Scott Morrison tonight announced a new range of measures aimed at halting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
These measures include:
- A two-person limit to gatherings in public. Previously the maximum gathering size was 10 people, excluding family members.
- Outside gyms and skateparks are now to be closed.
- Public playgrounds will also be closed, but not the entire park.
- Bootcamps will also be reduced to two people.
- There’s also a moratorium on evictions from rental properties for people who are facing financial distress.
The PM also added that everyone must now stay home except for:
- Shopping for essential needs, which must be kept short and not too frequent
- Going to work or school that cannot be done remotely
- Seeking medical services or compassionate grounds
- Exercising with no more than one other person
- Weddings are to remain at five people and funerals at 10 people
The Prime Minister said shopping was still allowed but only for short periods of time, “When you are going out for shopping, you should be going for just stuff you need and do it and get home,” he said.
“It’s not a time for browsing, it is not a time for catching up with friends or bumping into people and having a long conversation.”
Mr Morrison also recommended that all people over the age of 70, people with a chronic illness aged 60 or over, and indigenous Australians older than 50 should stay home. The PM said the measures were was not compulsory, but ones that he strongly recommended.
“To the maximum extent practical … this is for their own protection to limit their interaction with others in the community,” he said.
“This does not mean they cannot go outside.
“They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person to get fresh air and recreation but they should limit contact with others as much as possible.”
The news comes after Queensland Health confirmed that Queensland has 31 new confirmed cases of novel COVID-19 raising the state total to 656.
At 3:00pm March 29, there have been 3,966 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia.
There have been 331 new cases since 3:00pm yesterday, while Cairns and the Hinterland (Tablelands) now has 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The Chief Health Officer of Queensland health said that the new restrictions were aimed at saving the lives of as many people as possible.“We need everyone to stay in their own home where possible and ensure social distancing at all times. Unfortunately this no longer means you can invite your friends over,” Dr Young said.
“We understand how important social contact with friends and family is but we need to do everything we can to slow down the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and this means limiting the number of people in each household to a maximum of 10.”
The restrictions came into effect on midnight March 29, until further notice. Fines apply for people who do not comply with this direction.