Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced stage one of a nationwide shutdown, effective midday Monday morning, in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In a late-night press conference following Sunday night’s National Cabinet meeting, Scott Morrison asserted that social distancing is Australia’s best way to deal with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
“The failure of our public to do that will put people at risk,” he said. “What we saw was a disregard of those social distancing practices. This sent a very clear message … that the social distancing practices are not being observed as they should be.”
The nationwide response will come into effect as of midday on Monday, and will see a wide-ranging shutdown of businesses and organisations across the country.
The ban will include: pubs, clubs, licensed premises within hotels, gyms, indoor sporting venues, entertainment venues, cinemas, casinos, churches and other places of worship. Meanwhile, restaurants and cafes will be restricted to “takeaway only.”
However, Morrison clarified that the shutdown will not impact retail businesses and other services like hairdressers, as previously speculated by the NSW and Victorian Premiers earlier on Sunday.
The measures are believed to be in place for the next six months, but will be reviewed monthly as the situation progresses.
Sunday’s announcement is being classified as “stage one” of the coronavirus response, however, Morrison confirmed that the specifics of further stages are yet to be discussed by the National Cabinet.
Despite a move from both Gladys Berejiklian and Dan Andrews earlier on Sunday, school is to remain open across the country tomorrow, with Scott Morrison asserting that the remainder of the school term will take place as normal.
The NSW and Victorian Premiers are yet to speak on the decision, which seems to contradict the measures they were pushing for earlier on Sunday.
The National Cabinet, which is comprised of state premiers, will meet again on Tuesday to further assess the situation.