Schools will remain open in NSW however parents are being urged to keep their children at home, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced in a confusing message on Monday morning.
It was also revealed confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the state soared beyond 600.
Ms Berejkilian’s instruction comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison reiterated over the weekend schools across the country should stay open on the basis of advice from the nation’s leading health experts.
However, Ms Berejkilian said the NSW government will encourage parents to keep their children at home where possible and safe to do so.
“For practical reasons, in NSW, we will be encouraging parents to keep their children at home,” she said at a press conference on Monday.
She said last week about 30 per cent of parents chose to keep their children at home and she expected that percentage to increase further.
“I want to stress that, for parents that have no option, for parents that are workers and have no option, the school is safe for children to attend,” she reiterated.
NSW Health’s Dr Kerry Chant announced on Monday morning cases of coronavirus in NSW had soared to 669 after 136 new cases were confirmed.
The increase is the state’s largest daily total so far.
New national restrictions to ‘save lives’
Mr Morrison announced on Sunday all licensed clubs, pubs, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, gyms and sporting venues, restaurants, cafes and places of worship will be forced to close across the country from midday on Monday.
Weddings and funerals are also included.
“It's painful, but it is absolutely appropriate,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday morning.
Mr Andrews said the restrictions will run until April 13, but expected them to run for much longer.
Ms Berejiklian said the new restrictions will likely save lives across the state.
"I don't want to look back in a month and think 'why didn't we do that sooner?, why didn't we save more lives'?” she said.
Victorian schools will close on Tuesday as the school holidays are brought forward.
Victoria’s total number of cases rose to 355 on Monday morning.
Mr Andrews urged Victorians not to host people in their homes in response to the closure of non-essential locations.
“It’s not appropriate,” he warned.
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