronavirus in South Australia, the nation and the world, as well as the latest health information and links to official advice.

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Refresh this page for updates – scroll down for links to official health information.

KEY POINTS

PM’s plan to lift lockdowns

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a three-stage plan with the aim of lifting restrictions by July.

States and territories will move forwards between stages depending on local conditions, with national cabinet to review settings every three weeks.

Widespread testing, contact tracing and ability to react quickly to stop outbreaks will be vital.

Stage One: Five visitors allowed at home

* Gatherings of up 10 in business and public places

* Work from home if it works for you and your employer

* Small restaurants, cafes and shopping open

* Home sales and in-person auctions resume

* Children back in classrooms

* Libraries, community centres, playgrounds and outdoor boot camps open

* Local and regional travel resume

STAGE 2

* Gatherings of 20 people in your home, business and public places

* Work from home if it works for you and your employer

* Gyms, beauty, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks open with COVID-safe plans

* Organised community sport allowed

* Caravan and camping grounds reopen

* Some interstate travel

* States and territories may allow larger numbers in some circumstances

STAGE 3

* Gatherings of up to 100 people

* Return to workplaces

* Pubs, clubs, nightclubs, food courts, saunas and some gaming venues open

* All interstate travel resumes

* Consider cross-Tasman, Pacific island and international students travel

* States and territories may allow larger numbers in some circumstances

SA to ease restrictions from Monday

Premier Steven Marshall confirmed today that community restrictions will be relaxed from Monday, as a part of national cabinet’s three-stage plan.

Alcohol-free outdoor dining and sports training can resume across South Australia from next week as the state begins to lift coronavirus restrictions.

More people will be able to attend funerals and universities and TAFE colleges will also be allowed to resume face-to-face learning.

Other changes as recommended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison following Friday’s national cabinet meeting include opening public libraries and swimming pools, and the resumption of open house inspections and home auctions.

In almost all cases, numbers will be limited to 10 people at a time.

However, SA will allow up to 20 people to attend a funeral indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

“Life as we know it will never be the same. But we have come a long way in the last eight weeks,” Marshall said.

“Different states and different territories will move at a different pace, but one thing we have agreed on is that we will be in a COVID safe economy by July.”

He also urged South Australians to get out into the state’s regions with all restrictions on caravanning and camping lifted.

It comes as South Australia recorded no new cases of coronavirus infections today, with the state’s total sitting at 439.

SA Health confirmed 433 people or 95.5 per cent had recovered from coronavirus.

There are two active coronavirus cases in the state and an additional two people who tested positive for the virus remain in hospital.

More than 66,000 tests have been conducted in South Australia since February, including 1500 tests yesterday.

Crows break coronavirus rules

The Adelaide Football Club admits breaking AFL coronavirus protocols, and has apologised for a group of players training en masse.

The Crows expect AFL sanctions after the group of players and assistant coach Ben Hart, who were meant to be self-isolating in the Barossa Valley, trained together on Thursday.

SA Police are also investigating whether the Crows broke state rules which ban gatherings of more than 10 people.

Sixteen Crows players and assistant coach Hart are at a golf resort in the Barossa Valley to serve a 14-day quarantine period after returning to SA from interstate.

Two groups of eight players trained together on Thursday, but the Crows deny they deliberately set out to circumvent AFL protocols which forbid training in groups larger than two players.

CEO Andrew Fagan told SEN Radio the club “had 16 players return from interstate [and] we had approval from SA police to train down at that facility, which is a 20-acre facility, so it’s got some ability for the players to not just be in their rooms but to move around and do some running and training”.

“But the expectation that was clearly articulated was to be in pairs and was to maintain social distancing,” he maintained.

“This was their first session there and it appears as though the communication about how the first session was to be conducted wasn’t anywhere near as clear as it needed to be… I saw a copy of it last night – it refers to social distancing, it refers to training in pairs, and they did that for a number of elements of the session.

“But for others they came together beyond their pairs, I think as a group of eight and they breached some of those social distancing rules – that’s what’s occurred.”

Fagan said it was “an honest mistake but a serious one” as the AFL tries to convince state leaders to relax restrictions enough to allow the season to restart.

More repatriation flights from India

Two flights carrying hundreds of Australians being repatriated from India will arrive in Melbourne and Sydney today.

The special Qantas flights left New Delhi, while a third will arrive in Sydney.

A third planeload of Australians will arrive in Sydney on Sunday.

All are expected to be quarantined in hotels for two weeks.

Two planeloads of repatriated Australians from India spent 14 days in quarantine in two Adelaide hotels and were free to leave earlier this week.

Qantas opens limited flights from Los Angeles, London

Australians hoping to fly home during the coronavirus pandemic have been given new options with Qantas announcing limited flights to Melbourne from Los Angeles and London.

It also opens the potential for pets to be flown back to Australia.

Previous special Qantas and Virgin Australia flights organised during the pandemic flew from LA to Brisbane.

Brisbane does not have the facilities to quarantine pets, forcing Australians planning to fly home during the pandemic to leave their pets in the US or opt not to return to Australia.

Under Australia’s strict border rules cats and dogs must arrive directly into Melbourne Airport and be quarantined at a facility near the city.

The Australian government has requested owners of pets planning to fly back to Australia on one of the new Melbourne flights to contact Qantas and their chosen pet carriers to check on animal transportation.

Qantas’ new limited Los Angeles to Melbourne flights are scheduled for May 16, 23 and 30 and June 6.

The new Qantas London-Melbourne flights are on May 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29 and June 3 and 5.

Youth mental health service demand spikes

Issues including loneliness and challenges with remote learning have led to record numbers of young people turning to a digital support service for mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Youth mental health service ReachOut has released new data showing visits to its online services have increased by 50 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

This equates to more than 120,000 additional people, with 93,000 seeking coronavirus-specific support.

Visits to ReachOut’s Urgent Help page increased by 14 per cent with a spike recorded during the recent school holiday period.

UK to ease lockdown despite Europe’s highest death toll

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a very limited easing of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown next week, adopting a cautious approach to try to ensure there is no second peak of infections that could further hurt the economy.

Johnson is due to announce the next steps in Britain’s battle to tackle the coronavirus on Sunday following a review by ministers of the current measures that have all but shut the economy and kept millions at home for over six weeks.

“Any changes in the short term will be modest, small, incremental and very carefully monitored,” foreign minister Dominic Raab said during the government’s daily news conference on Thursday.

“If people don’t follow the rules or if we see that the R-level (the reproductive rate of the virus) goes back up, we will tighten the restrictions again.”

The UK death toll rose by 539 overnight, to 30,615 – the world’s second highest after the United States.

But with an increasing number of anecdotal reports that more people are flouting the lockdown in anticipation of Sunday’s announcement and a public holiday on Friday, ministers are under pressure to make any new rules as clear as possible after being criticised for mixed messaging.

US deaths pass 73,000

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,219,066 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 25,253 cases from its previous count.

The number of deaths has risen by 2495 to 73,297.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19 on Thursday, compared with its count a day earlier.

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.

OFFICIAL SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION

Local updates and resources

State Government central information

SA Health

Mental health support line (8am to 8pm): 1800 632 753.

National advice and information

Australian Government Coronavirus information hotline: 1800 020 080

Government information via WhatsApp: click here

Travel

Australian Government travel advice: smartraveller.gov.au

Check your symptoms

Free, government-funded, health advice: healthdirect.gov.au

– Reporting by InDaily staff, AAP and Reuters

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