Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a national plan that will take effect at midday today 23rd March 2020. These strict coronavirus lock-downs are part of stage 1, with further restrictions undecided at this point.
UPDATED 25TH March: Stage 2 restrictions will take effect midnight on 25th March 2020.
UPDATED 28th March: Stage 3 brings tough new quarantine rules to force all international travellers arriving in Australia into a two-week isolation period in a hotel. New rule kicks in midnight 28th March.
UPDATED 29th March: Stage 4 restrictions have now been announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and will come into play as of midnight 30th March 2020.
Mr Morrison said there’s no need for unnecessary panic buying because all supermarkets, bottle shops and other retailers will remain open.
In terms of schools, Mr Morrison has stated that under the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, schools will remain open until the end of term. Schools are also required to continue after the holidays, provided health advice does not change.
Parents will be allowed to keep their children at home if they want to until the end of this term, however, Mr Morrison said:
“Those children staying at home, it is not an excuse for them to go down to the shopping centre or to go and congregate somewhere else or potentially put themselves in contact with the vulnerable and elderly population”
Mr Morrison said their concern is children shouldn’t be losing a year of their education and said parents who chose to keep their child home must be responsible for them. Parents need to follow the social distancing guidelines.
Breaking: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged parents to keep their children home but stressed schools will remain open for those who need them.
What will be closed from midday March 23rd 2020?
- Night clubs
- Licenced areas of hotels (NOTE not bottle shops)
- Restaurants & cafes (they will still be allowed to do takeaways)
- Place of worship (funerals must adhere to one person per 4 square meters indoors)
- Indoor sporting centres
- Entertainment venues
For more detailed information and to watch Mr Morrison’s address, click through here: Daily Telegraph News
The Prime Minister has announced further restrictions and closures that will be enforced from midnight Wednesday 25th March 2020.
- Food courts to only serve via takeaway.
- Auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections will no longer take place.
- Outdoor and indoor markets (excluding food markets) will be addressed by NSW Government.
- Beauty therapists and massage parlours will close.
- Tanning, waxing and nail salons will close.
- Tattoo parlours will close
- Amusement parks and arcades will close.
- Play centres will close.
- Community and recreational centres, health clubs and fitness centres will close.
- Yoga, barre and spin classes will close.
- Saunas and wellness centres will close.
- Boot camps and personal training will be limited to 10 people maximum.
- Weddings will be limited to no more than five people (including celebrant and witnesses).
- Funerals will be limited to no more than 10 people (exceptions might be allowed and assessed at state levels).
- Family gatherings such as barbecues, birthdays and house parties will not be allowed.
- Hairdressers/barbers will be allowed to remain open with four-square-metre distancing requirement (30-minute appointments only rule has now been scraped on the same day).
- Cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, gambling venues, adult entertainment venues, concert venues, stadiums all closed.
- Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres all closed.
- Non-essential facilities, community facilities such as halls, PCYCs and places of worship closed.
- Schools will remain open.
Stage 3 brings tough new quarantine rules to force all international travellers arriving in Australia into a two-week isolation period in a hotel.
Australians returning home will not be allowed to complete the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period at home, but will instead be taken straight to a state-run quarantine centre for this isolation period. People would be quarantined in hotels, motels, caravan parks, and student accommodation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said more than two-thirds of Australia’s known coronavirus cases could be attributed to people returning from overseas. “For those who are seeking to make their way back, know these arrangements will be in place and they are mandatory from midnight on Saturday 28th March,” he said.
The Prime Minister goes on to say “If their home is in South Australia or in Perth or in Tasmania and they have arrived in Melbourne, they will be quarantining in Melbourne.”
NSW Police Force is urging the families and friends of travellers returning to Sydney International Airport from 6 am on Sunday 29th March onwards not to come to the airport to greet those travellers as they will not be able to see them or physically communicate with them upon their arrival.
Stage 4 restrictions continue to focus on public gatherings, as well as playgrounds, skate parks and the elderly.
- Public gatherings to be reduced from 10 people maximum down to 2. This does not include your household members inside or outside of your home. It refers to your connect with others outside your home. The NSW Premier said this will be enforceable.
- All playgrounds and skate parks are now closed.
- The only reason you should leave home is to access essential products or services such as food, medical appointments and supplies, exercise or work and education.
- People over the age of 70 years old are strongly urged to stay home for their own protection.
- Advice for Indigenous people over 50 years old is to also stay at home.
- Commercial tenancies have been discussed and the Prime Minister is looking to place a moratorium on evictions for 6 months. This will be addressed at a state and territory level.
- The government now has a WhatsApp Service for the Coronavirus: aus.gov.au/whatsapp
- There is also a Coronavirus Australia App for iPhones and Android.
- NSW Incident Alerts
- ABC- Coronavirus-imposed haircut time restrictions scrapped, exemptions to attend funerals
- ABC – Coronavirus quarantine rules will force international arrivals into two-week quarantine in hotels and caravan parks
- NSW Police Force
- Scott Morrison announces new measures aimed at slowing spread of COVID-19: As it happened
- Federal Government launches Coronavirus Australia app and WhatsApp feature