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Health experts urged Australians to stay home over Easter

Photo: Australians urged to stay home over Easter
The chief medical officer says containment and quarantine is the best strategy to beat COVID-19 but if a vaccine is found, that would be a beautiful way out.

Australians have been urged to stay home with their immediate families over Easter to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

The daily increase in new cases has dropped to about three per cent, but health experts are concerned COVID-19 could be widely transmitted among unwitting community members.

Health Minister Greg Hunt warned abandoning social distancing rules over the long weekend would undo everything done to curtail the crisis.

"The virus doesn't take a holiday," Mr Hunt told the Ten Network.
Federal parliament will meet briefly on Wednesday to pass a $130 billion wage subsidy scheme, which will see eligible workers paid $1500 a fortnight.

Labor is concerned more than one million casual workers are being denied access to the JobKeeper program, but will approve the spending regardless.

The scheme is designed to save six million jobs.

More than 500 people have been infected with coronavirus by someone in the community who didn't know they had it.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says that's why people shouldn't be complacent.

More than 5800 Australians have caught the coronavirus and 48 have died.

The government continues to work on the basis that the tough restrictions and economic support for businesses suffering under them will only need to be in place for six months.

Mr Morrison says the six-month timeframe for Australia's economic support measures is one of the longest in the world.

Leaders and medical officials are now looking at how the nation will find its way out of the twin health and economic crises.

Professor Murphy says containment and quarantine is the best strategy since a vaccine for COVID-19 may not be found, but if one was, "That's a beautiful way out."

The prime minister has cautioned the resources and ability of state and federal governments to keep up the economic lifeline are finite.

Meanwhile, education ministers have agreed that all year 12 students will be able to finish school in 2020 despite the coronavirus-induced disruptions to their face-to-face education.

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