MELBOURNE — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison sought on Saturday to postpone an early-August sitting of parliament, saying the increased community transmissions of the novel coronavirus in the country’s two most-populous states have made it too risky.
Morrison said he had consulted with the parliamentary opposition and had asked the speaker to postpone the two-week session. As the request is largely a formality, lawmakers are expected to meet in the capital Canberra on Aug. 24 instead of Aug. 4.
“The government cannot ignore the risk to parliamentarians, their staff, the staff within the parliament and the broader community,” Morrison said, adding he acted based on the advice of medical authorities.
On Friday, Victoria state reported a record 428 new infections, while neighboring New South Wales said it was banning dancing, singing and mingling at weddings as authorities struggle to contain a new wave of infections.