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COVID19 CRISIS

SA strengthens border controls

August 2020

South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall has announced last Friday, that South Australia is again strengthening its border controls with Victoria, banning anyone, including South Australians, from entering the state from midnight last Tuesday. Also from midnight Tuesday, there will is a cap of 100 people on funerals and weddings, and home gatherings will be capped at up to 50 people.

In the meantime, the official numbers from the Bureau of Statistics show unemployment passing a two-decade high, reaching 7.4 per cent in June.

The true picture is much worse, with the Treasurer admitting earlier this week that unemployment would be above 13 per cent without Government supports like JobKeeper.

"The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in June saw an extra 280,000 people in the labour force, with more people in employment, and more actively looking and available for work," said Bjorn Jarvis from the ABS.

The Morrison Government announced that the JobKeeper Payment will be extended by six months to 28 March 2021 and the temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will be extended until 31 December 2020.

Payments will be cut, but unemployed Australians and workers on the Federal Government's coronavirus wage subsidy program will continue to receive support beyond the planned JobSeeker and JobKeeper end date.

The JobKeeper wage subsidy will continue until March next year, but payments will fall from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight after September. People working fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750.

The payments will fall again to $1,000 a fortnight, and $650 a fortnight for people working fewer than 20 hours, for the first three months of 2021.

The JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will continue for another three months but fall from $550 to $250 a fortnight, meaning people on the program will receive $815 a fortnight after September.

The revised JobSeeker program will allow recipients to earn $300 a fortnight before facing a reduction in their Government payment.

In the meantime the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, said there have been over 13,000 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 139 people have died.

The Victorian outbreak has meant that there are now around 4,000 active cases in Australia. Daily infection rates have remained low in all states and territories, other than Victoria.


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