- Scott Morrison has announced venues “where people congregate” will now be shut, to enforce social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Venues affected include pubs and clubs, cinemas, gyms, and places of worship.
- Morrison also said schools would remain open, but it would be at the discretion of parents as to whether they sent their children.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
It was a day of many announcements, but the final one, delivered just after 9:30pm on Sunday night, was perhaps the most drastic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a number of venues will shut down across Australia at midday on Monday to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Pubs, clubs, cinemas, nightclubs, gyms, and places of worship are among those which have been ordered to shut.
Restaurants and cafes can remain open, but only for takeaway and delivery sales.
Here’s the full list of venues which must now close:
- Registered and licensed clubs
- Licensed premises in hotels and pubs
- Entertainment venues including cinemas, casinos and nightclubs
- Sitting in at restaurants (takeaway and delivery will still be available)
- Indoor sporting venues, including gyms
- Places of worship
Morrison also name-checked events like indoor funerals, but only said that the previous guidance of one person per four square metres would continue be enforced.
The late night update came after NSW and Victoria both announced throughout the afternoon they would move to partial shutdowns within their respective states, with or without federal action.
Morrison blamed the escalation of measures on people not performing social distancing as recommended by the government.
“On the weekend, what we saw was a disregard of those social distancing practices,” Morrison said.
“As people turned up to the beach in large numbers, crammed venues in our major cities. As I flagged this morning, this sent a very clear message to premiers, chief ministers and myself that the social distancing practices are not being observed as well as they should be.”
Morrison also announced that schools would remain open, but it would be up to the discretion of parents as to whether they send their children there or not. For those who don’t, Morrison said distance learning arrangements would be put in place, but that parents shouldn’t expect them to be available right out of the gate.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy repeated earlier suggestions he made that coronavirus is “low risk” for children, and that the decision of the country’s chief medical officers was unanimous on this point.
“We reaffirmed our position that the risk to children of coronavirus is extremely low,” Murphy said.
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