Cafe owners are begging the Government to place Australia into lockdown to end their uncertainty and stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Scott Morrison is meeting with health chiefs on Tuesday to discuss a plan for increased restrictions on Australians to fight COVID-19.
From midday on Monday all ‘non-essential’ businesses such as pubs, clubs and gyms were forced to close while cafes and restaurants were allowed to do takeaways only.
Cafe owners are begging the Government to put Australia into lockdown in a bid to stop the killer coronavirus from spreading even more (Pictured: closed cafes and bars in Sydney)
Scott Morrison is meeting with health chiefs on Tuesday to discuss a plan for increased restrictions on Australians to fight COVID-19
Cafes with no patrons in the rocks district on March 23 in Sydney ahead of the strict closures
But owners of small businesses and cafes say they want the Government to close them down now rather than wait.
Businesses told news.com.au their takings are coming up short, with less people willing to eat out because of the coronavirus.
A cafe manager in Sydney’s inner west, who didn’t want to be named, said they wanted all services shut immediately.
‘Look at China, they closed it all and six weeks later it stopped. No one is coming in. It’s so depressing. We should just close it all down … if we don’t, it will be like Italy,’ they said.
Some business owners are worried they are helping spread the virus by staying open.
A cafe manager in Sydney’s inner west who did not want to be named said they think everything should be shut
A customer of Haberfield’s famous Pasticceria Papa, Francesca Serri, said Australia should have gone into lockdown weeks ago.
‘We’ve seen what happened in Italy, the peak will arrive here soon. This lockdown should have been done 15 days ago,’ she said.
But President of the Cafe Owners and Baristas Association of Australia (COBAA) David Parnham said many businesses wanted to remain open.
‘They are telling me they want to do what is right by the community and regulars including some clientele who have been affected by staying at home or isolating,’ he said.
Cafe owners who want tougher measures could see them come into effect soon, with Australia expected to move to ‘stage two’ measures this week.
Yoga studios were also closed, so that activity was moved to a basketball court in a Sydney park for this trio
But Mr Morrison has not yet suggested a full lockdown as seen in Britain and New Zealand overnight.
Health Minister Greg Hunt deferred questions about what stage two may look like and when it would come in, but said discussions would take place on Tuesday night.
‘The general direction obviously is about people spending more time at home [and] obviously keeping distance,’ he said.
‘We are developing a staged approach. We recognise and appreciation what has happened in other parts of the world and indeed all of us are learning from each other.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,044
New South Wales: 818
Western Australia: 175
South Australia: 170
Australian Capital Territory: 39
Northern Territory: 6
TOTAL CASES: 2,044
‘But obviously this notion of greater isolation, more time at home, less time out in groups, [is] what we are encouraging.’
After Mr Morrison and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee met on Tuesday, the issue would be discussed by the National Cabinet in the evening.
Mr Hunt stressed that stage two was ‘not the last stage’ and a graduated series of steps to a full lockdown – if required – was being ironed out.
‘We have always indicated as the Prime Minister said and the national cabinet said, this was stage one,’ he said.
‘I think I should be very upfront and honest about that. Right as we speak, those next stages are being designed and the timing and the implementation measures for it are being carefully considered.’
The minister said people concerned about catching or spreading coronavirus didn’t need to wait for restrictions to increase and could isolate themselves now.
‘If you can take steps to spend time at home, do that,’ he said.
What stage two might look like is not clear, but it would not be close to the lockdowns about to be enforced in NZ or Britain, or in other European countries.
The total number of cases in Australia rose to 2,044 on Tuesday evening after another case was confirmed in the Northern Territory
Daily Mail Australia has been told the government will only push ahead with even more draconian ‘stage two’ restrictions if coronavirus transmissions in the community continue to escalate or Australians fail to ‘socially distance’.
Stage two would almost certainly see the forced closure of ‘non-essential’ businesses and other restrictions, although the Federal government is keeping mum on just what exactly those will be.
Measures would likely include closures of more non-essential businesses, and lower limits for group gatherings – currently at 100 indoor and 500 outdoor.
Some of or all of New Zealand’s level 3 restrictions could be imposed, such as closing libraries, museums, food courts, and, pools.
Face-to-face GP consultations are also banned, but Mr Hunt implied those would still be necessary for many cases.
However, in his speech he announced a massive rollout of telehealth that every Australian would be able to access and encouraged to use.
What would a full coronavirus lockdown look like?
A full lockdown of Australia, as is the case in Britain, New Zealand, Italy, and elsewhere, is the potential endgame of the government’s planning.
As the virus gets worse, more restrictions will be in place until Australians are confined to their homes.
For an insight into what the nation could expect next, here’s a summary of how other cities and nations have handled COVID-19 lockdowns.
A senior government source said Australia’s shutdown stages will look similar to those unveiled by Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern’s, but with crucial differences.
Ms Ardern announced her four-stage program on Monday and will take the country to its most extreme stage for four weeks starting this Wednesday.
All New Zealanders who don’t work in essential services will be told to stay home. Schools and universities will be shut.
Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister, with her four stage shutdown plan
People will only be able to catch public transport for medical reasons or if they work ‘essential’ jobs.
If you want to get some fresh air and go for a walk or a jog, you will have to do it on your own.
The government has been granted sweeping powers to lock people at home. The military will be called in to enforce the rules.
Essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and medical centres will stay open. But supplies could be rationed.
Italy’s death toll is now higher than China’s at more than 5,400 people and the prime minister announced increasingly severe measures on Sunday.
The country has enforced a strict lockdown on cities for weeks, with police squads reportedly charging as many as 40,000 citizens with flouting the rules.
Shoppers are forced to wait in ‘socially distanced’ queues just to go to the supermarket.
TURIN, ITALY: A train station stands almost totally vacant as police and soldiers enforce a desperate lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19
An Italian priest adjusts selfies sent by his congregation, which he has glued to chairs, to celebrate Sunday mass in Giussano
Citizens are only allowed to move about town for ‘non-deferrable and proven business and health reasons’.
Parks and beaches are shut.
Joggers have been told to stick to running around the block, or close to their home.
But the government has only recently announced the closure of non-essential businesses and industries.
The poverty-stricken South American nation has shut its borders and the streets have been taken over by the military.
LIMA, PERU: Soldiers on the streets during the first night of curfew in the nation’s capital
Trapped Australian tourists have described mhelicopters buzzing overhead and soldiers walking the streets, and a strict night-time curfew enforced.
There are oppressive restrictions on what tourists can do – not much, other than wakl to the shops – amid growing community anger at the virus being brought into the country.
The epicentre of the coronavirus and capital of the disease-ravaged Hubei province has suffered through the strictest lockdown the world has seen.
COVID-19 is thought to have originated in ‘wet markets’ where live animals, such as bats and pangolins, are sold to be eaten.
Most of the city’s 11 million residents were banned from leaving their homes except to get essential supplies or receive medical attention.
WUHAN, CHINA: A man eats his noodles in his residential compound – unable to leave unless going to shop for essentials
A resident checks his laundry on his building terrace during lockdown in Wuhan
Authorities stormed house after house, searching for people who were infected by the virus.
No journeys were allowed outside the city except for compelling medical or humanitarian reasons.
Children were banned from school – or even playing outside.