No draconian lockdown yet, but PM bans travel and increases social distancing

No draconian lockdown yet, but PM bans travel and increases social distancing

Weddings and funerals are now limited to five and 10 people respectively, but Mr Morrison maintained "it is safe to send your children to school".

But leaders have resisted ordering a broad lockdown of the country, or a widespread closure of schools.

There will be some exemptions for aid workers and essential government workers.

A series of new preventative coronavirus measures have been announced by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and will see even more businesses affected.

Morrison said the reason for this additional rule is due to Australians still seeking to go overseas on holiday.

"Australians who have lost hours, lost work, businesses that have been forced to close businesses, these are heart-breaking events in our nation's history and story".

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

Mr Morrison admits these measures in particular will be very hard.

'This is not an easy decision. But we also need to recognise that in some places, states and territories are in different situations to other parts of the country.' He instanced the Northern Territory, with its remote communities.

Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, swimming pools, community facilities including halls and PCYC's.

Outdoor and indoor markets, although "major food markets" (the prime minister cited Sydney's Flemington market as an example) will be addressed by states and territories. He allowed barbers and hairdressers to stay open but under strict social distancing restrictions and time limits for customers.

Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people.

Morrison urged Australians to stay home except for essential trips and to keep social gatherings at home to a very small number of guests.

"They can't do it, because when they come home, that's when they put Australians at risk", he said.

The Prime Minister's message was aimed directly at them, not those already staying home and staying isolated. "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, 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 or support to another individual in another place, going to work and where you can not work from home [is not fine]".

Australians overseas had already been advised to return home as soon as possible. While the statement may ring true to many of us who have been obeying the rules of self-isolation and doing what we can during these trying times, Morrison was still is yet to bring a firm directive until now. 'Doctors will ensure that patients who have their surgery delayed are looked after and given the best medical advice'.

He said schools should re-open after the forthcoming term break to enable people without other options to continue sending their children.

However the Prime Minister will meet with education unions tomorrow to discuss further arrangements including more distance education. It is important that they get access to these normal services.



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