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Australia’s biggest states to keep lockdown for Mother’s Day

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Australia’s two most populous states on Thursday refused to allow a one-day reprieve from strict limits on personal movement for Mother’s Day this weekend, even as the country’s rate of new coronavirus cases remains low.

The premiers of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria said the states’ roughly 14 million residents, 56% of the country’s population, would have to stick to existing restrictions on movement on Mother’s Day, which is celebrated nationally on Sunday.

“Whilst national cabinet is considering easing some restrictions from Friday in terms of the national guidelines, I doubt very much that NSW will be in a position to implement anything before Mother’s Day,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Thursday.

“We will be able to visit them, two adults and children at any one time, and of course that can happen multiple times a day as long as everybody is careful.”

NSW recently eased a stay-at-home order to allow social visits in groups of up to two, while some other states have also taken tentative steps to unwind lockdown measures, but most have kept restrictions broadly in place.

Australia has confirmed just under 6,900 COVID-19 cases, including 97 deaths. Twenty new infections were reported across four states on Thursday, the bulk linked to an outbreak at a meat processing plant in Victoria. The rate could rise as other states and territories report during the day.

Read more via Reuters

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