It’s a new week and we’re now staring down the barrel of a pretty intense time, because apparently we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to social distancing and staying the fuck home. From midnight on March 25, what’s open, closed, and restricted our national shutdown extends further – which puts a lot of people at risk of losing their jobs, but also forces people to stay home and curb the spread of COVID-19.
But reports, and mostly Morrison’s mangled press conferences, have been kinda conflicted about what’s considered “essential” and what isn’t. What’s going to be open when and where, and what’s not.
So here’s our best guesses as to what’s actually going to stay open during this next phase of a national shutdown, according to what Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said in his daily press conferences.
As always, we’ll absolutely update this as things change.
What Is Still Open During The Shutdown
Yep, supermarkets are considered an essential business but a lot are also running on reduced hours at the moment. Pretty much all supermarkets are open from 7am to 8pm – mostly so they have a chance to actually restock.
On March 19, the South Australian government moved to deregulate trading hours for supermarkets, allowing them to trade 24/7 if they want.
Big chains like Coles and Woolworths are also running dedicated hours for at-risk and elderly people to be able to do their grocery shop with minimal contact with others.
Your best bet is to probably check on your local to see what their opening hours are.
You’ll be able to pop into the bank and do any financial stuff for the time being. I’m not sure about you but I do pretty much all of my banking online anyway.
Also considered an essential business, petrol stations will remain open during the current level of shutdown.
Pharmacies & Chemists
Though many people have been apparently stockpiling medication and getting scripts filled for months in advance, pharmacies will remain open as part of the stage of the shutdown.
Mostly independently owned – so a way to support local small biz – convenience stores will also be open at this stage. Just in case you need some rogue items like American cereal or a new pair of speed dealers.
Probably one of the business models that will see a massive spike in the shutdown is food delivery, considering restaurants and cafés now all have to either close or pivot to takeaway and delivery only.
Most apps like UberEats and Deliveroo are enabling contactless delivery as well, where they’ll drop your food at the door and let you know it’s there.
THANK. GOD. This one was confusing – many thought that the local grog shop probably wasn’t going to be considered essential and stocked up for the months ahead. But it’s being reported widely that bottle-o’s are considered an “essential service” and will remain open at this point. This also includes the takeaway section of the local pub, according to Morrison’s announcement on March 22. Damn bloody straight.
Morrison confirmed that “hotels in their licensed venues” will be closed, but any accomodation will remain open (read: those dodgy-lookin’ rooms above some pubs, which are vital, affordable housing for some Aussies.)
Despite Morrison’s latest press conference being all levels of utter confusing, shopping centres will be only open as access to essential services like supermarkets, chemists, and the like.
What Is Restricted
STILL a bit of a confusing one because there’s so much physical contact going on here, but hairdressers/barbers will remain open in the current level of shutdown, but they can only have a small amount of people inside, maintain the 1.5m distance rule (how) and services can only last 30 minutes maximum.
Lots of places have elected to close voluntarily, so check your local before you go for a trim.
Maximum five people present, including the couple, the celebrant, and the witnesses. No more. Yes that includes the people that decided to have a wedding at 2pm on a Tuesday on the nature strip outside my house this week.
A tougher one on the heart, funerals are now strictly limited to a maximum of ten people.
Indoor and Outdoor Markers
These are up to states and territories about whether they’ll remain open. Check your local.
Boot Camps and Personal Training
Maximum of ten people including the trainer allowed, all must keep the social distancing rule while training. No you still can’t skip leg day.
What Is Not Still Open
It might have been buried a bit in the Prime Minister’s announcement, but your local gym is absolutely closed. Time to freeze your membership.
That doesn’t mean you can skip leg day though; if you’re not in full quarantine, you can go workout in the park (if it is safe to do so), and I’m sure Yoga With Adriene is clocking up some serious numbers over on YouTube now.
Pubs, nightclubs & bars
I mean, this is just common sense. Won’t hurt you to skip the pub for a bit, but it’s definitely immediately hurting all the hospo staff who are now suddenly out of work. We’ll keep you updated on this one, but it’s not looking good, mates.
You can’t sit in them, but you can still do takeaway. Ok.
Indoor Sporting Venues
Another somewhat confusing one, but as Morrison said, this absolutely includes those “trampoline venues” all the kids love to congregate at.
In his conference on Tuesday night, Morrison explained this one a bit further, noting that places like community and recreation centres (PCYC, etc), health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres will all be closed. Well, he had a bit of trouble with “barre” and the Internet had a field day. It was a real redux of the “trampoline venues” thing.
Amusement Parks and Arcades
Think about how much people are sweating all over those Dance Dance Revolution machines. Yikes.
Indoor and Outdoor Play Centres
Time to build that pillow fort in the lounge room for your kids and/or younger siblings.
It’s absolutely time to get your various streaming services a serious workout. Bring the cinema to your lounge room. Stock up on popcorn kernels. Bonus points if you can somehow fashion a choc-top ice cream at home.
Galleries, Museums, National Institutions, Historic Sites, Libraries, Community Centres
Thankfully, plenty of museums and galleries have pivoted to online tours and experiences. MONA in Hobart is doing a livestream of Tim, the tattooed guy sitting on a plinth from 10am to 4.30pm every day. Check it out.
Considering public pools can be a bit of a hot bed of germs anyway, this makes sense. It also would directly affect people who use hydrotherapy at the local pool, but Morrison has said that health-related services like the physio can stay open, so private pool hydro might be your best bet here.
You know it’s serious when they metaphorically blow up the pokies. From midday on March 23, casinos will be closed after previously remaining open but with very limited capacities in place. Probably for the best.
Indoor Places of Worship
Yes, this includes Hillsong.
In-store beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spa and massage parlours will all be closed from midnight Wednesday March 25.
We’re just gonna have to all lean into the au naturale look for a while. Brace yourselves, we can do this.
All tuff stickers will be put on hold from midnight on the 25th. Now you can save up money for more tatties later.
If you think you may have coronavirus, either call your doctor (DON’T visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you’re struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.