NEWS

Coronavirus update: Scott Morrison announces pubs, clubs and cinemas to close, schools stay open

Here's what will stay open, what will shut down
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says children should go to school, but the Government has cracked down on public venues such as pubs, entertainment venues and places of worship.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says children should go to school, but the Government has cracked down on public venues such as pubs, entertainment venues and places of worship.
AAP

After meeting with state and territory leaders on Sunday night to discuss further measures in the ‘war against COVID-19’, including the possible closure of schools at a national level, the prime minister Scott Morrison has announced a ‘comprehensive shutdown’ of all non-essential services.

Taking drastic action to limit the spread of coronavirus, he announced the closure of pubs, clubs, cinemas and casinos.

At a late-night press conference in Canberra on Sunday, Morrison announced “stage one” closures of some venues to deter indoor mass gatherings.

Victorian schools are set to close on Tuesday, with the state bringing forward the Easter holiday break. NSW is expected to follow suit.

He said the strict closures follow a weekend in which Australians gathered at the beach and licenced venues, flaunting social distancing recommendations.

“When we all do not do the right thing, then it has real implications for others,” he said.

“We now need to take action because we cannot have the confidence as a group of leaders that the social distancing guidelines and rules that we have put in place won’t be followed to the level of compliance that we require to flatten the curve and slow the spread and save lives.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says children should go to school, but the Government has cracked down on public venues such as pubs, entertainment venues and places of worship.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says children should go to school, but the Government has cracked down on public venues such as pubs, entertainment venues and places of worship. (Credit: AAP)

Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian released separate statements assuring supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and home delivery services would stay open during the ‘comprehensive shutdown’.

The prime minister said a six-month shutdown had been modelled by medical experts – and any lockdown would need to be long-term.

Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) released separate statements assuring supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and home delivery services would stay open during the 'comprehensive shutdown'.
Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) released separate statements assuring supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and home delivery services would stay open during the ‘comprehensive shutdown’. (Credit: AAP)

He announced tough new measures on social distancing, which will see some businesses close from midday tomorrow.

The restrictions are significant. This is only stage one of the social distancing regime, he says. From tomorrow, at midday, the following businesses will be closed or restricted in their trade.

  • Registered and licensed clubs
  • Licensed premises in hotels and pubs. Entertainment venues and cinemas, casinos and nightclubs.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway only.
  • Indoor sporting venues.
  • Places of worship.
  • Enclosed spaces for funerals and things of that nature will have to follow the strict four square metre rule which will be enforced.
  • Importantly, bottle shops will be exempt. They will not be restricted because they are not a place of gathering.

Home deliveries and takeaway food businesses will continue.

Victoria and New South Wales are enforcing a lockdown of non-essential activities, including businesses.
Victoria and New South Wales are enforcing a lockdown of non-essential activities, including businesses. (Credit: Instagram)

On social distancing, he says people have been disregarding the advice. This has warranted new measures.

“On the weekend, what we saw was a disregard of those social distancing practices. 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.” 

Premiers and chief ministers will go into further detail tomorrow as they move to legislate and regulate the changes being put in place.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Australia surpassed 1,300 on Sunday. The majority of those cases were contracted overseas.

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