- Amid the rising number of new cases in the Victoria state, stage 3 lockdown restrictions to stay at home has been in force from 8 July to 19 August 2020.
- The stock market dipped after Victoria lockdown announcement on Tuesday; however today market seems to have recovered from its impact.
- Australian Medical Association (AMA) called for a pause in ease of restrictions for sometimes.
From the onset of the pandemic, Australia is among the nations who have handled the crisis well and succeeded in flattening the curve earlier than anticipated. Due to this, the economy could begin to reopen soon in a phase wised manner.
The federal government carefully discussed with the experts and took advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on how to lift the restrictions safely and gradually.
At a time when the nation was about to completely lift all restrictions in July, as per the National Cabinet 3-step plan, Victoria started giving shockwaves by reporting new cases. On 7 July, Victoria reported 191 new cases, and on 8 July, 134 new cases have emerged, which is enormous if we compare with the number of cases reported in other states.
Stay at home restrictions return in Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday afternoon announced the re-implementation of restrictions after the state all of a sudden reported a large number of new cases overnight.
Due to the increasing cases, following the expert advice by the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the state government announced that metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire would return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 8 July 2020, and it will remain till Wednesday 19 August 2020. The six-week-long lockdown in Victoria state will have enormous damaging effects on the economy as businesses will close in these areas like it was in March, and cafes and restaurants will again return to home deliveries and take-aways.
Stay at home: Aussies living in these areas are advised not to leave home unless absolutely necessary, same rules go for crossing the borders.
For schools: As planned, all year 11 and 12 students will go back to school for Term 3 from 13 July, along with special school students.
School for students preparing for Year 10 will be delayed by a week so that the government can take some decision based on the views from the public health experts. Also, in the meantime teachers will plan if remote learning would be more appropriate.
How ASX reacted to stage 3 lockdown in Victoria?
When Premier Daniel Andrews announced the same on the afternoon of 7 July, the benchmark index started reacting negatively, and the pattern continued till 8 July. After two days of the gloomy trading sessions, the ASX rebounded today by going up by 1.26 per cent at AES: 2:39 pm.
Stock markets across the globe are turbulent - thanks to the virus crisis, and until some effective treatment comes into effect, the uncertainty seems to hover in the market.
Govt had warned about possible lockdown reimpose if cases rise
With pandemic affecting different parts of the world, any carelessness towards the precautions could cost a lot in terms of economic losses, health problems and general well-being of people. Hence, all governments across the nations are urging people to strictly follow the precautions to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection.
The Australian government also always maintained that it is everyone responsibility to protect the most vulnerable people around them.
The government had previously said that the restrictions would be eased in the phased manner, and the situations will continuously be monitored to assess the impact of easing restrictions so that the government can take the immediate decision accordingly.
The government had also stated that it could reimpose the restrictions in some parts of countries if the situation arises, the continued success depends on people, how they follow the hygiene and social distancing. During the pandemic period, the responsibility of their well-being also lies with the people.
Visa holder arrangement during the crisis
The Federal government is temporarily amending the visa holder arrangements and issuing guidelines for the various industries during the crisis. The instructions are in the best interest of the public and sectors to ensure rapid recovery.
Overseas employees have the same rights under the Australian workplace law as the Australian employees and employers have to abide.
During the Covid-19 crisis, old age care providers, especially who have RACS ID or NAPS ID, need to ensure that the older people are appropriately taken care as they are the most vulnerable group. Hence, the government has provided temporary relaxation of working hours so that overseas students who work in such places can extend their working hours. It is only applicable to the existing employees.
Student visa holders who have enrolled in nursing can start work to help the Australian community during the crisis. The government will take no enforcement action in this situation.
For the agriculture sector, the government is making flexible arrangements to allow overseas workers to extend their stay in the country and those who work in critical industries will be excluded from the 6-month work limitation with one employer.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that the recent cases in Melbourne and Victoria clearly shows that the battle is long, and the community needs to learn to live with the novel virus.
On 5 July, AMA called for a temporary pause in ease of restrictions in all states and territories. The cases are also a warning for other states, and as per AMA, they need to be extra careful while taking any decision on further easing of restrictions.
We can look at the new cases as a break to the speedy recovery of the Australian economy, and it is also an alert that any carelessness is going to cost a lot to the country. Hence all government and health guidelines need to be strictly followed from maintaining hygiene to 1.5 meters social distance.
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