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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Friday April 3.

Crackdown on loopholes in Victoria, with Australian death toll at 24.

It was just last weekend that Victoria’s beaches were filled with locals, but this weekend authorities will be implementing tough new social distancing rules – and banning all loopholes.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton announced tighter restrictions yesterday, declaring that all recreational activities beyond basic exercise were not allowed.

Fishing, hunting, boating, camping, and golf among other sports and hobbies will not be allowed during the pandemic.

Golf, however, will still be allowed in QLD and NSW after a backflip from those respective state governments.

WATCH: Your COVID-19 questions answered. Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

“These restrictions are tough, but they are there for a reason. If we don’t do this, Victorians will die,” said Victoria’s Professor Sutton.

The latest death – a woman in her 60s – died in a Melbourne hospital on Wednesday night, as did a woman in her 70s in the same state.

Half of Victoria’s coronavirus deaths were cancer patients in the same hospital ward. 10 staff are also infected, and recovering at home.

The national death toll now sits at 24.

The current COVID-19 figures.

NSW updates.

There has also been an outbreak at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital with two radiation therapists testing positive.

Two cancer patients and 20 staff have now been put into quarantine.

There have been 91 new cases in the last 24 hours in NSW which is an improvement on 127 the day before.

42 cases in the state are in ICU and 22 of those people are ventilated.

COVID-19 has also now spread to 17 Australian nursing homes.

The Department of Health has confirmed that more than a dozen aged care homes had been affected by the virus, with 41 staff and residents testing positive.

The hardest hit has been Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney – where five residents have been killed by the virus.

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If you live in NSW you can track your postcode here, to find out how many cases are in your area.

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Bondi Beach is one of the most at-risk areas in the state. Image: NSW Government.

"We always believe in NSW as I'm sure many other governments around Australia do, that it's better for the public to have the information. All of us can handle the information. All of us want to know what's going on," said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The Premier reiterated the Prime Minister's words that "we're in it for at least six months, until there is a cure, until at least a vaccine this crisis is something we need to deal with," she said.

That's despite yesterday the Police Commissioner telling the state the current restrictions would be enforced for 90 days (three months).

Speaking to Fitzy and Wippa on Nova this morning, Premier Berejiklian said: "The 90 days is just the number of days the health order goes for, but if the health professionals said to us in a month 'you can ease off a bit' we can do that. Every day we get advice. So that can change. If we do the right thing and we see the number of cases reducing, we have a chance of having restrictions eased well before then."

One million cases worldwide.

Global cases have now surpassed one million.

More than 51,000 people have died and more than 208,000 have recovered.

The US has the most cases and Italy has the highest death toll.

It took six weeks for 100,000 cases to be confirmed, but a million was reached after cases doubled in the past week.

Prime Minister's interview on A Current Affair.

The Prime Minister went live on A Current Affair last night, and you can read the full update here, but here are the highlights:

  • When asked by Tracy Grimshaw whether it was plausible for Australia to tackle the virus in six months, Prime Minister Morrison said our “new normal” would continue for “at least six months, it could be longer”.
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Scott Morrison went live on A Current Affair last night. Image: Nine.
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  • When probed about Australia’s financial health in light of the multi-billion dollar stimulus and welfare packages announced by the government, Morrison said his current concern was “getting people through the crisis”.
  • He's concerned about online safety for kids, telling Grimshaw: “I’m a little concerned about, because our kids are doing a lot of schooling online, that means as parents, we have to be mindful that they are now in an online environment".

NSW still trying to move cruise ships out of Australian waters.

A joint government operation is underway to provide urgent coronavirus treatment to crew members trapped on cruise ships floating off the NSW coastline.

Doctors will be flown on to eight foreign cruise ships over the coming days to test and evacuate patients before moving the ships on from Australian waters.

RUBY CRUISE
Seven people from the Ruby Princess Cruise have now died from coronavirus. Image: Getty.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told Seven News, he hoped at least seven of the ships would be processed over the coming days with the goal of having all on their way by Monday.

More than 450 cases of coronavirus in NSW have been linked to cruise ships. There are 8,500 crew still on the boats - but all known Australian crew have been extracted.

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A 66-year-old crew member requiring medical care was transported from the vessel yesterday.

World Bank approves $3 billion in urgent funds.

The $3 billion in emergency cash will go towards 25 countries including Pakistan ($328 million), Afghanistan ($164 million), India ($1.6 billion) and Ethiopia ($135 million).

The Bank has said it is prepared to spend up to $A262 billion over the next 15 months to combat the pandemic and is moving quickly on projects in 40 other countries.

"The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis," World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement yesterday.

The Bank said it was also helping countries obtain urgently needed medical supplies by asking suppliers on behalf of governments.

NRL considering playing in a 'bubble'.

The NRL players' union have revealed they're willing to consider all the game's stars living in a bubble together to ensure the 2020 season can restart.

The NRL have now shifted their attention to getting back on the field, after a pay deal was brokered between them and the Rugby League Players Association yesterday.

Under the terms of the agreement, players will receive their wages for April and May, but will not be paid for the following five months if the competition doesn't resume due to the coronavirus.

But with the financial survival of the clubs and long-term position of the NRL banking on a return, all parties are desperate for the show to somehow go on.

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The most feasible current option includes players being taken to a remote location and shipped or bussed to grounds to play without any contact with the general public.

Gladstone in central Queensland has previously been floated as one option, while Tangalooma Island Resort just off Brisbane shapes as another.

Alternatively, spreading the players across different regional locations is seen as another option to mitigate the risk of illness.

Help for renters on the Prime Minister's agenda today.

We've long been promised rental relief is on its way, but apparently today is the day.

The National Cabinet meeting today, chaired by the Prime Minister, will receive advice from the federal and state treasurers on how to protect commercial and residential tenants and owners.

Scott Morrison says the rent issue has been a focus of the National Cabinet's work for more than a week.

rent relief corona
As unemployment soars, Australians are anxiously waiting for rent relief measures to be decided on by the government. Image: Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images.
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While a formal decision is yet to be made, Morrison is urging tenants and landlords to "work together" reminding landlords that if their tenant goes bust, they've got no one paying rent  and "they'll be looking for a tenant in a very bad market six months from now".

QLD border control tightening tonight.

Only Queensland residents or those with an exemption will be authorised to enter as of 12.01am today.

"We're going to a hard border closure so people can expect to see a change to some of the streets that they would normally go through, and some of those places will be blocked," said State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.

This will include physical barriers cutting off some roads.

Hundreds Cross Queensland Border Ahead Of Tighter Coronavirus Restrictions
Queensland Transport Inspectors speak with a driver requesting to enter the Queensland border on April 02, in Wallangarra, Australia. Queensland will introduce tighter state border restrictions from Friday and will deny entry to anyone who doesn't have a state government permit proving they have a legitimate reason for cross-border travel. Image: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty.

Fly-in-fly-out workers who are not working on essential projects will be banned from entering the state from 11.59pm on Saturday.

Across Queensland, there have been 835 confirmed cases and four deaths.

The state is also closing most national parks, walking tracks and 4WD areas.

The parks will be closed to the public, along with hiking tracks, picnic areas, camping areas, swimming holes and lookouts from today.

Clarification on childcare changes.

Education Minister Dan Tehan has confirmed parents won't lose their spot at childcare centres regardless of if they send their kids right now or not.

Speaking on ABC's 7.30  last night, Mr Tehan said the government's new childcare system is only in place while the coronavirus challenge is upon us.

"As of this Sunday night, we're putting a completely new system in place," he said. "What a parent will be able to do in that situation is they'll be able to keep the continuity with their childcare centre, but they don't have to attend and they will not be charged fees."

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Britain to do 100,000 tests per day.

That's the promise of the UK government - a tenfold increase in the number of daily tests by the end of the month.

The current number is 10,000 tests a day.

The country has confirmed 33,700 cases and more than 2,900 deaths, with half of Britons in a recent poll criticising the government for going into lockdown too late.

China threatened by second wave.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese have been put into total lockdown in one particular county, after a potential "second wave" of the virus.

The National Health Commission reported 36 new infections. All but one of those was imported.

Daliy Life In Wuhan As Coronavirus Cases Under Control
Residents line up to buy vegetables on March 31, 2020 in Wuhan as restrictions were loosened. Image: Getty Images.

The country was only just starting to get back to some sort of normality, two months after going into lockdown when the virus - which started in the city of Wuhan - first took over.

A study in British medical journal The Lancet Public Health recommended that China extend school and workplace closures, warning an earlier relaxation could bring a second peak in the outbreak by August.

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty.

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

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