'Not mucking around': New virus limits from today

 

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has banned gatherings of more than two people in public, saying the limit will be enforced by the states.

All Australians have been urged to stay home, unless they are:

- shopping for essentials

- exercising (and following social distance rules)

- working or studying and cannot do so remotely

- out for medical care or compassionate needs

The two-person limit does not apply to people within your household.

The PM said breaking the rules "can carry very significant on-the-spot fines", which vary from state to state.

"Already from memory in South Australia, there's an on-the-spot fine of $1,000 if you violate the rule, so they are not mucking around," he said.

In a press conference last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said states and territories could decide whether to make the strict new rules enforceable but it was strongly advised that "unless it's your household, the family, those that are living at your residence" do not go out with more than one other person.

From today, all Australians are urged to only go out to shop "for what you need, food and essential supplies", shop as infrequently as possible, to attend medical care, exercise and work or education if you were unable to work or learn remotely.

Professor Brendan Murphy, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, said: "It is very simple. We need to all stay home unless we are going out to shop, to do personal exercise, to go to medical appointments, or to go to work or study if you can't work from home.

"Anyone who doesn't need to be out of their home should be in the home. This is radical."

Latest snapshot of the coronavirus impact

NUMBERS

* Australian deaths: 16 - up two from Saturday. (eight in NSW, four in Vic, two in WA, two in Qld)

* Confirmed cases in Australia: 3980 - up 351 from Saturday.

* NSW remains the worst hit with 1791 after 186 new cases were confirmed since Saturday.

* Victoria recorded 84 new cases, taking the state's total to 769. A fourth Victorian died overnight.

* A Queensland woman died, while the state recorded an extra 31 cases, taking the total to 656.

* SA was up 12 to 299, while WA was up 32, to 311.

* ACT has six new cases and 77 in total, Tasmania is stable on 66 and the NT has 15.

* Rate of case increase is now nine per cent, well down on 25 per cent last week.

MEASURES

* $1.1 billion package to help with mental health, domestic violence prevention and other health measures.

* A WhatsApp group and a coronavirus app have been set up to provide Australians with updates.

* Australians returning home from overseas will be quarantined for two weeks in hotels or other accommodation before being allowed home.

* People flouting social distancing, isolation or quarantine orders faces fines of $1000 or more in most states.

* Around 350 Australian Defence Force personnel are supporting state and territory authorities to enforce quarantine compliance.

* Borders closed in Queensland, Tasmania, SA, NT and WA. Freight and essential travel excepted.

* Tasmania and SA has banned gatherings of more than 10 people.

* Non-essential travel should cease.

* Australians, excluding aid workers and compassionate travel cases, are banned from international travel.

* A limited number of international rescue flights will be made for stranded Australians.

* Groups of more than two people in public are discouraged. States are still deciding on whether to enforce the new rule, which is up from groups of 10.

* People aged over 70 or 60-plus with chronic illness are discouraged from leaving their homes unless essential for medical care.

* Still open: supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, public transport, some schools, hairdressers, petrol stations, postal and freight services, bottle shops, newsagents, retail shops. Restaurants restricted to take-away/delivery in most states.

* Closed: schools in Victoria and ACT, gyms, indoor sports venues, pubs, cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, places of worship, theme parks, auction houses, food courts in shopping centres, beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours, galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSL clubs, swimming pools, amusement parks, arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, social sports that involve large groups, outdoor and indoor markets, outdoor playgrounds, skate parks.

* School holidays in Queensland, SA and WA also brought forward with only children of parents who have essential jobs allowed to stay.

* Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people, but states can provide exemptions; weddings restricted to the couple, celebrant and two witnesses.

* All elective surgery in public facilities put on hold.

* Testing extended to include anyone with a fever or acute respiratory infection who works in health care or aged care, lives in areas with an elevated risk of community transmission, or where there are two or more plausibly linked cases. * All patients will be able to access Medicare-funded online consultations from next week.

KEY QUOTE

* "The entire world has an enemy that is moving through it, an unseen enemy that doesn't have borders." - NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

SPORT

* A Newcastle Jets player became the first professional footballer in Australia to test positive.

* The AFL, NRL, A-league soccer, Super Rugby and netball competitions are postponed.

ECONOMICS

* Federal parliament has passed two packages worth $17.6 billion and $66 billion in response to the outbreak of the virus; states have also announced stimulus packages.

* Government is expected to announce a form of wage subsidy this week.

* Moratorium on renters being evicted for the next six months. Commercial renters will see new rules in coming days.

* Struggling regional airlines were promised $198 million and offered an additional $100 million if needed.

* Major retailers including Myer, Premier Investment, and fashion chains such as Country Road have closed retail shops, but continue to trade online.

* Supermarkets Woolworths and Coles are hiring thousands to meet demand.

* An economist has predicted an unemployment rate between 15 and 17 per cent by Easter.

GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS

* Cases: more than 664,731

* Deaths: more than 30,892

* Recovered: at least 142,427

- Source: State government updates and worldometer website, AAP

 

Originally published as 'Stay home unless you have to go out'



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