Australia to ease COVID-19 curbs in three stages, targets July for full removal

The words "Love Syd" are spelled out in rooms at the Shangri-La Hotel amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will ease social distancing restrictions implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus in a three-step process, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, with the aim of removing all curbs by July.

Australia imposed strict social distancing restrictions in March, which, coupled with the closure of its borders, is credited with drastically slowing the number of new infections of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Morrison said Australia’s states and territories will decide when to begin implementing each stage.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman