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Restrictions for some time yet: Albanese

It’s an Easter like no other – nowhere to go, no family to visit and no live sport to watch.

But politicians and medical authorities are telling Australians this isolation is required to keep casualties from the coronavirus to a minimum.

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is “encouraged but not complacent” about the decreasing rates of new COVID-19 cases, saying it shows that social distancing is working.

“This needs to continue for sometime yet,” the Labor leader told Sky News on Saturday.

There are more than 6200 cases of COVID-19 in Australia, with 55 fatalities.

Mr Albanese, a rugby league fanatic, expressed caution about the NRL attempting to restart the season on May 28, saying the priority has to be people’s health.

“It would be bad if we sent the wrong messages by trying to have rugby league games played at a time when we are still telling people to isolate,” he said.

He said while there is nothing wrong with people putting in place preparations, the final go ahead needs to consider health of players, coaches and support staff.

“Also the health of other Australians who might get the wrong message if people were running around the football field”, he said.

Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly on Friday said while the rate of infections are down, relaxing restrictions on people’s movement could see the virus explode.

Police across the country are on alert to bust non-essential travellers and have been handing out hefty fines.

At the same time police in some states are satisfied about the public’s compliance with social distancing.

In his Easter message Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the inability to gather should not diminish Christians’ hope, and they should live out their faith by staying home and supporting loved ones.

Many Australians will tune into live-streamed church services on Easter Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Morrison government is providing an immediate $100 million funding injection to more than 300 charities and community organisations faced with the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

Called the community support package, Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said a further $100 million would be allocated over the next six months where it is needed.

“Many people reaching out to these services may have never needed this type of assistance before so we need to make sure we have the right supports in place to help people through this period and bounce back stronger when it’s over,” Senator Ruston said in a statement.

Originally published as Restrictions for some time yet: Albanese

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