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  • Annie Lewis

Bans on indoor gatherings extended


Funerals of more than 10 and weddings of more than five people have been banned in a raft of tougher measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.


In addition, the travel advice from DFAT would be escalated from a “do not travel” warning to a ban on all overseas travel, except in exceptional circumstances.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the media following a meeting of the National Cabinet.

Mr Morrison said that the national cabinet agreed to extend the restrictions on indoor gatherings, announced on Sunday.


They include auction houses, food courts in shopping centres, and some markets, although the markets will be decided by state and territory governments.

There are also bans on beauty services, tanning services, tattoo parlours, waxing salons, nail salons, but hairdressers and barbers can continue to operate provided the client is in and out in 30 minutes.


This will come into effect midnight Wednesday.


Mr Morrison said urged Australians to show common sense in social distancing, and “to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary you go out”.

"Going out for the basics, going out for an exercise, perhaps with your partner or family members, provided it’s a small group, that’s fine," he said.


"But going outside and going out and participating more broadly in the community unless you’re shopping for basics or there are medical needs or you’re providing care and support to an individual at another place.


"Going to work and where you cannot work from home. That is encouraged, strongly encouraged to work from home where you can do that.


"Visits to your premises, to your house, to your residence, should be kept to a minimum and with very small numbers of guests.


"We don’t want to be overly specific about that, we want Australians to exercise their common sense."


Mr Morrison said states and territories may look at introducing specific offences for people who hold house parties.


He added that all schools around the country will reopen after the Easter holidays, but it will be a mixture of face-to-face and online learning.

Mr Morrison said the school would remain open for “essential workers” and, under his definition, every worker is essential.


"Everyone who has a job in this economy is an essential worker," he said.


"Every single job that is being done in our economy with these severe restrictions that are taking place is essential.

"It can be essential service whether it’s a nurse or a doctor or a schoolteacher, or a public servant who is working tonight to ensure that we can get even greater capacity in our Centrelink offices, working until 8pm under the new arrangement in the call centres - these are all essential jobs."


MORE TO COME.

LOCAL News

with Annie Lewis