Further restrictions announced

David Braithwaite

FURTHER restrictions on businesses and public gatherings have been announced to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said every extra bit of time allows Australia to better prepare its health system and put measures in place to protect people’s lives.

“We will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives, allow Australia to keep functioning and keep Australians in jobs,” he said.

The announcement came after the Prime Minister, state and territory premiers and chief ministers met Tuesday as the National Cabinet.

“We are leading the world on testing with more than 161,000 Australians tested and around 2,000 Australians confirmed cases. In contrast to many countries, the majority of Australian cases of coronavirus have been from people returning overseas or direct contacts with people who had been overseas,” Mr Morrison said.

“However, National Cabinet noted that there has been a significant growth in the number of cases in Australia, with a significant number of Australians returning from overseas and small community outbreaks associated with returned travellers.

“National Cabinet reiterated that practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives.

“The highest priority should be placed on social isolation measures as well as strict and rapid contact tracing of individuals. It is paramount that contact tracing occur quickly and thoroughly and that public data is available to support this effort.

“Australians should stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, travelling to and from work – where you cannot work from home, going to school and exercising. Keep visitors to your home at a minimum. In outdoor spaces do not congregate in groups.”

The federal government will implement a ‘do not travel’ ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015. This will help avoid travellers returning to Australia with coronavirus and the risks of spreading coronavirus to other countries.

Exemptions, which will be managed by the Australian Border Force, will apply to a range of categories of travellers, including for those citizens ordinarily resident overseas, where travel is essential or necessary, where travel is in our national interest, and on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.

Cafes (exemptions for takeaway service and home delivery, and caf├ęs or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless, workplace canteens can provide takeaway)

Food courts (delivery and takeaway can remain operational)

Auction houses

Real estate auctions and open house inspections (exceptions for private appointments for inspection)

Outdoor and indoor markets will be a decision for each state and territory (food markets will continue to operate in all states and territories)

Hairdressers and barber shops (exceptions for appointments of up to 30 minute appointments, witht the one person per four square metre rule applies in the premises)

Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours

Spas and massage parlours

Cinemas, nightclubs

Casinos, gaming or gambling venues

Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues

Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums (live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed)

Amusement parks and arcades

Play centres (indoor and outdoor)

Community and recreation centres (facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services)

Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres

Boot camps, personal training operating outside and inside (for outside events, limited to groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing must be exercised)

Social sporting-based activities

Swimming pools

Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses will be a decision for each state and territory (excluding permanent residents and workers)

Caravan and camping parks will be a decision for each state and territory (where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so)

Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites

Libraries, community centres, and youth centres

Local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools)

Community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs);

Places of worship, weddings and funerals (weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than five people and where the one person per four square metre rule applies; and funerals can be attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people and where the one person per four square metre rule applies)