In this photo shows the skyline of Sydney at night, New South Wales, Australia. Reuters
Australia's government on Friday unveiled a three-stage plan to get the economy back to a new "COVID-safe" normal by the end of July.
Federal authorities have left details of the plan's implementation up to the country's diverse states and territories, meaning coronavirus restrictions will remain in place for weeks or months longer in areas hardest hit by the disease.
Australia has been one of the most successful countries in containing the COVID-19 epidemic, with just under 7,000 cases and 100 deaths in a population of 25 million.
A ban on international travel and a raft of other restrictions on businesses and public gatherings have helped bring new daily infections down to zero or single digits in most areas.
But the lockdown has thrown more than a million people out of work and is costing the economy some US$2.5 billion dollars per week, according to government figures.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailed the success in controlling the epidemic Friday as he outlined what he called a "framework" for easing the coronavirus restrictions.
"There's very few countries in the world that can stand here today and outline a plan like this," he said.
The first stage of the plan will allow groups of up to 10 people to gather in cafes and restaurants, for weddings and to take part in outdoor sports.
Stage two would lift the gathering limit to 20 people and extend it to organised community sports, cinemas and other retail outlets as well as ease restrictions on domestic travel.
People walk through a small deserted laneway usually packed with people during their lunchtime in Melbourne. AFP
Stage three, which Morrison said should come into effect in July, would allow gatherings of up to 100 people, including in pubs and restaurants, and see most businesses and domestic travel reopened.
Morrison provided no timetable for implementing the programme, saying this would be up to the individual states and territories.
But he said the goal was to see 850,000 people back in their jobs by the end of July in what he called a new "COVID-safe" normal for life and businesses.
He added that a resumption of international travel was not in the foreseeable future, and he made no mention of a return of professional spectator sports, which have been suspended since the coronavirus restrictions were imposed in March.
As greater Melbourne passed the halfway point of a lockdown initially intended to last six weeks, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state would be stuck in "limbo" unless it could cut the infection rate.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will over the next month expand testing, improve its capacity to trace contacts of known coronavirus cases, and plan a response to any further local outbreaks.
The Saudi interior ministry said in a statement early on Thursday that entertainment activities and events as well as in-restaurant dining would be suspended for 10 days, open to renewal.
Thick fog continued to form for the second day in a row across various parts in the country on Thursday. The fog lasted for 12 hours and a half in several areas of the country on Thursday, as it started at exactly 10 pm and continued until 10:30am, because of the country being affected by surface high-pressure systems, accompanied with a ridge of upper air high pressure, according to the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM).
The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has strengthened Sharjah’s status as a child, youth, and family-friendly city in 2021 by implementing 30 initiatives and campaigns, and through its participation in local and international events. SCFO also announced that its endeavour in 2021 included 14 new activities that targeted 426 participants from various organisations and institutions.
Dubai Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the man in the picture. The African national was found dead in the jurisdiction area of Bur Dubai Police Station with no identification documents
Welcoming the participants, His Highness said: "Dubai provides the safest environment for participants from around the world to discuss ideas and exchange knowledge and insights that contribute to creating a better future for humanity."