Victoria has banned couples from seeing each other at home if they do not live together to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Police Minister Lisa Neville clarified the stage three restrictions, which were introduced on Tuesday, in a Tweet on Wednesday morning.
‘You cannot visit your partner for social reasons,’ Minister Neville wrote.
Returning overseas passengers Kate and Tim are seen through their hotel room window while in quarantine at the Novotel in Brisbane, Australia
There are select reasons you can go to the home of your partner such as delivering food or providing care.
Couples can visit each other outside home where gatherings are limited to two people.
The Victorian government website reads: ‘Every interaction with another person carries the risk of transmission and should be avoided’.
‘You should not have visitors and in turn, you should not visit the homes of others during the Stay at Home direction.
‘Of course, you can welcome a visitor into your home when they are providing you with care and support when you are unwell, disabled, elderly or pregnant.’
Six Victorians are fighting for their lives in intensive care with coronavirus, the Premier announced today.
Six Victorians are fighting for their lives in intensive care with coronavirus, the Victorian Premier announced today
Daniel Andrews also warned that if people do not observe social distancing then there will be so many cases that doctors will be forced to ration hospital beds.
‘There will be nowhere near enough intensive care beds if this gets away from us,’ he said.
‘No country in the world can have enough intensive care beds if this virus really takes hold and people have not done the right thing.’
Victoria has 968 cases of coronavirus, up from 51 yesterday, with 32 people in hospital.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced the state was increasing the number of intensive care beds from 500 to 4,500.
‘This is a massive scaling up to make sure we are ready,’ she said.
Most of the capacity will come from turning acute beds into intensive care beds by providing more equipment such as ventilators.
Premier Andrews also told Victorians not to flout stage three restrictions which state that gatherings of more than two people who do not live together are banned.
‘You will be caught if you do the wrong thing. Ultimately, no gathering, no party, no choice that you make is worth someone else’s life,’ he said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has asked companies around New South Wales to help make medical supplies
Earlier today NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian asked companies around New South Wales to make medical supplies to help fight coronavirus.
Australia imports much of its medical equipment such as masks and gloves – but the supply has been severely disrupted as countries stop exporting them.
Ms Berejiklian asked companies to help, saying: ‘Today I’m calling on the great people of our state, those great business people, those manufacturers who are able to re-tool, to consider re-tooling.’
Companies who want to help can sign up here.
Last month cricket legend Shane Warne announced his SevenZeroEight distillery would stop making gin and start producing hand sanitiser in a ‘wartime effort’.
In an Instagram post, the 50-year-old said: ‘This is a challenging time for Australians and we all need to do what we can to help our healthcare system combat this disease and save lives.
‘I am happy SevenZeroEight has the ability to make this shift and encourage others to do the same.’
Health officials revealed there has been another death in NSW overnight, taking the state’s death toll to nine and the national death toll to 20.
A 95-year-old woman died at Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park, where several cases have previously been recorded.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 4,762
New South Wales: 2,182
Western Australia: 364
South Australia: 337
Australian Capital Territory: 80
Northern Territory: 19
TOTAL CASES: 4,762
Meanwhile, a new pop-up clinic has been set up at Bondi – a coronavirus hotspot – and expects to test 200 people a day.
It comes as farmers and fishers who had their exports derailed by coronavirus will be able to start sending their goods overseas again.
Air freight will be used to export Australian produce and bring back urgently needed medical supplies.
‘Getting our export sector back on its feet is crucial to reduce job losses through the crisis,’ Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said.
‘It’s a critical part of the ultimate economic recovery.’
The operation will also help prop up Australia’s struggling airlines, with the government spending $110 million to secure the flights.
Produce will be shipped to key Australian markets including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Fishers will also see $10 million worth of levies waived for the rest of the year.
Former Australia Post executive Michael Byrne will head the export operations.
Assistant Fisheries Minister Jonno Duniam said the industry had taken a massive hit when China shut its borders.
‘Unlocking key international markets will get thousands of fishers, divers, deckhands and processors back on the job,’ he said.