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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces new measures aimed at slowing spread of Coronavirus

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces new measures aimed at slowing spread of Coronavirus
March 25, 2020

New restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of Coronavirus have been announced by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with more businesses and public facilities to be required to close.

Speaking last evening, Prime Minister Morrison announced a nationwide crackdown on social gatherings in a bid to slow the spread of Coronavirus, with a list of additional activities and facilities, now restricted to slow the spread of Coronavirus, with FECs; theme parks; indoor and outdoor play centres; fitness clubs, gyms and studios; community and recreation centres; public swimming pools; and galleries, museums, historic sites and libraries, community centres to cease operating from midnight on Wednesday.

Shopping centres will continue to operate, but group events such as weddings and funerals are limited to small number of participants

With some exceptions, Australians are also now banned from travelling overseas

Announcing the new restrictions late on Tuesday following a National Cabinet conference call with state and territory leaders, Prime Minister Morrison said the changes were necessary to locations and activities identified as "major transmitting events".

He went on to advise that the additional restrictions would apply from tonight, stating “cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, gaming or gambling venues, all of those were included in the announcement on Sunday, as were adult entertainment venues, concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums, they are all included in what we said on Sunday evening.

"Amusement parks and arcades are now included. Play centres, both indoor and outdoor, are also now included.

"Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre - I hope I pronounced that correctly, I might need some help with that, I'm not quite sure what that is to be honest - but B-A-R-R-E, for those looking for the specific definition, and spin facilities, saunas, bath houses, wellness centres. Boot camps and personal training is limited to a maximum of 10 people. And the social-distancing arrangements must be strictly enforced.

"Social, sporting based activities, swimming pools. Now, I'll come back to the social and sporting-based activities in a second to explain what we mean by that. That's large groups of people gathering together to play soccer in a community oval and things of that nature. You can see what we're trying to do, we're trying to limit the gathering of people in large numbers that can relate to the transmitting of the virus through those social interactions which are not considered necessary.

"Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, youth centres, local government non-essential facilities, libraries and swimming pools. Community facilities such as community halls, RSLs, PCYCs. Many of those were already included in what I said on Sunday night and of course, places of worship.”

Prime Minister Morrison added that visits to homes, even with family, "should be kept to a minimum and with very small numbers of guests", stating “we don't want to be overly specific about that; we want Australians to exercise their common sense.

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

"Barbecues of lots of friends or even extended family coming together to celebrate one-year-old birthday parties and all these sorts of things - we can't do those things now.”

From midnight on Wednesday, these activities and businesses will no longer be allowed to continue:
• Amusement parks and arcades
• Indoor and outdoor play centres
• Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres
• Public swimming pools
• Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres
• Auction houses
• Real estate auctions and open house inspections
• In-store beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours, spa and massage parlours (excluding allied-health-related services, like physiotherapy)
• Food courts within shopping centres will only be able to sell takeaway. Shopping centres themselves will remain open

On Wednesday morning Australians began receiving text messages from the Government urging them to observe physical-distancing guidelines.

Images: FECs (top) and museums and galleries, in this case the Art Gallery of NSW, (middle) are among businesses that must now close to the public. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (below).

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