Premier pleads with families to give up on Easter tradition

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has one simple request for families tempted to flout coronavirus restrictions and congregate with others this Easter long weekend - stay home.

The two words repeated exactly the message the prime minister had delivered to Australians on Tuesday.

Ms Berejiklian acknowledged how difficult this concept would be for many, particularly those who usually attended church or travelled to big gatherings, but pleaded with the public stay put.

She urged Australians to “really respect the rules, not travel, not leave your home unless you absolutely have to” in a press conference on Thursday morning.

The premier is urging people not to travel during the Easter break. Source: AAP

‘Do not attend Easter church services’

“Especially to those of you who would normally attend a church service, I know this would be so difficult for many of you,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“It may be the first Easter where you have not attended a church service or religious gathering, but we're all in this together and I appreciate what everyone is going through.

“I can relate to it in terms of my own family customs and tradition, but I appreciate how everybody is really stepping up and thank you for what you're doing to date in relation to sticking to the rules.”

Ms Berejiklian said this weekend was not a time for us to “lift our foot off the pedal”, reminding people of the importance of staying vigilant to “clamp down on the community to community transmission”.

She revealed there were early signs that social distancing and self-isolation measures were paying off.

“But we won't know the true benefit until a few weeks when all the data is in. I don't want to jump to any conclusions but early signs are positive,” she said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had a similar warning for those in the state, requesting that no one leave the state and instead to stay within their suburbs for the Easter break.

'It could all come undone'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison echoed these messages earlier this week when he told Australians to stay home for Easter or face a steep incline in cases.

“Failure to do so this weekend would completely undo everything we’ve achieved so far together, or potentially worse,” he said.

“We are on the right track, controlling the spread, building the capacity of our health system and buying time. We must continue to do what we are doing. That's how we will get through it.”

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