SYDNEY – The Australian government announced on Friday that it will allow the reopening of small cafes and restaurants in the first of three stages established in the plan for economic resumption paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regional governments of the country’s eight states and territories announced the phase calendar.
New daily infections have decreased significantly, 22 cases were announced Thursday, so the government intends to take the initial step to regain normalcy.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the first stage would allow for greater connection with family and friends, seeing the return of children to classes and playgrounds in their communities.
Cafes will have in the first stage have a limited capacity and physical distance regulations, while meetings of up to 10 people or the visit of five guests in a home will also be allowed, in addition to recreational activities such as golf or swimming in pools.
Morrison said there would be risks, challenges, outbreaks, more cases and setbacks and that not everything would go as planned, adding that there was no expectation that the first stage would begin immediately unless it is the decision of each state or Australian territory.
Almost 6,900 people have been infected with COVID-19 in the country, of whom 97 have died, especially in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.
Each Australian state and territory has been advancing in its fight against the novel coronavirus at different speeds, so restrictive measures have been applied and will be relaxed in different ways.
Progress toward the second and third phase, where meetings of up to 100 people will be allowed and the reopening of other businesses such as beauty salons and gyms, will depend on the progress made.
Australia’s economy, which has had almost 30 years of sustained growth, has also suffered a major blow as a result of the pandemic, which is why parliament has approved several multibillion-dollar plans to help companies and workers.