ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE
Australia recovery remains slow as vaccine hesitancy emerges.
- Australia has urged its over-50s to get vaccinated. This comes after growing evidence that older Australians are more concerned about the AstraZeneca vaccine’s side-effects than catching the virus.
- On 19 May, Prime Minister Scott Morrison turned away pleas from industry stakeholders like airlines, tourism operators and universities to reopen Australia’s borders before 2022. Plans to relax travel restrictions are contingent on vaccination progress.
- In early May, New South Wales reported a local transmission – the first in over a month. Restrictions that had been eased after local infections dwindled could be re-imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
- Earlier this month, Victoria also reported a locally transmitted case of COVID-19 on 11 May. This is the first time in over two months a local transmission has been observed. Subsequently, on 26 May, Victoria saw its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases since October 2020.
- To deal with this “highly-infectious outbreak”, the state of Victoria has imposed a lockdown from 27 May to 3 June. People will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential work, healthcare, grocery shopping, exercise or to get a coronavirus vaccination.