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50 people allowed in NSW restaurants, and everything else to know about COVID-19 today, Friday May 22.

50 people allowed in NSW restaurants from June 1.

Up to 50 people will be able to dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes from June 1 as the NSW government eases more COVID-19 restrictions.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday announced the “big and critical” step for the state but said very strict rules would be in place for venues.

They will still have to adhere to the four square metre rule, bookings of more than 10 people will be banned, and patrons won’t be allowed to stand.

Currently, dining venues can only have a maximum of 10 patrons if they maintain social distancing. That includes alcohol table service with meals at NSW pubs and clubs.

The increase in patronage aligns with the easing of regional travel restrictions across the state and the opening of museums, galleries and libraries from June 1.

It comes as NSW recorded its 50th COVID-19 death after an 80-year-old woman died in Concord Hospital.

Her death brings the national toll to 101.

One in five Aussies can’t support their families.

One in five Australians do not have enough work to support themselves and their families, a new study shows.

Think tank Per Capita has released a discussion paper looking at the economic cost of underemployment in Australia, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It points to Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data from April, where the monthly increase of underemployment was 50 per cent, or more than 600,000 people.

Centrelink
One-fifth of Australians aren't earning enough to support their family. Image: Getty.

The labour force underutilisation rate is about 20 per cent, so one in five Australians does not have sufficient work to support themselves and their families.

The report says there was a crisis of insecure work before COVID-19, with wages and productivity being suppressed by slack in the labour market.

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Report author Matthew Lloyd-Cape says underemployment is one of the biggest drags on the economy.

Australia's 20 per cent youth underemployment was among the highest of any advanced economy before coronavirus.

It's now at more than 27 per cent, with more than a quarter of young people in the labour market unable to find enough hours.

Per Capita says eliminating underemployment could inject more than $24 billion in wages into the economy each year, while providing the government with billions in tax revenue.

New Zealander allowed to enter Australia to visit dying sister.

A New Zealand woman has been reunited with her dying sister in Australia, after gaining an exemption from pandemic travel restrictions on compassionate grounds.

Australia had rejected Christine Archer's request for permission to fly from New Zealand four times before her story attracted media attention.

Her only sister, Gail Baker, was diagnosed with incurable ovarian cancer in late March after both countries stopped international travel.

Archer was eventually allowed to fly to Sydney and spent only a week in hotel quarantine before testing negative for the coronavirus. International travellers are usually quarantined for two weeks.

Family friends drove the retired nurse 490 kilometres from Sydney to the New South Wales state coastal town of Bowraville, where her younger sibling greeted her with a hug on Wednesday.

"I'm just so happy that I finally got to be here and be with her," Archer told the ABC.

"The last two weeks have been the hardest or the longest two weeks of my life."

Australia relented on Archer's travel application after it allowed the New Zealand Warriors rugby league team to relocate from Auckland in preparation for the NRL restarting next week.

Two new NSW cases from 9700 tests.

Coronavirus case numbers continue to drop in Australia, with only two new cases recorded in NSW in the last 24 hours.

The state will see the easing of regional travel restrictions across the state and the opening of museums, galleries and libraries from June 1, with the premier also flagging plans to allow international students back into NSW potentially through the hotel quarantine system.

The current COVID-19 figures.

Tasmania recorded no new cases yesterday, with just 14 active still in the state.

Despite the good figures, the island's premier says calls for an imminent reopening of the borders "doesn't make sense".

12 cases remain active in Queensland, with the state's premier urging Queenslanders to book a winter holiday close to home, despite the state's industry losing $53 million a day as state borders remain closed.

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Victoria had four new cases recorded yesterday, three of which were linked to the meatworks cluster in Melbourne which is now responsible for 106 infections.

From today in South Australia, cafes and restaurants can have indoor meals with 10 customers. The state recorded no new cases yesterday and has none still active.

Myer reopening next week.

Department store Myer will reopen the rest of its stores across Australia next week, as retailers get back to business amid COVID-19.

The bulk of the retailer's 60 stores will all be open on Wednesday after almost two months without customers inside the shops.

Some shoppers will get in store sooner with trial stores including in NSW's Blacktown, Eastgardens and Charlestown opening on Friday.

Myer reopening
Myer stores across the country are reopening next week. Image: Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty.

Several Myer stores in NSW, Queensland, WA and South Australia have already opened in line with the government's COVID-19 measures.

The retail giant has ramped up safety and cleaning measures in its stores, and suspended some close contact services like shoe fittings.

Europe struggling to get tracking apps up and running.

We've already got contact-tracing in place in Australia now (although not enough people have downloaded as of yet), but European governments are struggling to get their apps ready.

The French government has been forced to delay deployment of its planned contact-tracing app. Initially expected last week as the country started lifting confinement measures, it won't be ready before next month due to technical issues and concerns over privacy.

Coronavirus Emergency In Paris
People sitting by the river in Paris on May 20, on the tenth day of loosened restrictions. Image: Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty.
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday, the country's contact-tracing app would begin tests "in the coming days". But he made no mention of whether Italy had hired teams of contact-tracers to actually conduct interviews should it get up and running.

Spain is making preparations to test a European Bluetooth-based app at the end of June in the Canary Islands. But widespread adoption of the app has taken a backseat.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to have a "test, track and trace" program for COVID-19 in place by June 1, as part of a strategy to persuade the country that it's safe to move on to the next stage of easing the lockdown and restarting the economy. It's not been suggested "technical issues" are behind it's slow progress.

Around the world.

- About one in six people in London and one in 20 elsewhere in England have already contracted coronavirus, says the British Health Secretary.

- President Trump has once again ignored health advice by not wearing a mask when asked, on a factory tour in Michigan, telling reporters "I want to get our country back to normal. I want to normalise".

- Indonesia reported a record 973 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking its total to 20,162.

- Cape Town has seen an explosion of cases, with more than 12,000 infections confirmed.

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty.

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

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