Aussies reminded of rules amid weekend crowds

MELBOURNE, Australia — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state has called on citizens to “stay the course” after large groups flooded beaches and parks at the weekend in defiance of strict lockdown regulations.

Victoria, emerging from a major winter spike in coronavirus cases, relaxed lockdown regulations last weekend but still allowed only five people from up to two households to congregate outside.

Many ignored those regulations on Saturday and crowded parks and beaches, causing Premier Daniel Andrews to remind Victorians not to be selfish and maintain social distancing. Victoria reported only 12 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, well down on the peaks of winter.


“We are so, so close,” Andrews said. “Let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again if we don’t do anything silly or anything selfish right now.”

Andrews said the situation in Victoria is “delicately poised” as the state moves toward further easing of lockdown rules.

“It’s sunny, yes, and people love to go to the beach when it’s sunny but there’s a global pandemic on,” he said. “Surely, there’s a greater urge to see this thing, to defeat it and to have a normal summer and have a COVID normal Christmas and 2021.”

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical’

— Trump’s diagnosis shows US vulnerability to the coronavirus

— Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused

— South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Madrid has started its first day under a partial lockdown with police controlling travel in and out of the Spanish capital. The Madrid region has become Europe’s most critical hot spot in the second wave of the coronavirus.

— Pope Francis has traveled to the tomb of his nature-loving namesake to sign an encyclical laying out his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day its increase came below 100, possibly reflecting the fewer number of tests conducted during one of the biggest holidays of the year.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Sunday brought the national caseload to 24,091, including 421 deaths.

Thirty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence since August. Health workers have struggled to track transmissions tied to churches, hospitals, schools and offices.

Seventeen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, mostly from other Asian