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Australia announces more coronavirus measures

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Posted at 6:09 AM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 12:53:26-04

SYDNEY, The Associated Press — Australia has announced that public gatherings will be limited to two people, down from 10, and has enacted a six-month moratorium on evictions for those who cannot pay their rent as part of its latest measures in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new measures on Sunday night after earlier in the day flagging a 1.1 billion Australian dollar ($680 million) welfare package boosting mental health care, domestic violence support, public health care services for those self-isolating at home, and emergency food relief.

Morrison said the reduction in the maximum size of public gatherings had come after the latest advice from medical experts to slow the spread of the virus. It does not apply to families.

Morrison said Australia's states and territories would implement the six-month ban on evictions of people from residential and commercial properties as a “result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments”.

Australia had 3,966 confirmed cases of the virus as of Sunday afternoon, including 16 deaths.