Parents warned over return to schools
As New South Wales students get ready to return to school on Monday, parents have been warned they better show up.
Any children kept home from a NSW school from next week because of coronavirus concerns will be marked as absent.
The warning comes as the NSW government is expected to make an official announcement today that recreational regional travel will recommence from June 1.
The nation's death toll reached 100 yesterday after a 93-year-old woman became the 19th person to die at Newmarch House aged care home in Sydney's west, a facility that accounts for almost a fifth of all known coronavirus deaths in Australia.
Australia has recorded 7067 cases of COVID-19 so far with 100 deaths. Cases include 3078 in New South Wales, 1573 in Victoria, 1057 in Queensland, 439 in South Australia, 557 in Western Australia, 226 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.
More coronavirus updates here.
Warning as Australian death toll hits 100
Australians have been cautioned to remain vigilant, with the national death toll from the coronavirus now at 100.
The death of a 93-year-old female resident at Sydney's Newmarch House nursing home on Tuesday was the 49th death in NSW and took the national toll into triple digits.
It was also the 17th at the Anglicare-run facility in western Sydney, triggering a warning from senior government ministers.
"This tragic toll reminds us that even as Australian states and territories move towards easing of restrictions, the threat of this virus remains," Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
"The government has outlined a clear pathway to recovery, but Australians everywhere should stay alert, follow physical distancing guidelines and look out for each other."
Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said he was deeply saddened by the latest death at Newmarch House, which underlined the danger COVID-19 posed to vulnerable and senior Australians.
"We are not out of the woods. Protecting our most vulnerable is everybody's responsibility."
Four nursing homes in Melbourne have gone into lockdown after a resident from each were tested for the virus.
Three have returned positive results while results for a fourth are pending.
Last week, it was announced the aged care royal commission would examine the impact of COVID-19 on residential and home aged care.
Global emissions dropped by 17% during virus peak
Restrictions in place because of the coronavirus resulted in global emissions declining by 17 per cent in April, a new study has found.
The preliminary analysis was published in Nature Climate Change on Wednesday and is the effort of a global team including researchers from the CSIRO.
It found the peak decline of a 17 per cent drop in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources occurred on April 7.
The decrease is compared to the same time last year, and resulted in a level of emissions not seen since 2006.
MP investigated over trip during lockdown
Police are investigating a trip embattled Whitsundays MP Jason Costigan took while lockdowns were in place.
The former LNP member travelled to Cooktown in Queensland to announce the new candidate for his party NQ First in the seat of Cook, outraging locals.
The Courier Mail reports a Queensland Police Service spokeswoman confirmed an investigation had been launched this week.
Bigger crowds at pubs and restaurants
Crowds of 20 could be allowed in pubs and restaurants in NSW within a month.
The Daily Telegraph reports Premier Gladys Berejiklian is targeting a four-week deadline to boost patrons in dining venues as part of a push to save the industry.
Currently, venues can only have 10 patrons.
Restrictions set to ease for Canberra
Gatherings for up to 20 people could be allowed in Canberra from May 30 and gyms could be able to reopen.
The ACT will move to stage two restrictions at the end of the month and then make a decision about stage three by June 19, providing infections stay under control.
"If we continue on our current path of suppressing new COVID-19 infections over the next 10 days, then we will move to stage two on Saturday, May 30," Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.
States urged to open borders to tourists
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has urged state and territory governments to open their borders to domestic holidaymakers when safe, as Qantas prepares for travel restrictions to be eased as soon as July.
Queensland has flagged border closures with southern states could remain until at least September because of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting despair from tourism groups.
WA and SA have also signalled their borders will remain shut until the end of winter.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein, meanwhile, says it is far too early to set a date.
"If we can continue to follow those rules … I expect that in July we will be able to set a date for when our borders will come down. To set a date now … would not be common sense," Mr Gutwein said.
Senator Birmingham said states and territories should continue on the roadmap to reopening.
"Those states who've got border controls in place, assuming we've continued to see very low rates of transmission of COVID-19, ought to be looking at opening up their borders," he told the Nine Network.
The senator later said there was no reason why state borders couldn't reopen well before September if Australia continued to see success in containing the virus.
Aussies' shocking virus beliefs
A new poll has revealed how many Aussies think 5G and Bill Gates are behind the COVID-19 pandemic and where they think the virus came from.
One in eight Aussies believe the 5G network is being used to spread COVID-19.
The same number of people (12 per cent) believe the coronavirus is not dangerous and is being used to force people to get vaccines, while 12 per cent think Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates "played a role" in its creation and spread.
Two in five think the virus was engineered and released from a Chinese laboratory in the original epicentre Wuhan.
Aussie virus inquiry gets green light
The World Health Assembly (WHA) has passed a motion to conduct an independent review of the global coronavirus response, including the source of the virus and how it was transmitted to humans.
The lengthy motion, proposed by more than 130 states including Australia, New Zealand, the UK and EU members, passed with no objections on the second day of a WHA summit yesterday.
The proposal requests the WHO director general "initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment" an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of the WHO-coordinated response to COVID-19.
Parents warned over return to schools
All students in NSW are expected to return to class on Monday and will be marked absent if they don't.
Remote learning programs will be stopped so students have no option go back to class.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said students were expected to attend and "unexplained absences will be followed up".
Students with health conditions can make special arrangements with their principal.
"But the general message is: school is open, students need to return, and those who aren't there will be marked absent, with the usual processes to follow unexplained absences." " she said.
"It's a normal school week from next week and they need to be attending. Rolls will be marked as normal and unexplained absences will be followed up."
Students who don't take dedicated school buses have been urged to walk or be dropped off at school.
Principals will be in charge of making sure pick-up and drop-off protocols, as well as recess and lunch rules, adhere to social distancing requirements.
About 42,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, temperature monitors and increased cleaning schedules have been rolled out across NSW schools.
Originally published as Parents warned over return to schools