LIVE Coronavirus updates: Victoria records biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases as on-the-spot fines are introduced – The Age

We have made our live blog of the coronavirus pandemic free for all readers. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.SummaryVictoria now has 685 confirmed COVID-19 cases – 111 more than the last update and the state’s biggest daily increase. There were five new locally transmitted cases confirmed overnight.Premier Daniel Andrews today made clear that harsher ‘stage three’ restrictions are coming, just not quite yet.As of 2.30PM AEST, there were almost 600,000 known infections worldwide and more than 27,000 deaths. More than 130,000 people have recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus and will govern via videolink.Myer will close stores and stand down 10,000 staff from Sunday.2.28pmColes hires 7000 new workers in two weeksBy Matt BungardWhile much of the retail industry has come to a standstill, Coles has been forced to fast-track new employees into stores to meet demands, with 7000 new workers hired in the past two weeks.Coles CEO Steven Cain said Coles was delighted with the response to the recruitment callout, but that they were looking to hire another 5000 people.A worker restocks a shelf at one of Coles’ Melbourne supermarkets on Thursday night. “Coles is doing everything we can to support jobs and the economy through this challenging time, while also ensuring we can provide groceries for all Australians,” he said.”We have been overwhelmed with the number of applications received from across different industries. We have seen a lot of demand for roles, and where we have positions available, we are making sure that we can get people into them as quickly as possible.”Mr Cain said employees of partners such as Australian Venue Company and Virgin Australia, who were currently without work, were being put at the top of the pile.”We streamlined our recruitment processes and assigned a dedicated team to fast track applications sent by corporate partners,” he said.Of those 7000 new jobs, 2000 were in New South Wales, 1800 in Queensland, 1700 in Victoria, 700 in WA, 600 in SA, 100 in the Northern Territory and Tasmania, and 90 in the ACT2.11pmUnion seeks investigation into exports of medical supplies to ChinaHealth Workers Union Victorian secretary Diana Asmar has written to Attorney-General Christian Porter calling for the export of tens of tonnes of medical supplies to China by two major Chinese property developers, as revealed by the The Age, to be “fully investigated” as possible breaches of foreign interference laws.Loading”If there was ever a time to crackdown on Chinese Communist interference in our domestic affairs, it is now,” Ms Asmar wrote in the letter sent to Mr Porter on Friday.”Their actions, and the actions of their associates living in Australia, will undoubtedly cost Australian lives.”Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone said “any attempt to take valuable PPE to another part of the world at the expense of the Australian community” was “deplorable”.”All efforts should be made to ensure this practice cannot happen and, where it does happen, the full weight of the law is brought upon them,” Dr Bartone said.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that the government was working on “tough” new regulations to enable Australian Border Force to police exports of medical supplies and “crack down on this”.”It is very disappointing, to say the least,” Mr Morrison said.1.51pmThe big headlines this morningLooking back on the morning.Premier Daniel Andrews provided a coronavirus update around 9.30am, stating that Victoria recorded its biggest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.Mr Andrews said Victoria’s confirmed COVID-19 cases were now at 685, which is 111 more than the last update and the state’s biggest daily increase.”These numbers, they are a concern, everyone’s got to take this seriously,” he said.Mr Andrews repeated a message he made clear to Victorians on Friday: that harsher restrictions are coming, just not quite yet.He is yet to set a date or reason to trigger stage three, or explained what stage three would look like, but he said again on Saturday morning that when that moment comes he would spell out exactly what restrictions will be in place.Also in the press conference police minister Lisa Neville detailed new on-the-spot fines for people caught flouting coronavirus restrictions. Police had made more than 2600 checks in person or over the phone, she said.On the beaches, trouble is brewing.Popular beaches at Sandringham, Brighton and Black Rock are now closed to the public, in order to discourage large groups from ignoring social distancing measures.Bayside City Council said in order to mitigate coronavirus risks, the bans would be in place until further notice.Surf Coast Shire, which takes in Torquay and Lorne, has not closed its beaches but is encouraging users to practise social distancing otherwise the beaches will be shut.The angst about groups of people on beaches is strong, with fake signs erected stating the Surf Coast Shire’s beaches were closed to those not from the area.The blog post below details the angst also felt by locals who live on the coast.To combat young people ignoring advice to stay clear of Melbourne’s beaches today, they will begin receiving geo-targeted social media ads telling them to go home.To read more about Melbourne’s beaches and social distancing measures click here.1.39pmReader feedback: Stay away from Phillip IslandGood afternoon, I’m signing off for the blog and Paul Sakkal will take over.Before I do a recap of the morning, I will add this note from a reader who lives in Phillip Island and is very worried people are heading out that way for holidays.David writes: ‘Phillip Island is one of Victorias most popular visitor destinations. This weekend AirB&Bs are filling up as holiday makers apparently ignore Victorian Premier Andrew Daniels explicit instructions NOT TO GO ON HOLIDAYS. Traffic has increased, indicating day-visits are also likely to have increased. These self centered people need to be called out. Phillip Island has a large retiree population, visitors risk introducing COVID-19 to at-risk Australians. What are local governments doing? ‘1.33pm’At the beach? Go home’: New ads on social mediaBy Zach HopeThe new advertisement.People ignoring advice to stay clear of Melbourne’s beaches today will begin receiving geo-targeted social media ads telling them to go home.The ads will run on Facebook and Instagram from noon to 8pm today with the message: “At the beach? Go home. Save lives.”The ads will use geo-targeting technology to appear on the phones and tablets at beaches and various bayside suburbs.Police started shutting St Kilda beach down from 6pm on Friday.Credit:Justin McManusAs the temperatures rise into the mid-20s today, several Melbourne council areas have already closed their beaches to avoid scenes like those at Bondi Beach in Sydney last weekend, where hundreds of people openly flouted social distancing guidelines.Premier Daniel Andrews has consistently told Victorians to stay at home unless it was essential to leave. However, he did say it was okay to be at the beach to walk the dog or get some exercise so long as it was brief and people practised social distancing.1.27pmGoodes, Foster urge footballers to become ‘volunteer workforce’Craig Foster and Adam Goodes were supposed to be playing football together this year for the Waverley Old Boys over-35s. But with the coronavirus pandemic putting a red line through their season, they’re teaming up in a far more powerful way.Craig Foster and Waverley Old Boys Football Club players Daen Medina (left) and Sandra Journot (middle) help pack boxes for those in need.Credit:Dominic LorrimerFormer Socceroo Foster and AFL legend Goodes are spearheading a new campaign to encourage grassroots athletes who have no games to play to sign up as volunteers to help the elderly and disadvantaged.Vince Rugari has the full story here.1.22pmWhy Trump’s approval rating has never been higherAmericans saying they approve of his handling of the pandemic.Credit:Evan VucciIn this episode of Please Explain, US correspondent Matthew Knott and national editor Tory Maguire discuss how the coronavirus is impacting the US and why Donald Trump’s approval rating is at an all-time high.1.15pmFree social app downloaded more than two million times last weekBy Ashleigh McMillanThose searching for social connections are flocking to video apps in the wake of usual gatherings being frowned upon.Let’s get the party started: Up to eight friends can join the chat in the Houseparty app.Houseparty is currently sitting on top of the Apple app store’s free download charts, with groups of eight able to video call, instant message and play games on the app.Houseparty was downloaded more than two million times last week, according to the Financial Times, with more than 10 million downloads on the Google Play store since the app was launched in 2016.Video and work communication apps generally are peaking in popularity as a result of coronavirus, with Zoom Cloud meetings, Microsoft Teams and Tiktok ranking as the other most popular Apple apps right now.Houseparty was purchased last year by Epic Games, which created the video game phenomenon Fortnite.1.08pmWhat will AFL look like when the lights go back on?The financial tsunami that swamped football when matches were cancelled to help stop the spread of the coronavirus will make the game vastly different to the one we imagined just a month ago.We have already had a taste of it during a ghostly round one with shorter quarters and no crowds.At some point, however, the game will return and eventually the crowds will stream in too. But other parts of the game will shrink, potentially creating a completely different experience to what we’ve been watching in the past decade.One comment from Geelong coach Chris Scott on radio SEN summed up what lies ahead for football. ‘‘We need to prepare for a different environment in the seasons that come but it is just so hard to forecast exactly what the changes are going to be. We are going to have to ask for more from fewer people and to play our role in society,’’ Scott said.What will the competition look like when the lights go back on?In his analysis piece here, sports reporter Peter Ryan investigates.1.03pmAustralian couple narrowly avoid US legal actionTwo wealthy Australians have narrowly avoided legal action by the Attorney-General in the US state of Colorado after they broke out of coronavirus isolation that had been imposed on them while on a skiing trip two weeks ago in Aspen.The actions of the couple, who The Age has chosen not to name, are likely to add to furious recriminations tearing through high-society circles at Portsea and Sorrento and Melbourne suburbs around Toorak – areas that now top the statistics for coronavirus outbreaks in Victoria.Several society figures who were among those who skied and partied in Aspen early this month are being accused of putting the public at risk by ignoring isolation protocols when they returned to Victoria.Another couple, who were part of the Aspen group but tested negative to COVID-19, were spotted playing golf and going on shopping expeditions in Portsea and Sorrento. Three angry golfers separately told The Age they lodged protests with the Sorrento Golf Club about the couple being on the course despite having been in contact with those who had contracted COVID-19 while in Colorado.For the full story click here.Most Viewed in NationalLoading
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