Australian Health Authorities Urge Caution as Lockdowns Ease

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Australian state health authorities have urged residents to exercise caution with lockdown measures set to be relaxed across the nation on Monday.

The two most-populous states will lift several restrictions as they continue to grapple with isolated coronavirus outbreaks. New South Wales reported three new cases on Sunday, all of who were travelers in hotel quarantine; while Victoria extended its state of emergency to allow the chief health officer to keep issuing safety directives.

“Victorians will no doubt welcome the further easing of restrictions from tomorrow, but our coronavirus fight is far from over,” state Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said in a statement Sunday.

New South Wales will permit pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants to allow entry to as many as 50 customers from June 1 as authorities try to breathe life back into the economy. Ahead of the lifting of the measures, the state’s health officials said it “remains essential” for people to maintain social distancing and regularly wash their hands, according to a statement on Sunday.

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In Victoria, as many as 20 people will be able to gather inside a home or outside. The roll-back in measures comes as Mikakos in a press conference on Sunday warned of possible community transmission linked to a family cluster in a Melbourne suburb, and as a separate spate of cases have been connected with a hotel that’s been used for quarantines.

Queensland will also allow travel within the state starting midday Monday. The state’s borders will remain closed and will be reviewed at the end of June, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters Sunday.

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