Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a raft of new social restrictions that will see pubs, clubs, hotels, gyms and indoor sporting venues, cinemas, venues, casinos, and night clubs closed from today.
The announcement came after a meeting of state and territory premiers and chief ministers who agreed to greater social distancing measures after numerous reports of Australians not to be taking them seriously enough.
“Practising good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives,” Morrison said. “The failure of some businesses and members of the public to do this puts people’s lives at risk.”
The “stage one” restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis and are expected to last for as long as six months.
“We will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives, allow Australia to keep functioning and keep Australians in jobs,” Morrison said.
“We need every Australian to do their bit to save the lives of other Australians.”
Despite the intended unified voice of a national cabinet some states territories are ploughing ahead with their own measures.
New South Wales, Victoria and ACT state governments are looking at a more comprehensive shutdown that will see non-essential services closed in the next 48 hours, leaving open only supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and convenience stores.