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Australia eases social distancing measures

Several Australian states have lifted more social distancing restrictions, allowing restaurants to host additional people and public attractions to reopen.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his government’s latest decision on Monday as the country began moving to revive its ailing economy.

Australia has so far registered about 7,200 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. With new infections now mostly under control, it has embarked on a three-step plan to remove the bulk of restrictions by July.

In New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, cafes and restaurants were allowed to cater for fifty seated patrons, while twenty guests will be allowed to attend a funeral. Both were previously limited to ten people.

Public attractions, such as Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, art galleries, museums and libraries were also allowed to reopen on Monday, Reuters reported.

In Victoria state, which has taken the most cautious approach to reopening, restaurants and cafes could reopen on Monday. However, patrons are restricted to a maximum of twenty people.

Australia hopes removing restrictions will boost economic growth, though Prime Minister Morrison said earlier on Monday that additional, targeted stimulus would be required.

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