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Coronavirus Australia latest: the week at a glance

 the latest weekly developments on the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. This is Luke Henriques-Gomes and it’s Friday 26 June.

Concern mounts over Victoria’s rising COVID cases

This week Victoria emerged as a focal point of concern for authorities, amid daily double-digit increases in cases and sustained community transmission. Australia Cryptocurrency News It triggered a huge demand for testing that led to waits of up to four hours at some testing sites, while the Victorian government called in the defence force for support.

The Victorian government revealed eight local government areas as “hotspots”, and then disclosed specific suburbs where community transmission was a problem – and said residents would get free tests from door-to-door mobile clinics. The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, told her citizens they should avoid mixing with Victorians, although the states’ borders remain open.

Victoria reports 30 new coronavirus cases and another six diagnosed with Covid-19 in NSW

Coles and Woolworths reintroduce item limits Australia Stock Market As cases climbed in Victoria, reports of panic-buying began to emerge across suburban supermarkets in Melbourne. Woolworths said on Thursday it would pre-emptively introduce products limits at its Victorian stores on essential items such as toilet paper, and Coles followed suit later in the day. On Friday, both chains introduced product limits nationally, prompting the prime minister, Scott Morrison, to label the behaviour from some shoppers as “ridiculous”.

Qantas slashes 6,000 jobs, warns international travel a year away

The national carrier Qantas on Thursday slashed a whopping 6,000 jobs and informed 15,000 workers they would remain stood down as the airline industry struggles to cope with the coronavirus-induced economic downturn. Chief executive Alan Joyce said the 15,000 workers – half the airline’s workforce – would be stood down for a long time because he did not expect international travel to resume until July next year.

Virgin administrators settle on a final bidder

As Qantas’ woes continued, Australia’s other embattled airline, Virgin Australia, looked poised to have a new owner. Australia Press Release Distribution Service On Friday, administrators Deloitte say they have committed to selling the stricken airline to US private equity group Bain Capital.

Government announces $250m arts rescue package

The federal government announced a $250m support package for the arts and cultural sectors, including a $90m concessional loans fund. Guy Sebastian, who lobbied for the package, was on hand on Thursday as the package was unveiled. It came after the government faced criticism over a lack of support for the arts sector, with the industry claiming thousands of its workers were locked out of the jobkeeper program because they are not classed as employees.

Despite the package, some insiders warned it would not be enough to keep some venues and businesses afloat. Separately, the National Gallery of Australia announced plans to slash future acquisitions and staff.

The ABC embarks on restructure, with massive job losses

Citing a funding shortfall caused by government cuts, the ABC announced a massive restructure this week, including the closure of the ABC Life website, the end of the flagship 7.45am radio bulletin, and the axing of 250 jobs across the national broadcaster. Among the casualties was the broadcaster’s national head of emergency broadcasting, although the network insisted its coverage of national disasters would not change.

Questions raised over multicultural outreach

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The federal and Victorian governments faced questions about the effectiveness of outreach efforts to migrant communities as part of their Covid-19 responses. Australia Sports News Many of the “hotspot” suburbs in Melbourne have been in areas with large multicultural communities.

Amid those concerns, Muslim leaders said they were worried unconfirmed media reports that one Covid cluster in Melbourne originated at an Eid party could stoke Islamophobia. The government has also established an “army” of door-to-door public health workers to provide information and testing in hotspot areas.

Distancing eases for small venues, hotel quarantine remains

The national cabinet met on Friday, where the prime minister and state and territory leaders agreed to ease physical distancing rules for venues of 100 people or fewer, in line with restrictions in Tasmania and Western Australia. The states will apply the new rules at their own discretion. The leaders also agreed hotel quarantine would continue for international travellers, including a new requirement to be tested for coronavirus on the way in and out.

Unis lash out over Coalition’s fee shake up

University leaders criticised the government’s plans to hike university fees for humanities courses in a bid to direct prospective students towards so-called priority Australia Political News courses such as science and technology. Amid the furore, one researcher said the change would result in a $750m hit in total funding available from student and government contributions for commonwealth-supported places in all subjects.

Coronavirus Australia: Scott Morrison to meet bank chiefs as economic cliff looms

Business groups worried about end of free childcare, job keeper. The Senate Covid-19 committee this week heard from worried business groups, as well as the small business ombudsman, about the end of two of the government’s key coronavirus economic responses. Free childcare is scheduled to end 13 July, while the jobkeeper wage subsidy is expected to cease in September. In the same month, the unemployment benefit jobseeker is slated to halve.

NSW tourist spots worry about Victorian travellers

The rising case numbers in Victoria are also spooking those in NSW, particularly businesses who are gearing up for the snow season. Australia News Some businesses said they were worried Victorians would bring the virus into their communities. Technically, Victorians are not restricted from entering NSW, although authorities have urged people who live in the Covid “hotspots” in Melbourne to stay in the local government area.

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