Medical body warns of Australia's COVID-19 'restriction fatigue'

Medical body warns of Australia's COVID-19 'restriction fatigue'

Coronavirus restrictions were reimposed in Australia's southern state of Victoria on Saturday, following a persistent rise in infections over the past few days.

Victoria reported 19 new infections on Sunday, the fifth day of double-digit rises.

It includes three new cases linked to an outbreak among contractors working at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, where returned worldwide travellers have been quarantined, bringing the total number of cases in that cluster to 13.

"We have had particularly some concerns around family gatherings, extended family members across many households, visiting each other even when they have been exhibiting mild symptoms", said Minister Mikakos. "It is still a very serious situation", Mikakos said at a televised media conference in Melbourne. Outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 10.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said enforcement of the law would be strengthened again after the health advice change prompted by the uptick in cases.

Premier Dan Andrews had been criticised for his cautious approach to lifting restrictions, including re-opening schools, but his fears appear to have been realised with rising case-numbers since the state started to ease its Covid-19 rules earlier this month.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said a powerful second wave of coronavirus could be devastating for Queenslanders. "Victoria Police will continue to be out in force, using their powers to help slow the spread". Gyms, cinemas, indoor sports centres and concert venues will still open for the first time on Monday, but also with a limit of 20 people.

"It is a timely reminder that in a population that is non-immune to the virus, to COVID-19, that we will get, from time to time, outbreaks an clusters as we have seen in Victoria".

Pubs, cafes and restaurants were set to increase their capacity from 20 people to 50, but that measure has been put on hold.

"We all want to see friends, we all want to see family, we all want the kind of psychological break of doing things that are normal", he said. "It's vital we follow these directions to keep our community transmission numbers low and protect more Victorians".

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