In an ever-changing environment for Australians, Scott Morrison moved once again on Tuesday night to tighten restrictions for the country’s 25 million people.
The prime minister stressed the importance of social distancing and said groups of 10 or more people in public was now advised against.
While there were further bans and restrictions implemented on parts of society as of midnight on Wednesday, Mr Morrison refrained from implementing widespread lockdowns seen across Europe, prompting criticism for going slow on counter measures.
Can I still go shopping?
Scott Morrison stressed Australians must only go out for essential shopping, primarily to supermarkets and convenience stores which will remain open.
However shopping centres have also remained open and retailers have been informed they can open their doors if adhering to the four square metre rule.
“Shopping centres, retail premises in shopping centres, they will remain open,” Mr Morrison reiterated.
“It is important to go to the shopping centre. It is important that they get access to these normal services.
“It's important for [the public] because they need it. It's also important for our economy that it continues to operate and function as much as possible.”
However food courts inside shopping centres will now be banned.
While there were panicked scenes across the weekend at Dan Murphy’s, stores licensed to sell alcohol will continue to remain open.
And while cafes have been forced to stop accomodating customers indoors, they are still allowed to provide takeaway services selling, for example, coffee and pastries.
The following is a breakdown of what services will stay open to the public:
Freight and logistics
Takeaway and home delivery
Health and government services
Can I still work out?
Despite gyms and indoor exercise classes now being banned, Mr Morrison said outdoor boot camps and personal training can continue if they are limited to no more than 10 people.
Unlike the UK’s latest restrictions, there is no limit to how many times you can go running and exercise outside.
Can I get my hair cut still?
Yes, for now.
Hairdressers were exempt from Mr Morrison’s sweeping restrictions on personal services announced last night – but there were strict caveats.
“Hairdressers and barber shops will continue to be able to provide those services but it is very important that they strictly manage the social distancing and limitations of the number of people,” Mr Morrison said.
Patrons are also asked to be in the shop for “no more than 30 minutes and preferably less,” he said.
Barbers and salons will remain open however beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours, spa and massage parlours will all close.
Are beaches still open?
The majority of beaches remain open, and are operating under restrictions that allow gatherings of less than 500 people in an open space.
Waverley Council in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, which is responsible for Bondi Beach’s operations, says the beach remains closed until further notice, as does Tamarama and Bronte.
However Randwick Council has reopened Coogee, Clovelly and Maroubra beaches.
Eerie scenes at Clovelly this afternoon. No one around besides the odd jogger here and there yet lifeguards say the beach and water is open. Bad weather to blame or are people waking up? #COVIDー19 #COVID19Aus @YahooNewsAU pic.twitter.com/0lq1utU7dc— Tom Flanagan (@thomascflanagan) March 24, 2020
Can I go to funerals and weddings?
Weddings and funerals will continue to operate across Australia however there are now strict guidelines in place in regards to capacity.
For weddings, there can be no more than five people. This number includes the couple, the celebrant and the witnesses. So no guests.
For funerals, there is allowed to be 10 people present however the government’s four square metre rule must be applied.
Are schools still open?
Mr Morrison stressed all schools across Australia should remain open.
While Victoria, broke free from the federal government’s advice this week and brought school holidays forward, the remaining states and territories will keep doors open for schools albeit preparing themselves for online and remote teaching. The ACT this week also moved to pupil free classroom days before the holidays.
“The medical expert advice on schools has not changed. It is safe to send your children to school,” Mr Morrison said.
The percentage of students absent across NSW on Tuesday surpassed 50 per cent, with more and more parents expected to keep their children at home as the virus continues to spread throughout communities.
Can I still go to work?
Office buildings are still operating across Australia and must abide by the four square metre rule.
While many employers have advised or instructed their staff to work from home, some businesses continue to operate in their designated premises.
Can I go on holiday?
That’s very unlikely. From midday Wednesday, the government has imposed a ban on international travel.
However exceptions for overseas travel will be made for aid workers, certain government and commercial workers and people seeking to travel abroad on compassionate grounds.
Unessential inter-state and intra-state travel should also not be happening, Mr Morrison stressed.
Travel across Australia is becoming increasingly more difficult as it is, with Queensland the latest state to close its borders on Tuesday.
The state announced its road borders will be manned by police from midnight on Wednesday.
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