In Australia, state leaders are reconsidering plans to reopen borders after a spike of Covid-19 cases in Victoria.
On Saturday the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced that the easing of some restrictions would be delayed after the state saw a spike in cases. Victoria recorded 25 new cases across the state on Saturday, the highest in two months, following rises of 13, 18 and 21 cases over the three days prior. The state now has more than 100 active cases.
â€œWe are absolutely at risk of a second peak,â€ Victoriaâ€™s chief health officer Brett Sutton said on Saturday.
â€œThe danger of not acting now in terms of additional constraints at a household level is that those numbers will get beyond us, get beyond the ability of contact traces to follow everyone.â€
In response, a number of states are now reconsidering plans to reopen internal borders which were shut at the height of the pandemic. Neighbouring South Australia is due to reopen on 20 July, but its government is closely monitoring the situation in Victoria and has not ruled out staying closed.
â€œWe will not open our borders to Victoria unless it is safe to do so,â€ health minister Stephen Wade said on Saturday. â€œOur number one priority is the health of South Australians.â€
Similarly Queensland has declared all of Melbourneâ€™s 31 local government areas Covid-19 hotspots, meaning anyone who travels to the city must self-quarantine for 14 days if they return to Queensland.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young says the hotspots now include all 31 local government areas in greater Melbourne, as well as bordering areas of Murrindindi, Mitchell, Moorabool, Macedon Ranges and Greater Geelong.
From midnight on Sunday, Victorians will only be able to have five people at their homes and gatherings outside the home will be restricted to 10. Cafes, restaurants and pubs were set to expand their number of patrons from 20 to 50 on Monday, but this is now on hold – a blow to ailing businesses desperate for recovery.
On Sunday St Maryâ€™s Catholic school in Melbourneâ€™s south-east said it will temporary close due to at least one positive coronavirus case.