Further restrictions announced in Australian state
Victoria state, Australia’s coronavirus hot spot, has announced that businesses will be closed and scaled down in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
Victoria premier Daniel Andrews said non-essential businesses will close from late tomorrow in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.
The new restrictions followed Mr Andrews on
Sunday declaring a disaster in Melbourne and introducing an evening curfew for six weeks. He predicted the latest restrictions would cost 250,000 jobs.
Victoria announced yesterday 429 new infections and 13 more deaths overnight.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton said the infection rate would continue at 400 or 500 new Covid-19 cases a day without the new restrictions.
Industries that will have to close on-site operations for six weeks include most retail and manufacturing.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said yesterday that workers in Victoria state will be entitled to a 1,500 Australian dollar (€900) payment if they are required to self-isolate for 14 days and they do not have paid sick leave.
Meanwhile, a Norwegian cruise ship line has halted all trips and apologised for procedural errors after an outbreak of coronavirus on one ship infected at least five passengers and 36 crew.
Health authorities fear the ship could have infected dozens of towns and villages along Norway’s western coast. The 41 people on the MS Roald Amundsen who tested positive have been admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle, where the ship currently is docked.
“A preliminary evaluation shows that there has been a failure in several of our internal procedures,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.
He added the company that sails along Norway’s picturesque coast between Bergen in the south and Kirkenes in the north is “now in the process of a full review of all procedures, and all aspects of our own handling”.
The cruise line has contacted passengers who were on the MS Roald Amundsen for its July 17 and July 24 departures from Bergen to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, known for its polar bears.
All 158 crew members on MS Roald Amundsen have been tested and 122 were negative. There were 209 guests on the first voyage and 178 on the second voyage.
In France, beach resorts, promenades on the Loire River and farmers markets in the Alps are among scores of spots around the country where everyone is now required to wear a mask outdoors.
Australian PM Scott Morrison.