InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism

News

Coronavirus: What we know today, June 19

News

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

Print article

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

KEY POINTS

SA open to Queensland visitors from midnight

South Australia is throwing open its borders to people coming from Queensland.

Premier Steven Marshall says the change will take effect from midnight on Friday and means anyone coming from that state will no longer be required to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The decision follows an earlier move by SA to lift coronavirus restrictions on people coming from Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Marshall said South Australia would continue to take a staged approach in regard to other jurisdictions.

“Our legal advice is very clear, that we shouldn’t be unnecessarily detaining people without due cause,” he said.

“And this is no due cause for citizens coming into South Australia from Queensland.”

Marshall said the change would also have implications for SA’s two AFL teams which could now travel back and forth from their Gold Coast base for training and games.

In other changes coming into force on Friday, pubs, clubs and restaurants are set for a boost, with a big jump in the number of patrons allowed inside.

Under the new arrangements, venues will be allowed to cater for up to 300 people at a time.

But no more than 75 people will be allowed in any one area, and the one person to every four square metre rule will still apply.

Other changes include a move to allow dance and fitness classes to cater for up to 20 people at a time, provided they allow seven square metres for each person.

All participants will also be required to provide their name and phone number or an email address, and the trainer must retain a record of those contact details.

South Australia will next lift virus restrictions on June 29 when school assemblies, excursions and camps can resume along with the school sport competitions, sports days and carnivals.

Education Minister John Gardner said students, staff and families across the state would welcome the return of school activities.

He said the changes would provide a sense of schools returning to normal from Term 3.

South Australia recorded no new cases of COVID-19 today.

Airlines reveal plan to reboot travel

Jetstar has announced cut-price airfares and Qantas will give frequent flyers extra points to get Australians flying as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Jetstar is offering 10,000 one-way fares for $19 on 22 routes, including Melbourne to Sydney, Sydney to Gold Coast, Melbourne to Ballina, Brisbane to Whitsunday Coast and Adelaide to Cairns.

Other routes have also been discounted but not to the same extent.

Qantas is offering triple points for frequent flyers on all routes as part of a plan to reboot domestic air travel.

Customers of both airlines will also be given more flexibility to change fight dates without being hit with fees.

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce says almost 400,000 seats have been sold on Qantas and Jetstar’s domestic networks in the past two weeks, after some state borders opened.

He hopes the sale and points offers will boost that further and help tourism operators get back on their feet.

Qantas and Jetstar will continue to reintroduce flights across its domestic network in line with demand and the easing of border restrictions.

Double-digit increases in Victoria, seven new cases in NSW

Victoria has recorded a double-digit rise in the number of new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day, throwing into doubt the further easing of restrictions.

The state’s infectious tally rose by 13 to 1792, with 91 of them still active, Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said on Friday.

Up to seven cases were identified through routine testing while four were linked to the Stamford Plaza Hotel outbreak, which houses returned travellers.

A staff worker from the hotel tested positive last Wednesday.

Only one returned traveller tested positive for coronavirus on Friday while one other case remains under investigation.

“We’re keeping a really close eye on the numbers,” Ms Allan said.

“And if there’s any change to those restrictions, we’ll give that information to the Victorian community as quickly as we possibly can.”

NSW has reported seven new COVID-19 cases, all of whom are travellers in hotel quarantine.

The seven new cases came from 17,363 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday. The state has recorded 3143 COVID-19 cases to date and no one is in intensive care.

But Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday rejected any suggestion of restricting movement between NSW and Victoria, labelling domestic border closures “artificial”.

She also said they were thwarting movement, business and family reconnection as the state’s unemployment rate was revised upwards on Thursday to 6.4 per cent.

“There could be unexpected spikes and that’s the nature of a pandemic. I don’t begrudge the Victorians that – it’s not a reason to close borders with them,” she said.

Retail trade’s record rebound

Retail trade rebounded 16.3 per cent in May, the biggest ever monthly rise, following its biggest ever fall in April of 17.7 per cent.

Retail turnover in May rose to 28.83 billion and was up 5.3 per cent over the same month last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

There were big rises for clothing, footwear, personal accessories and food establishments, the ABS said.

Still, spending on cafes, restaurants and takeaway services was down 30 per cent from May 2019.

Household goods spending was also up with consumers spending more on furniture, home entertainment, home offices and home improvement.

The figures are preliminary, based on businesses that make up about 80 per cent of retail turnover, and are subject to revision, the ABS said.

The final estimates will be published on July 3.

But the initial estimate represents the biggest month-on-month rise in the 38 years the figures have been collected, the ABS said.

WHO eyes vaccine this year, borders open

The World Health Organisation hopes hundreds of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine can be produced this year and 2 billion doses by the end of 2021, its chief scientist says.

The WHO is also drawing up plans to help decide who should get the first doses once a vaccine is approved.

More than 8.40 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 449,032​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Denmark’s government said on Thursday it will allow entry to citizens from most European countries with a low number of COVID-19 infections from June 27 – two months earlier than originally planned.

In Asia, Vietnamese authorities were holding talks aimed at easing the entry of citizens from China, South Korea and Japan into the country.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government was discussing possible resumption of mutual visits with Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand – all countries where coronavirus infections are largely under control.

Meanwhile, a Chinese medical expert said Beijing had brought its latest coronavirus outbreak under control.

Officials also said the trading sections for meat and seafood in the capital’s wholesale food market were found to be severely contaminated with the coronavirus.

The European Commission is in advanced talks with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to reserve or buy up-front doses of its COVID-19 vaccine under development, two officials familiar with the talks told Reuters.

India recorded its the highest one-day increase of 12,281 coronavirus cases on Thursday, raising the total caseload to 366,946 but the government has ruled out reimposing a country-wide lockdown.

India’s total deaths reached 12,237, a rise of 334 in the past 24 hours, according to a Health Ministry statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected a new lockdown, saying the country has to think about further unlocking and minimising all possibilities of harm to people.

South Korea reported 59 cases as infections continue to steadily rise in the greater capital area.

The figures announced by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought the country’s caseload to 12,257, including 280 deaths.

It said 39 of the new cases came from Seoul and its metropolitan area, where health authorities have been scrambling to stem transmissions amid increased economic activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

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

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Help our journalists uncover the facts

In times like these InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to donate to InDaily.

Donate here
Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article