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22 March, 2020

From Monday, pubs, clubs, gyms, casinos and cinemas are to shut down.

From Monday, pubs, clubs, gyms, casinos and cinemas are to be shut down.

By Phil Brandel

From midday, Monday, pubs, clubs, gyms, casinos and cinemas are to shut down.

Tonight Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the imminent closure of pubs, clubs, casinos and churches across Australia to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Morrison social distancing was “our biggest weapon” to dealing with the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“The failure of our public to do that will put people at risk,” Mr Morrison said, after a National Cabinet meeting of all Australian states and territories.

“What we saw was a disregard of those social distancing practices. This sent a very clear message … that the social distancing practices are not being observed as they should be.”

“So, unfortunately, because guidelines can’t be followed and for public health reasons we now need to take further action which shuts those gatherings down.”

All pubs, registered and licensed clubs, and licensed premises inside hotels and pubs will close.

In those venues, accommodation facilities can continue to operate as normal but with good hygiene and social distancing measures in place.

Entertainment venues such as theatres, cinemas, casinos and nightclubs will also be forced to shut their doors.

Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway or home delivery only, while indoor sporting venues, gyms and churches and places of worship will also close.
Shopping centres and supermarkets are not subject to the new restrictions.

The PM has warned that even harsher restrictions could be on the cards if Australians failed to observe proper social distancing measures in public places such as beaches and shopping centres.

He pleaded with the community to do the right thing.

"As we’ve just made very clear, that when that doesn’t occur, then more dramatic measures will have to be introduced," he said.

"I would simply ask Australians to be calm and exercise some sensible judgement."

The Prime Minister confirmed schools would remain open until the end of term and would reopen after the break, pending medical advice.

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