New four square metre rule for indoor spaces announced
Indoor spaces including workplaces, cinemas and theatres, restaurants, bars and pubs are now being forced to comply with an indoor limit of one person for every four square metres.
While indoor gatherings of fewer than 100 people are still allowed, the new guidelines say there needs to be at least four square metres available for every person in the area.
Ramping up the social distancing rules all Australians should now stick to in an attempt to halt the spread of Coronavirus, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison stated "earlier (this week), I announced the 100-person limit on non-essential indoor gatherings, and I went through the list of those things that were essential.
"But what we are now moving to is an arrangement for gatherings of less than 100, is that there would be 4 metre² provided per person in an enclosed space, in a room. So that's 2 metres by 2 metres.
"So for example, if you've got a room, if you've got a premises, if you've got a meeting room or something like that, that is 100 metre², then you can have 25 people in that room.
"Now, in addition to that, you should continue to practise wherever possible the 1 metre or 1.5 metres of healthy distance between each of us, to ensure that we are limiting the contact and limiting the potential for the spread of the virus."
With the Coronavirus continuing to spread, the ongoing economic uncertainty it has provoked sparked has prompted the Federal Government to announce that its budget will be delayed from May until October, with the states expected to follow suit.
However, Federal Government has today launched a second wave of economic stimulus packages while the Reserve Bank of Australian has slashed it its rates to 0.25% and rolled out a new money-printing program for the first time in Australia’s history.
The central bank will implement a $90 billion funding facility that will include a three-year funding facility for cheap loans in an effort to support businesses that have seen cash flows dry up.
Up to $15 billion will be used to allow smaller lenders to continue to support Australian consumers and small businesses.
The announcements come as the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) delivered an open letter to all levels of government highlighting “the collective grief currently experienced by Australia’s tourism industry” in the wake of the summer bushfires and ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
ATEC's letter announced "your packages, while welcomed, sit in government coffers while our tourism businesses are dying.
“Businesses across the country are at the end, having endured two catastrophic setbacks in less than three months. Yesterday’s decision to close the borders marks the end for many tourism businesses, particularly the Inbound Tour Operator businesses which are the travel intermediaries at the centre of our industry.
“We are hearing harrowing stories of businesses which have, since January, reduced their workforce from 130 to less than 10 with more redundancies to come. These businesses have no hope of ‘staying open’, they can only hope to sit in hibernation and weather this storm.
“If we want them to be there at the other end, when travel returns and our country wants to welcome back international visitors, then we need to support them now. You need to get the money flowing and send a lifeline to the travel distributors who play a major role in our export tourism ecosystem.”
ATEC called on governments to “fast-track” the delivery of their stimulus packages, by providing access to low-interest loans for business, further wage subsidies and support measures for workers who are laid off.
The body added "we encourage the Federal Government to replicate processes implemented by other countries including the UK Government’s emergency initiative to ‘backstop’ more than $600 billion in bank loans to stop businesses going bust, or the example set by New Zealand which has provided access to cash grants for wage subsidies within five days of application.
“This is no time to go slow. Our industry’s future depends not just on your quick fiscal response, but on your ability to distribute the support.”
20th March 2020 - Queensland Health advise public aquatic centres are ‘safe for swimming’
20th March 2020 - Palace Cinemas respond to COVID-19
19th March 2020 - Luna Park Sydney announces temporary closure
19th March 2020 - Crown Casinos enjoy ‘exemptions’ to remain open in Melbourne and Perth
19th March 2020 - Australasian Leisure Management and the Coronavirus crisis
19th March 2020 - Gyms emphasise hygiene practices but look for business support
19th March 2020 - AIS suspends public activities on Canberra campus
17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package
13th March 2020 - Tourism Industry body welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus stimulus
2nd March 2020 - ATEC remembers tourism innovator James Kwan
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