Prime Minister Scott Morrison has strongly advised Australians to only leave their homes for four reasons amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday evening, Mr Morrison said we were in “uncharted territory” as the country is gripped by the pandemic.
As he announced a new two-person limit on all gatherings, he said Australians must avoid leaving the house except for four reasons and abide by strict social distancing rules.
Shopping for essentials
Mr Morrison said Australians could leave home to buy the essentials, but still must follow the 1.5-metre distancing rules.
Across Australia, stores have stood down staff and shut their doors indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus.
Cotton On announced on Saturday they would be closing stores on Sunday.
Country Road, Mimco, Witchery, Trenery and Politix – which all fall under David Jones’ umbrella – will close, standing down about 5000 staff, according to The Australian.
Smiggle, Just Jeans and Peter Alexander will also shut their doors.
Myer announced on Friday stores across the country would shut for at least four weeks.
While retail stores are permitted to remain open for the time being, stores must abide by the social-distancing measures put in place by the federal government.
When he was questioned over why the government was insisting on keeping shopping centres open, he said it was so Australians could get essential items.
“What we have said today is that you should only be going out to shop for things that you actually need and you should be doing it on an irregular basis,” he said.
“I will give you an example. Our kids are at home now, as are most kids, and [my wife Jenny] went out yesterday and bought them a whole bunch of jigsaw puzzles.
“I can assure you over the next few months we will consider those jigsaw puzzles absolutely essential.”
Medical care or compassionate needs
The prime minister said those in need of medical attention were able to leave the house and visit a doctor if absolutely necessary.
However those over 70 years old are urged to self-isolate when practical.
“Also, we are going further this evening, on the basis of the advice... that people aged 70 and over should stay at home and self-isolate for their own protection to the maximum extent practical,” Mr Morrison said.
“This does not mean they cannot go outside. They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting fresh air and recreation, but should limit contact with others as much as possible.”
Mr Morrison said these arrangements also applied to those with a chronic illness over 60 and indigenous persons over the age of 50.
People are still allowed to leave their homes to exercise as long as they abide by the strict two-person limit on public gatherings.
“Outside gyms and skate parks will be closed from tomorrow and boot camps will be reduced to two – which doesn't really make it a boot camp – that makes it a private session with your trainer for those who are accessing those services,” he said.
Work or education
Mr Morrison urged people to stay home unless they were not able to work or learn remotely.
This means people who are able to work from home should and parents who are able to pull their kids out of schools are encouraged to do so.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.