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Australians have a personal responsibility to curb virus

Photo: Personal responsibility to curb virus: CMO
The nation's chief medical officer says Australians have a personal responsibility to practice social distancing and avoid crowds as restrictions are relaxed.

Australia could see a second wave of coronavirus infections if people continue to crowd into public places such as shopping centres.

As restrictions ease across the states and territories, Australia's chief medical officer is putting the onus on individuals.

"That second wave that we've talked about, none of us want to get it, but it is not as much about the rules and regulations as it is about personal responsibility," Brendan Murphy told reporters.

Images have emerged of dense crowds of people flocking to shopping centres over the weekend.
"If you are going to a shopping centre to buy something, go and buy something, but don't hang around the shopping centre for half-an-hour mingling for no purpose. Go home," Professor Murphy said.

"If you are arriving at a shopping centre and you find a crowd at an escalator not wanting to practise social distancing or crowding together, don't go in. Leave. Come back later.

"If a lift opens and you find it is full of people, don't get in. All of these things are really important."

He said businesses should refuse to serve people with flu-like symptoms, and bosses should send workers home if they are sick.

Australia recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, taking the national tally to 6941.

Victoria will on Monday follow the other states and territories in outlining its three-stage plan to ease social and business restrictions.

From Monday, Tasmanians will be able to visit aged care facilities and national parks and reserves within 30 kilometres of their home for exercise, among other changes.

South Australia will start opening up regional travel and allow caravans and camping.

Deloitte economist Chris Richardson expects the coronavirus to plunge Australia $143 billion into deficit this financial year.

Some communities devastated by the summer bushfire crisis are feeling forgotten as the country responds to coronavirus.

Rebekha Sharkie from Centre Alliance wants Andrew Colvin, the head of the national bushfire recovery agency, to front a Senate inquiry into COVID-19.

Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud has no problem with the idea.

"Andrew Colvin has an open door to every politician in this country and every community," Mr Littleproud told ABC radio.

The federal government has pledged at least $2 billion towards bushfire recovery efforts.

"There is nothing to hide here, this is Australian taxpayers' money, we want to get it out the door and into the hands of those people that have been impacted," Mr Littleproud said.


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