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Australia Makes Progress on Virus Response


Prime Minister Scott Morrison says progress is being made on restoring the economy as inroads are made in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most state and territory leaders told a national cabinet meeting on May 29 they were hopeful of getting to stage three of the reopening by the end of July.

Stage three involves gatherings of 100 people and reopening of state borders to travellers.

The Northern Territory will be the first to achieve stage three, setting a June 5 date, while Western Australia is hopeful of reaching that point mid-June.

Queensland has set out a timetable to hit stage two on June 12 and stage three on July 10, with Tasmania reaching that point three days later.

Victoria has pencilled in late-July for stage three, while South Australia and NSW have made no promises.

The ACT is aiming for mid-July.

“Were on track and were making progress far sooner than we could have ever imagined several months ago,” Morrison said.

The prime minister and premiers signed a $131 billion hospital deal on Friday and pledged to keep the national cabinet going as a series of monthly meetings after the pandemic.

As well treasurers will now have responsibility for national partnership agreements on services – like hospitals – which carve up billions.

Morrison said he remained optimistic interstate travel would restart nationally by July.

NSW is preparing to ease restrictions on religious services, funerals and weddings from Monday, bringing the rules closer to pubs and restaurants.

Victoria has annRead More – Source