Australia announces aid to workers due to Melbourne lockdown

Sydney, Australia, Jun 3 (EFE).- Australia announced Thursday an emergency aid for those workers affected by the confinement measures of more than seven days implemented by the Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne.

The announcement was made after the confinement of the more than 5 million inhabitants in Australia’s second most populous city was extended for another week and after a wave of government criticism for having cut wage subsidies due to the pandemic at the end of March.

The so-called “temporary covid disaster pay” will ammount to AUD 500 Australian dollars ($ 387 dollars) weekly for people who work more than 20 hours a week, and AUD 325 for those who work part-time.

The payment “will be available to the person or Australian resident who has a work permit in Australia” and is at least 17 years old, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra, adding that this aid is similar to the one New Zealand gives.

Australia estimates these grants would cost about AUD 50 million per 100,000 recipients per week.

Australia, which accumulates more than 30,000 Covid-19 infections, including 910 deaths, has kept international borders closed since March 2020 and experienced a practical normality for months broken with outbreaks of Covid-19 such as the recent one in the state of Victoria.

Melbourne, which has gone through four confinements since the start of the pandemic, was the epicenter of the second wave of Covid-19 due to failures in the quarantine centers for international travelers in this city, which caused hundreds of deaths in nursing homes. EFE


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