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COVID-19 Costs $4bn a Week

05 May 2020 by News Desk

COVID-19 emergency is costing Australia $4bn a week as lockdown restrictions and welfare payments hit government finances hard.

One million Australians are currently receiving the JobSeeker welfare payment; five million are receiving $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments, and once million are accessing their pension accounts.

Ongoing restrictions are costing the nation about $4 billion a week, pushing the government to relax lockdown rules and restart the economy when the cabinet meets this week.

Chief Health Officer Brendan Murphy says that when Australians do return to work, changes will need to be implemented such as scrapping hot-desking and staggering start and finish times.

Among the measures that will be needed include “cleaning products everywhere”, people not shaking hands, people not crowding into meeting rooms, and more video conferencing to replace interstate travel.

COVID-19 tracing app

More than 5 million Australians have downloaded the COVIDSafe contact tracing app, almost one-third of all smartphone users in the country.

New Zealand and Australia are planning to establish a non-quarantine zone between the two countries as a first step to resuming international travel but it could take months to begin operating. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he hoped interstate travel would resume in the next school term holidays, around early July.

The Jetstar budget airline says it could cut Sydney to Melbourne airfares to just $19 to stimulate passenger demand once COVID-19 travel restrictions ease.

There are almost 3.6 million confirmed cases worldwide, with over 250,000 deaths. Around 1.2 million people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University

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