Australia ‘has BEATEN coronavirus’: Top health official says a second wave of COVID-19 is unlikely as transmission rates plunge to nearly zero – with just 30 patients in hospital nationwide

  • The chance of a second wave this year is unlikely as infection rates sit near zero
  • NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said state well placed to stop outbreaks 
  • Just one COVID-19 patient in intensive care in NSW and five as a whole nationally
  • State’s top health official made revelation in private briefing to NSW politicians 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The chance of a second wave of COVID-19 in Australia this year is unlikely, according to one of the country’s top health officials, as transmission rates fall to nearly zero.

New South Wales chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told state politicians the ban on international travel and the state’s grasp of social distancing meant it was well placed to stem further outbreaks of the virus and prevent a second wave. 

There is just one coronavirus patient in intensive care across the state – and only five nationwide as of Tuesday. A total of 30 COVID-19 patients remain in hospital across the country.

In the private briefing, Dr Chant conceded NSW’s ability to prevent a second wave would rely on widespread adherence to social distancing rules.

A pedestrian wearing a facemask is pictured walking in Melbourne on May 17. The chance of a second wave of COVID-19 this year is unlikely, according to one of the nation’s top health officials

Pedestrians wear face masks at Sydney’s Circular Quay. Dr Kerry Chant said NSW’s ability to crush a second wave would rely heavily on widespread adherence to social distancing rules 

People dine in at Crew cafe in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast on May 16 after social distancing rules were relaxed

It comes as the state looks to June 1 for the next stage of restriction easing – with beauty salons and nail bars set to re-open and regional travel permitted.

‘The policy for how to deal with a second wave is that we’ll evaluate it at the time,’  an MP close to the meeting told The Australian.

‘[Dr Chant’s] message was: It’s very possible to contain all this ­because we don’t have the inter­nationals coming in, and we have good social distancing and hygiene­ practices.’

There were only two new cases of COVID-19 in NSW recorded in the 24 hours to Monday.

There are 7,133 cases of the coronavirus nationally since the outbreak began, but just 478 of those are still active.  

Dr Chant speaks to the media on Friday. The state’s top health official has said NSW is well-placed to stop any further outbreaks of the virus

Australia had the lowest new case numbers since March 6 on Sunday, as lockdown measures continue to reduce transmission of the deadly coronavirus

Six million people have downloaded the government’s coronavirus tracking app less than a month after its launch, helping authorities trace contacts of any diagnosed cases.   


New South Wales: 3,092

Victoria: 1,610

Queensland: 1,057

Western Australia: 570

South Australia: 440

Tasmania: 228

Australian Capital Territory: 107

Northern Territory: 29




It follows Premier Daniel Andrews announcing the new ‘COVID normal’ in Victoria ahead of the loosening of restrictions on June 1.

People in the state will kick off winter being able to enjoy meals with friends at home, attend weddings, swim at pools or even get tattoos, as long as there’s no more than 20 people.   

The number will also mark the number of people allowed at weddings, while up to 50 people will be able to attend funerals.

‘The rules that accompany that opening up will be with us for a long time,’ Mr Andrews told reporters.

‘This is a COVID normal, this is not a return to business a usual.’

Victoria’s reopening will see 20 people allowed to visit libraries and other community facilities, entertainment and cultural venues, as well as beauty and personal care services. 

The start of the coldest season will also include a lifeline for the tourism industry as overnight stays in hotels will be permitted.

Campgrounds will be open for those eager to pitch their tents, but not their communal facilities like kitchens or bathrooms.

A May 23 graph showing the vast majority of Australia’s coronavirus patients have now recovered – compared to the rest of the world where more than half of those infected are still sick.   

Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said it had taken a long while for Victoria to catch up with other states.

‘We’re still a long way behind the rest of the country, and the question is why,’ he said.

‘New South Wales has been handling things very differently than Victoria, moving to ease restrictions more quickly and that has given their small businesses more confidence.’



* Western Australia is going further than any other state in relaxing coronavirus rules, the government says, amid a mixed reaction to the state’s economic roadmap.

* Locals are encouraged to return to work and take regional holidays, and the limit is at 20 people, and hospitality businesses will be allowed to serve diners under phase two of WA’s recovery plan.

* The government has faced a backlash for not going further in unwinding restrictions as there are barely any cases in WA.

* Like restaurants and cafes, pubs are allowed to reopen but a limit of 20 patrons will apply as well as the one person per four square metres rule, and a requirement for customers to buy a meal if they want to have a drink.

* Students will return to the classroom from May 29.

* Hard border will remain indefinitely despite pressure from the rest of the country and federal medical advice.


* Parks and reserves have reopened. 

* Weddings, funerals can have an unlimited number of guests if social distancing can be maintained.

* Playgrounds, parks and public swimming pools re-opened. 

* Gyms, nail salons, and any other businesses have reopened so long as their activities take less than two hours

* Outdoor sports where people can be physically distant, such as golf and tennis, are allowed.

* Pubs, cafes and restaurants opened on May 15. People are allowed in for two hours.

* Internal travel is now allowed including to remote Aboriginal communities 

* Dropping the border quarantine will be ‘dead last’. 


* Restaurants, pubs and clubs, nail salons and so on can have up to 20 patrons at a time.

* Parks, playgrounds, skateparks are open 

* Up to five members from a single household can visit another home, and 10 people can meet in public

* Family picnics and weekend drives allowed, national parks will reopen and people can shop for clothing and shoes, and go for haircuts

* You can let your dog off the leash as 131 dog parks will gradually reopen

* Citizens must stay within 50km of their homes, and social distancing will still be enforced.

* People from the same household can go out together, while those who live alone can spend time with one other person.

* Border quarantine will continue until September but the state is under pressure to drop this much sooner.


* Up to 20 people indoors at a party or gathering as of June 1

* The premier’s beloved game of golf, walking groups, fishing and hiking are among the outdoor activities allowed again.

* Cafes, restaurants and pubs can seat diners until June 1, unlike most other states.

* Libraries, community centres, markets, beauty parlours and tattoo studios open on June 1 as do museums, drive-in cinemas, zoos and theme parks.

* Gyms, indoor sports facilities, movie theatres can reopen from June 22 if all goes to plan allowing ski season to kick off

* Holidays and staying at friend’s place overnight are also banned until June 1 when accommodation will reopen.

* Professional sport teams including AFL and rugby league are back to training ahead of resuming the season in late May.

* Students are expected to be able to get back in the classroom by the end of term two, but more details are yet to be revealed.


* Gatherings of five people inside and 10 in public are allowed.

* Residents can visit national parks within 30km of their home.

* The state’s ban on aged care visits was eased, but no more than two visitors are allowed once a week. 

* Restaurants, cafes, playgrounds, pools and boot camps reopened for up to 10 people at a time.

* Weddings and funerals have have up to 20 guests

* Border restrictions, however, are still expected to be in place when stage three of the plan begins in mid-July.


* Cafes, pubs and restaurants are open but may only seat 10 people at a time.  

* Gatherings of five people at home and 10 outside are allowed

* The state government is encouraging shops to re-open with social distancing in place

* Pupils went back back to school on May 11 on a roster basis. State government wants full-time classroom teaching sooner rather than later

* Most businesses will be allowed to reopen on June 1, with social distancing rules and customer limits.

* Zoos, reptile parks and aquariums open June 1. 

* Weddings can have 10 guests, funerals 20 inside and 30 outside, and churches 10.


* Cafes and restaurants re-opened from May 11 and can seat 10 people inside and another 10 outside at a time. Pubs are shut until June 5.

* Ten people can gather at home or in public.

* Weddings and funerals have a 20 guest limit inside, and 30 outside.

* House auctions and inspections and non-contact sport has resumed and libraries, pools, churches and community halls reopened.

* Border is still quarantined indefinitely.


* Gatherings of 10 people are allowed.

* Weddings and funerals have a 20 guest limit inside, and 30 outside

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