Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison orders a partial lock-down across the country starting midday tomorrow, Monday.
On Sunday, the PM met with the National Cabinet – composing of territory and state leaders – to talk over measures to curb the spread of coronavirus as cases rose to 1,354. These new rules follow after most Australians continue to ignore instructions for social distancing.
Morrison declared stage-one restrictions for indoor venues, including gyms, cinemas, places of worship, nightclubs, and licenced locations in clubs and hotels.
However, restaurants, diners, fast food, and cafés will stay open for takeaway and delivery services only. Shopping centres and supermarkets will remain available, but establishments such as Woolworths have their own set of restrictions. Bottle shops will also carry on trading.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy expressed his disappointment at people who gathered to Bondi Beach in Sydney last Saturday. Ordered its closure afterwards, he said the experience had justified the implementation of a partial lock-down. The Australian Prime Minister said earlier that the lock-down could last for six months.
Premiers Gladys Berejiklian of News South Wales and Daniel Andrews of Victoria each released a separate report regarding the comprehensive shutdown, starting midday tomorrow. Both assured the public that the shutdown would help control the spread of the virus, and the closure will apply to non-essential services.
Morrison said Australians should do better than what they have been doing to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. He related how he had little confidence over the public after people deliberately ignored guidance for social distancing. “We now need to take action,” he added.
Morrison maintained his stance over keeping schools open until term one ends. Even so, he has given parents the choice of whether they will let their children attend classes or not. The Australian Prime Minister warned that schools would remain closed for the rest of the year if the public remains defiant of the government’s mandate to practise social distancing.
The mandate to keep schools operating was discussed with the National Cabinet on Sunday night, ending with an agreement to reopen schools after Easter break. However, the directive would be subject to change per health advice.
Yet Morrison advised the public that school holidays will not be the usual. “There will not be trips interstate,” he said. “There will not be congregating up at the trampoline venue or whatever it happens to be.” Any such actions by both parents and children during the break will have repercussions.
Morrison said the decisions Australians would make over the next weeks will seriously define the trajectory of the country concerning the coronavirus outbreak.
Murphy, however, assured that the risk for schoolchildren to contract the virus was extremely low. Hence, chief health officers think it will only be right to keep schools open.
However, Victoria announced the state would close all of its schools including ACT schools beginning on Tuesday to bring forward Easter break.
The Australian Prime Minister enforced these new mandates, warning severe consequences if Australians continue to disregard government orders to maintain safe distances, stay at home, and limit travel.