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Coronavirus: What we know today, June 12

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Follow this post for rolling updates on the impact of the coronavirus in South Australia, the nation and the world.

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

SA announces date for opening border

All domestic South Australian border restrictions will be lifted on July 20, with the number of people allowed in venue rooms to be lifted to 75 from next Friday.

Premier Steven Marshall announced today that the transition committee, which met today, had decided that all state border restrictions could be lifted next month.

However, before that date, the state would consider removing self-isolation requirements for jurisdictions that don’t pose a health risk to South Australians.

“We will be looking at the state borders with some of the individual jurisdictions, who are doing particularly well,” Marshall said.

“We don’t want to unnecessarily detain people for two weeks of isolation if they don’t pose a health risk to us in South Australia.

“So we’re just looking to some further legal advice in regards to that and we should be able to provide you with a further update next week.”

The Premier also announced that from next Friday, the restriction of 20 people per room in venues like pubs and restaurants, would be lifted to 75 as long as there was enough room to maintain a density of one person per four square metres. The total number of people in a venue would move from 80 to 300.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the new 75-person limit would apply to gyms, but indicated there would be a cap on fitness classes.

“For a fixed gymnasium, where you’ve got fixed pieces of equipment and the room is big enough, we’d be happy to go up to 75 (people) – but obviously you would need a fairly big room to accomodate that number,” Spurrier said.

“In a fitness class you’re moving around, if you’ve got an increased respiratory rate, so there’s an increased risk of transmission in those particular settings.

“Fitness Australia, one of the peak bodies for this industry, recommended one (person) per seven square meters in a fitness class.”

In stage three – which would kick in from June 29 instead of July 3 – the person limit would be abolished and replaced simply with a density requirement of one person per four square metres.

Nationally, the Federal Government also announced further easing of restrictions under stage three in July.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants international students to be able to travel to Australia, but said the appropriate quarantine entry requirements and biosecurity measures would have to be in place.

Morrison has told state leaders on Friday their own borders must be open before international students can arrive.

Also today, the Federal Government announced that small sports stadiums with capacities 40,000 seats or less will be allowed to reopen to crowds in July – a move that excludes AFL venues such as Adelaide Oval.

The venues will be allowed to sell 10,000 ticketed seats per event, with social distancing measures in place around bars and food outlets.

Govt won’t rule out JobSeeker increase

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann hasn’t ruled out keeping the JobSeeker dole payment above $40 per day beyond September.

JobSeeker was raised to $1100 per fortnight in April when the government added a temporary $550 coronavirus supplement.

The enhanced JobSeeker is due to expire in September along with other stimulus measures like the JobKeeper wage subsidies.

“We are clearly now having conversations on how we can most appropriately transition out of the elevated levels of temporary support, including through the enhanced JobSeeker program,” Cormann told Sky News on Friday.

“We are currently discussing on how best to transition into the longer-term arrangements.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, welfare and business groups, Labor, the Greens, economists and the Reserve Bank had long called for a rise in the dole payment, formerly called Newstart.

Aside from indexation, the unemployment benefit has not increased in 25 years.

Second wave could cost Australia $80 billion: Cormann

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has warned a second wave of coronavirus could cost the Australian economy $80 billion over the next two years.

His calculation came as global share markets erupted into a sea of selling on fears of a pandemic resurgence, killing off recent optimism for a quick economic recovery.

The Australian share market looks set for a three per cent tumble at the opening on Friday after the Dow Jones index on Wall Street slumped over six per cent, posting its wost day since mid-March.

The local share market also fell three per cent on Thursday.

The Morrison government is worried last week’s anti-racism rallies, and more marches scheduled for this weekend, will spread the virus.

Cormann said the protests were putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

“If we had a second wave of infections it would cost our economy about $80 billion over the next two years,” he told Sky News.

“We are in the middle of a health emergency, this is not over and people who choose to attend those rallies are putting the lives and jobs of their fellow Australians at risk.”

Virus could sink millions into extreme poverty

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could plunge an extra 395 million people into extreme poverty and swell the total number of those living on less than $A 3.00 a day worldwide to more than 1 billion.

Researchers from King’s College London and Australian National University analysed a number of scenarios, using the World Bank’s various poverty lines – from extreme poverty, defined as living on $A 3.00 a day or less, to higher poverty lines of living on less than $A 8.00 a day.

Their report’s been published by UNU-WIDER, part of the United Nations University.

Under the worst scenario – a 20 per cent contraction in per capita income or consumption – the number of those living in extreme poverty could rise to 1.12 billion.

The same contraction applied to the $A 8.00 threshold among upper-middle income countries could see more than 3.7 billion people – or just over half the world’s population – live below this poverty line.

“The outlook for the world’s poorest looks grim unless governments do more and do it quickly and make up the daily loss of income the poor face,” said Andy Sumner, one of the report’s authors.

“The result is progress on poverty reduction could be set back 20-30 years, making the UN goal of ending poverty look like a pipe dream.”

The region expected to see the biggest number of people at risk of plunging into extreme poverty was South Asia, mainly driven by populous India. This was followed by Sub-Saharan Africa where around a third of the rise would come from.

On Monday, the World Bank said it expected 70-100 million people to be pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic.

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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