Federal parliament will resume to consider the JobKeeper legislation so cash can start flowing to businesses.
Federal parliament will resume to consider the JobKeeper legislation so cash can start flowing to businesses.

Parliament recalled amid warning vaccine may take 18 months

Federal parliament will resume for a special sitting next Wednesday to consider the JobKeeper legislation so cash can start flowing to businesses as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken to Labor leader Anthony Albanese about the matter with the final details yet to be decided.

More than 452,236 businesses applied to access the wage subsidy in the first three days since it was announced.

The subsidy is expected to hit businesses on May 1, but will be backdated to March 30 meaning employers can pay workers $1,500 a fortnight now and get reimbursed once the measure kicks in.

It comes as one of the nation's top health chiefs has revealed Australia's coronavirus curve is "flattening" but that it was vital that people still continue following social distancing guidelines.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly advised all Australians to get their seasonal flu shots as quickly as possible.

He warned "it is not time to take the foot off the brake" when it comes to strict social isolation measures.

Dr Kelly pointed to the 4860 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, with 20 reported deaths.

"We haven't had a large increase in the last 24 hours although the numbers continue to increase," Dr Kelly said. "We are continuing to get more cases but the curve is flattening and rather than thinking about a peak we should be thinking about a long haul. That's really the most important thing.

"This is very good news but it is not time to take the foot off the brake. We need to continue those measures, possibly for some months."

Dr Kelly said he did not think Australia could eliminate the COVID-19 virus without a vaccine, but cautioned it could take between 12 to 18 months.

News Corp Australia


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