Good evening, here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. This is Luke Henriques-Gomes and it is Sunday 17 May.
Pubs to open in Victoria … soon
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced cafes, restaurants and the dining areas of pubs and clubs could serve to up 20 patrons from 1 June. That will increase to 50 patrons from 22 June, and 100 people by mid-July. However, Andrews also said patrons would be required to give their names and other details to venues upon entry for tracing purposes.
NSW and Queensland at loggerheads over border closures
The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, sought to pressure the Queensland government to open the state’s borders. Victorians and NSW residents have been able to cross the border during the crisis, but Queensland has been steadfast in its resolve. Berejiklian said the borders should be opened as soon as possible, citing the impact on business. But the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the borders would remain closed while there was still community transmission in the southern states.
Probe over aged care employee who worked while waiting for test
Queensland authorities said they would investigate the circumstances that saw an aged care employee continue working while she was waiting for a Covid-19 test. The receptionist went on to test positive, sending the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre into lockdown. Nearly 200 people have so far tested negative, while 35 low-risk residents have been moved from the home.
Chinese government won’t answer trade minister’s calls
The trade minister, Simon Birmingham, told the ABC his calls to his Chinese counterparts “ought to be returned”. He has been seeking to protest the Chinese government’s decision to impose restrictions on Australian barley and beef exports, which have been widely interpreted as retaliation for Australia’s push for a international inquiry into the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Victoria dominates new Covid-19 infections, while many states are free of new cases
NSW recorded one new case of Covid-19, while states including Tasmania, WA and Queensland had no new cases overnight. But in Victoria, there were seven new cases announced. Two were linked to the massive cluster at the Cedar Meats abattoir in Melbourne, where nearly 100 cases have been confirmed. More cases were found at two more businesses, with the Victorian government saying both sites were being closed for deep cleaning and all staff were being tested.
Looking for more coverage? Read the latest news from across the Guardian’s global network.