Latest COVID-19 News
Latest updates from PM Scott Morrison
Posted on 18.03.2020
Non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned by the Federal Government as the country responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also warned Australians not to leave the country as the disease spreads, saying: “We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the First World War.”
The Prime Minister has announced that:
- The Federal Government is advising Australians not to travel overseas, and says that advice will remain in place indefinitely
- Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are banned but schools, universities, airports, public transport, medical and emergency services facilities, aged care homes, jails, courts, parliaments, supermarkets and many workplaces are exempt
- Work restrictions on 20,000 student nurses have been lifted, so that they can help with the health response
- A human biosecurity emergency has been declared, giving the Federal Government extra powers to respond to the crisis
- There are new rules restricting visits to aged care homes
- Schools will remain open for the foreseeable future, based on the advice of health officials.
“This is a once-in-a-100-year-type event,” Mr Morrison said.
“Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world. Life is going to continue to change.
“The travel advice to every Australian is do not travel abroad. Do not go overseas.”
The new restrictions were agreed to during a phone hook-up with federal, state and territory leaders last night.
- An unprecedented, indefinite level-four travel ban is in place for the entire world. The travel advice for all Australians wanting to go overseas is “Do Not Travel“.
- There is a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more. Australians are still advised to stay away from non-essential outdoor gatherings of 500 or more.
- Modeled on Singapore’s approach, the official advice is that schools will remain open.
- There are new measures in place for visiting elderly relatives in aged care. In end-of-life situations, facilities will have the discretion to put very strict arrangements in place to enable family members to see relatives.
- Scott Morrison has urged hoarders to stop panic-buying, as grocery stores deal with empty shelves.
- The chief medical officer has said a shut down of the country is not recommended by the experts
- Social distancing recommendations remain in place, including advice not to hand shake or hug
- Younger adults are also at risk of serious illness and death from coronavirus
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