New Restrictions Effective Midnight Tomorrow

Filed in Just In by March 24, 2020

THE Prime Minister has announced further restrictions this evening, effective from midnight tomorrow night, to slow the rate of the virus.

The principle of the new restrictions is to prevent large gatherings, organised events and for people to stay at home, only leaving for essential activities such as grocery shopping or work, if working from home is not an option.

New restrictions will be brought in for gatherings in people’s homes, which each state and territory will address further, underpinned by legislation.

The overseas travel warning will be turned into a ban under the biosecurity act, with exceptions for aid workers, compassionate travel or essential work travel.  

Many more businesses will now need to cease operating.

Dr Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer of Australia said, Australians have to behave completely differently.

“If there is widespread community transmission we may have to introduce further measures,” said Dr Murphy.

The new restrictions include:

  • Food courts in shopping centres will not be allowed to continue, but getting takeaways is permissible;
  • Auction houses, gatherings in auction rooms, can no longer continue;
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections, can not continue;
  • Outdoor and indoor markets (excluding Flemington, which is essential to food supply) will be addressed by each state and territory;
  • Beauty therapy, nail salons, tanning, waxing, tattooing, spa and massage (excluding health related services such as physiotherapy) can no longer operate;
  • Hairdressers and barber shops can continue must strictly manage social distancing and limit the number of people in their premise and restrict the amount of time of a patron in the premise to no more than 30 minutes, preferably less.
  • Amusement parks, arcades and play centres both indoor and outdoor – must close;
  • Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres – must close;
  • Boot camps and personal training limited to a maximum of 10 people, with social distancing;
  • Social and sporting activities, where people gather must cease, for example people gathering together to play soccer;
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, youth centres, local government non-essential facilities, swimming pools, community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs and places of worship – must close;
  • Weddings – can have no more than five people, including the couple, the celebrant and the witnesses;
  • Funerals – no more than 10 people;

Further important rules:

  • Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary that you go out – going out for the basics, such as exercise, grocery shopping, medical needs, care or support for another and going to work, if you can’t work from home.
  • Visits to your house should be kept to a minimum with small numbers of guests – exercise common sense – BBQs of friends or family celebrating a birthday party – we can’t do those now. Even around the large family table, these are not things we can do now.
  • House parties – the states and territories will look at measures for when it becomes an offence.
  • Outdoors do not congregate together in groups – difficult to put a number on it – say 10 people that’s not ok, not a hard and fast rule – illustrative purposes.
  • Schools – recommendations have not changed and tomorrow there will be further discussions about how to keep schools open but protect staff.
  • Profiteering from large purchases in Australia will be seized at the boarder and prosecutable.

The National Cabinet will meet again tomorrow night, with further issues such as leases, mortgages, rent and electricity costs to be considered.

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