Elderly warned to be cautious as restrictions ease

Older Australians have been told to be cautious about having people to their homes despite COVID-19 restrictions being eased in some states and territories this weekend.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said people over 70 remain at greater risk of the virus.

"For people over the age of 70 I just would say be cautious over these next couple of weeks, even if things are opening up and people are gathering in shops and cafes," Prof Kelly said.

"I would just urge caution about your own health and consider … having people over to your house."


Speaking ahead of Mother's Day, Prof Kelly also warned elderly mums to continue to keep 1.5 metres away from loved ones.

"If you're feeling well and you really want to see your mum, I'm sure that's fine but for the elderly mums just to be a little bit cautious and probably keep that 1.5 meters distance."

"I know it's hard and we will want to cuddle our mums on Mother's Day … but let's just wait a little bit longer."

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly is confident Australia could handle a second wave of the coronavirus. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.


Prof Kelly said Australia's "new normal" may not be the same as life before the pandemic hinting that overseas travel and mass gatherings are "too far in the future" for the National Cabinet to consider.

"The third step is not quite back to normal as it was before COVID-19, and I think we've been quite open about this from the beginning that the new normal, the COVID safe normal for Australia, may not be the normal that we're used to prior to January of this year."

"For example, the opening of the borders to international travel, that's so far into the future we aren't really sure how that might actually happen yet."

He also said he was "doubtful" football fans would pack sporting ground in September for football finals.