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.
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.
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.