There have been a lot of big announcements across Australia today about measures which are designed to slow the spread of coronavirus and will affect our day-to-day lives.
Here’s what you need to know about today’s news.
Who gets access to child care in Victoria?
There’s been a lot of uncertainty surrounding child care in Melbourne since stage 4 coronavirus restrictions were imposed on the city.
Childcare centres will only remain open for vulnerable children and “permitted workers”, which means many families will miss out on that support.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the change would be “very challenging for many families” and the decision to limit childcare had been taken to reduce people’s movements within the community.
Those eligible to use child care will need to complete an Access to Childcare Permit, which will be available later this afternoon.
“If you are a permitted worker, regardless of whether you are working in person or from home, and you attest that there is no-one else in your household that can look after your children, you will be able with that very simple permit to access child care,” Mr Andrews said.
Who is a permitted worker? The term covers a range of occupations and industries.
We list those industries here.
The Government is expected to provide clarity about in-home child minding later today.
Funding to keep childcare centres open
Parents who need to keep their children home from child care will be able to do so without incurring any extra cost and losing their place.
Under a plan announced today by Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, parents will be given an extra 30 days of “allowable absences” and childcare centres will be encouraged to waive gap fees.
The Government will give childcare centres top-up payments.
NSW to quarantine Victorians
Anyone entering NSW from Victoria will be placed in mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense, but there will be exceptions for those suffering financial hardship.
The new laws, announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, will begin 12:01am on Friday.
She said the extension of hotel quarantine was prompted by “worsening news” about COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
The quarantine rule will not apply to people who live in border communities. There is no change to current arrangements there.
Under the plan, all airports in NSW will close to flights from Victoria, except for Sydney Airport, in an attempt to control the flow of returned travellers.
Queensland tightens its borders
Queensland will close its border to all of New South Wales and the ACT from 1:00am on Saturday.
People from Victoria are already banned.
Queenslanders who return from “declared coronavirus hotspots” will be sent to mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was worried about the rate of community transmission in the southern states.
“We cannot risk a second wave. We have to act decisively,” she said.
“We have to put Queenslanders first.”
The border closures will be reviewed at the end of August.