Stage three lockdowns could come 'sooner rather than later'

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Australia could be forced into stage three lockdowns as the prime minister speaks with global leaders about the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Scott Morrison announced further restrictions on Tuesday night to battle the spread of COVID-19, including shutting down indoor sporting facilities and museums, and restricting weddings to no more than five people.

Police officers encourage beach goers to keep 1.5 metres social distance in Perth, Australia.
WA Police tell beachgoers to keep their distance from each other. Source: Getty Images

Overseas travel bans were also introduced.

Mr Morrison is spending Thursday night at a virtual G20 summit with leaders from across the world to discuss what is and isn’t working in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

So far it has claimed 13 Australian lives.

ABC’s David Speers, the host of Insiders, said on Thursday he believes Australia will be headed for stage three restrictions “sooner rather than later” after Mr Morrison speaks with the world leaders.

Speers added one of the issues currently facing the response to the virus is how states are operating differently - Western Australia, for example, has closed its borders but NSW has not.

"There is going to be a move at some point to stage three and I think the idea is to cope it as nationally coordinated as possible," he said.

ClimbFit managing director, Robbie Josephsen poses for a photograph in Sydney.
ClimbFit's Robbie Josephsen at an indoor rock-climbing centre in Sydney that has shut its doors. Source: Getty Images

However, if not every state is onboard, Speers believes the states with the most cases, NSW and Victoria, will further shut down access to amenities.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday his state will see a stage three lockdown.

“'I’m being upfront with people,” he said.

The premier wouldn’t explain what measures would take place under a stage three lockdown or when it would occur.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government was "looking very closely" at the impact of Monday's shutdowns on pubs, cinemas and churches - and if they weren't sufficient, further action would be taken.

A woman is seen walking past a political poster in Sydney, Australia.
NSW could be headed for stage three restrictions soon if cases continue to rise. Source: Getty Images

The main criterion by which success would be judged was community-to-community COVID-19 transmissions, rather than total case numbers.

"I'm saying to the community that if we're not convinced we've had a sufficient amount of success, NSW will have to take further action and that's a position I've been clear on from day one," Ms Berejiklian said.

"If there's a significant shift ... you know you need to take further action."

As for what stage three could look like - it’s not entirely clear.

However, it’s believed stage three would look similar to what the UK is doing - with retail stores and office buildings shut and a mandate for Aussies to stay at home.

Currently, Australians are still able to visit retail stores and participate in exercise outside with a trainer, as long as it’s less than 10 people and everyone is 1.5metres apart.

But it’s possible that would change under further restrictions.

Both the UK and Germany have banned public gatherings of more than two people.

with AAP

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