Social restrictions eased in New South Wales
The NSW government says that from Friday restrictions on house visits in the state will be eased, with two adults permitted to visit another household.
Newmarch House operator Anglicare said the 89-year-old female resident died on Monday night, taking the state’s death toll to 37 and national toll to 84.
“This coronavirus pandemic has been unprecedented in terms of its scale and impact across the world. But more importantly we know what a devastating effect it is having on older people,” Anglicare chief executive Grant Millard said in a statement.
COVID-19 was introduced to the Caddens facility by an aged care worker who worked for six consecutive days while suffering very mild respiratory symptoms.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday said that with new COVID-19 cases on the decline in NSW, the government could reassess restrictions at the end of each month.
The government has already announced its back-to-school plan from May 11, and will this week permit a maximum of two adults to visit another household for social or care reasons. Those with children can also bring them to the household.
Ms Berejiklian also expected an uptick in retail activity throughout May.
“We know that for many people, they’ve been cooped up in their homes for a number of weeks, and with the exception of exercising, medical needs or buying what they need to or going to work, many people have been isolated,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to a level of social responsibility,” she said. “This isn’t a licence to go wild and have massive parties, but it is a licence to be socially responsible and accept that the government is easing these restrictions to supply better mental health and less social isolation for everybody.”
She admitted that health authorities expected the change to increase the number of new COVID-19 cases but said NSW hospitals were prepared.
Those aged over 70 should remain at home as much as possible.
Bondi beach, meanwhile, has reopened for swimming and surfing but the sand will remain closed given the area boasts the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Australia.
Waverley Council mayor Paula Masselos said the waters at Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches would reopen on Tuesday “for the sole purpose of exercising”.
People will be able to surf or swim between 7am and 5pm on weekdays, with access to the water via designated entry and exit points.
The mayor said the “swim and go” and “surf and go” measures were strictly for Waverley residents and people shouldn’t drive to the beaches from further afield.