All travellers returning to Australia will be tested for coronavirus before and after quarantine

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy announced Australia's new testing regime following a national cabinet meeting on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will stay the course on its coronavirus strategy, despite a recent outbreak in Victoria.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will stay the course on its coronavirus strategy, despite a recent outbreak in Victoria. Source: AAP

All travellers returning to Australia will be tested for coronavirus as they enter quarantine and before they're allowed to leave, as the government beefs up measures to prevent further outbreaks. 

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy announced Australia's new testing regime following a national cabinet meeting on Friday. 

"We're seeing imported cases in hotel quarantine from a range of different countries now," Dr Murphy told reporters. 

All travellers returning to Australia will be tested for coronavirus before and after quarantine

"We are going to start testing people on entry to quarantine and testing people before they leave quarantine to see whether a testing regime might help in the future."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday announced the national cabinet had agreed on a "two-metre rule" that would allow smaller restaurants and bars to serve more people.

"That means for much smaller premises that would have otherwise being trying to stick to a four-square-metre rule arrangement, this just gives them a bit more room for them to be taking more patrons," he said.

Australia's Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said new quarantine testing protocols would be put in place.
Source: AAP

The national cabinet has also agreed to work on a roadmap to help struggling entertainment venues reopen in coming months, Mr Morrison said. 

Although Mr Morrison didn't announce a firm deadline for the opening of entertainment venues, he said the roadmap would give Australia's arts industry some much-needed certainty. 

Mr Morrison also said a number of countries had expressed an interest in opening up their borders for travel with Australia. 

Victoria on Friday recorded another 30 new coronavirus cases, including a healthcare worker at a youth mental health facility.

Mr Morrison defended the management of the Victorian outbreak as "culturally appropriate", after criticisms the government had not done enough to consult with multicultural communities. 

"There will be outbreaks and what matters is that we continue to build our capability to deal with those outbreaks," he said. 

"While it may cause cause concern and anxiety in some parts of the community, please be reassured, we're all working together to ensure that where these things happen, we can appropriately respond with all the resources that are necessary."

Seven of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, five are in hotel quarantine, five from routine testing and 13 are being investigated.

The NSW government on Friday confirmed an elderly man who died in April will be added to the state's COVID-19 death toll, raising it to 51.

The news takes the national toll to 104.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store. SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus


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Published 26 June 2020 at 1:59pm, updated 26 June 2020 at 6:35pm