Australia has been dealing relatively well with the COVID-19 situation and it has some of the best testing rates in the world.
According to Our World in Data, it takes hundreds or even thousands of tests to find a positive case in the country.
Despite this, the states of New South Wales and Victoria are now facing the second wave of the disease.
In the last 15 days, the number of new cases in both states increased and the Australian government made some important changes regarding the lockdown measures.
Have a look at our post to see what has changed so far.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Since the community transmission raised in the state in recent weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged people to keep the precautions and stay safe:
At the moment, New South Wales has 188 active cases of Coronavirus.
The areas where most of the cases of COVID-19 were concentrated are called “hotspots”.
Currently, Fairfield East, Liverpool, North Sydney, Sydney City, Randwick City, Northern Beaches, and Campbelltown are considered hotspots in NSW. You can check the complete list here.
From 1 August, Greater Sydney will be added as a hotspot and other areas are going to be announced.
Rules that are now applicable in New South Wales:
Since 24 July, venues such as cafes, pubs, registered clubs, casinos, and restaurants have reduced the maximum of customers per booking or per table from 20 to 10 people. Also, alcohol can only be consumed by seated customers.
Besides, the NSW government has closed the border with Victoria.
People who have been in Victoria within the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter New South Wales unless they are exempt or have a border entry permit.
If you want to see more about what you can and cannot do in NSW, access the website.
The number of cases in Victoria has been growing a lot over the last weeks.
Currently, Victoria has 4,839 active cases. The main reason for the COVID-19 spread is due to community transmission and large gatherings in the state.
Victoria is in lockdown since 8 July and there is no prediction to lose its current restrictions.
Restaurants and cafes are only open for takeaway and delivery services. Pubs, bars, and nightclubs will remain closed until further notice.
Also, Premier Daniel Andrews warns people to use common sense and make their own part.
The suburbs Tarneit, Melbourne City, Roxburgh Park, and Craigieburn are some of the hotspots in VIC. At the present time, there are 79 hotspots in Victoria and you can find the full list here.
Since 22 July, it is mandatory to use face masks in public areas in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. The non-compliance of the rule will lead to a $200 fine.
It is extremely important to use masks, hand sanitizer, and keep social distancing whenever possible.
We are aware of the risks that Coronavirus can bring to our lives, so let’s make our part and stay safe.
COVID-19: ALL AUSTRALIA
Meanwhile, in Queensland, three new cases were confirmed after two young women returned from a trip to Melbourne in the last week. The state has now 11 active cases.
Also, Queensland closed its borders to Greater Sydney this week.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that “vigilance is key to keeping community transmission out of Queensland.”
Western Australia and South Australia recorded one new case.
There are no new cases in the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania.
Overall, Australia has 16,303 confirmed cases, with 9,758 recovered, and 189 deaths.
The statistics are constantly changing and if you want to know more about the updates, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Even though most of the restrictions were eased recently in the country, it is highly recommended to maintain the precautions, such as good hygiene and social distancing.
Also, the authorities are monitoring and following the proper measures to keep Australia safe.
What changes for international students during COVID-19?
On 20 July, the government announced some positive changes regarding student visas.
The changes aim to keep Australia as one of the top countries for international students.
Since the international borders were closed in March, it has been affecting thousands of students. Consequently, it also had a massive impact on the economy of the country.
That way, the five visa changes below will be essential to international students:
1. The Government will recommence granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia. This means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel.
2. International students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge. It will be valid if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19.
3. Current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
4. Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19.
5. Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
To know more, check this link.