Workers at Melbourne McDonald's test positive to COVID-19 as restrictions start to ease

Three workers at a McDonald's restaurant in Melbourne have tested positive for coronavirus as the Cedar Meat cluster grows.

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2014 file photo, a man walks by a McDonald's logo in front of its restaurant in Tokyo. McDonald’s is set to unveil its latest plans to revive its sputtering business on Monday, May 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

A file photo of a McDonald's restaurant. Source: AAP

Three workers from a McDonald's restaurant at Fawkner, in Melbourne's north, have tested positive to COVID-19 as measures to curb the spread of the pandemic start to ease.

The outlet has reopened following a deep clean and is being staffed by workers from nearby restaurants.

But McDonald's has warned the number of ill employees could rise as more test results come back.

Nearly 100 McDonald's employees have reportedly been tested.

It comes as three close contacts of workers from Brooklyn's Cedar Meats have been diagnosed with COVID-19, taking the abattoir's cluster to 88 cases.

Victorians can now host up to five family members or friends at their home, while day-trippers can return to most state-managed parks, reserves and beaches.

The state's coronavirus count stands at 1514 cases, with another seven confirmed on Wednesday.

Just 110 of Victoria's total coronavirus cases remain active, with nine patients in hospital, including six in intensive care.

The extra Cedar Meats cases were previously under investigation and not included in the overnight increase.

Two other misdiagnosed COVID-19 cases have also been removed from Victoria's total count.

Signage for Cedar Meats Australia is seen in Melbourne, Monday, 4 May, 2020.
Source: AAP

More than 273,000 people have been tested for coronavirus and the state's death toll remains at 18.

Police have issued two fines for breaching social-distancing rules in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Victorians are enjoying new freedoms as many parks, reserves, beaches and historic sites re-open for day trips.

Groups cannot be larger than 10, social-distancing must still be observed, and overnight stays remain off the cards for now.

Major tourist drawcards including the 12 Apostles are also still closed.

'Life cannot return to normal'

Eased restrictions mean weddings can have up to 10 guests and indoor funerals 20 mourners, as well as up to 30 outdoors.

But Jobs Minister Martin Pakula says life cannot return to normal yet.

"What we're not saying at this stage is it's okay for everyone to just go back to doing things that they did before," he told reporters.

"The last thing we want to do is to reopen everything too quickly and then have a yo-yo effect where you open things up and then close things down."

Mr Pakula on Wednesday unveiled a $150 million package to help the state's tourism, sport and creative industries survive.

Of that, $40 million will go towards community sport and recreation clubs, and $16 million to national sporting organisations and professional clubs.

Thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing will get a total of $44 million, with the bulk of the money going towards the latter.

Tourism will get $11 million and creative industries $32 million.

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 13 May 2020 at 12:22pm, updated 13 May 2020 at 12:53pm