Two billion in lockdown as PM puts new restrictions in place

Marco Green
March 25, 2020

Only "small numbers of guests" can come into other peoples homes.

"We don't want to be overly specific about that, we want Australians to exercise their commonsense so that means bbqs, of lots of friends or even family, extended family, coming together, to celebrate one-year-old birthday parties and all those sort of things, we cant do those things now".

Given the unprecedented nature of the crisis, Dr Hooker said the government was going to have to make decisions that may be incorrect in hindsight but that it was important for the public to understand why they were being made.

"There are some real practical steps we can take to improve that messaging ... like making sure the message is consistent and staying in line with the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendations".

"It's going to be a tough year in 2020 and one of the things I don't want to have yielded up is a year of a child's education, which is so important".

"If we do all these things, then we are going to be able to put greater pressure on slowing the rate of the spread of this virus", Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

The premier stopped short of enforcing a total lockdown similar to those seen in Britain and Italy, but said all Australians "should only go outside to do to those essential things" such as buying groceries or seeking medical attention.

Most overseas travel will be banned and many public spaces will be shut.

"A wedding, in an enclosed venue, that would be a necessary restriction - I think that's fairly straightforward", he said. "And we should seek to try to avoid that where it is possible".

The Chief Medical Officer says he is "very worried" about the significant growth in COVID-19 cases in Australia in past days, saying the Government will "not tolerate" anyone breaching self-isolation orders.

From midnight on Wednesday food courts in shopping centres will only be available for takeaway food.

Auctions and open house inspections are banned.

Outdoor and indoor markets are banned while rules around major food markets will be addressed by states and territories.

Weddings will still be allowed to be conducted but will be restricted to just the couple, the celebrant and witnesses.

Amusement parks and arcades are now included.

Funerals will be no more than ten persons.

"We previously had a "do not travel" warning on Smart Traveller in terms of all overseas travel", Morrison said.

Only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are now advised to be tested.

"COVID-19 can and does kill young people as well", he said.

"We are very anxious about the rate of the rise", said Professor Brendan Murphy, Australia's chief medical officer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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