Sydney locks down: Australia’s coronavirus epicentre cancels ALL non-essential events and face-to-face meetings as gyms, swimming pools and libraries shut their doors
- Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced the closures to curb the spread of the virus
- Libraries, pools and fitness centres will be closed at least until the end of March
- Scott Morrison also announced a ban on gatherings with more than 100 people
- In Sydney, 267 people of the 565 people nation-wide have been infected
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The City of Sydney has closed gyms, swimming pools and libraries as events and face-to-face meetings are cancelled indefinitely to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In Sydney, 267 people of the 565 people nation-wide have been infected with COVID-19. Five of the country’s six deaths were in Australia’s largest city.
The City on Wednesday made a historic decision in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
Three women wearing face masks use their mobile phones during a work break in Neutral Bay on March 18
A woman wearing a face mask in an attempt to avoid contracting COVID-19 on March 18 in Sydney CBD
‘Over the past two months, the City has been working closely with NSW Health to ensure we respond urgently,’ Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement.
‘We have not come to the decision to cancel events or close facilities lightly, but we believe it’s best for the community that we do so.’
She also announced City of Sydney libraries would be closed from March 19 to 31.
Aquatic and fitness centres will be shut from March 20 to April 3.
Non-essential community events, in-person meetings and conferences have either been cancelled or will be postponed until further notice.
Women wear protective face masks amidst fears of COVID-19 coronavirus in Sydney
A man wearing a protective mask walks past an official medical advice advertisement by the Australian Federal Government regarding coronavirus in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney
What gatherings are ‘essential’?
What the government deems as an ‘essential’ gathering will still be allowed
– Public transport (including stations, platforms, stops, trains, trams, buses)
– Medical and health service facilities
– Emergency service facilities
– Disability or aged care facilities
– Correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody, courts or tribunals
– Food markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, retail stores, shopping centres
– Office buildings, factories, construction sites, mining sites
– Schools, universities, education facilities and child care facilities
– Hotels and motels and other accommodation facilities
– Public places such as Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall and Federation Square, and Sydney’s Martin Place
It comes as Scott Morrison announced a ban on indoor gatherings with more than 100 people.
It may force large bars and restaurants to close their doors across the country, as well as popular attractions such as Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and theme parks on the Gold Coast.
Mr Morrison warned the drastic measures could be in place for up to six months, as Australia implements measures not seen since the First World War.
Indoor gatherings can have no more than 100 people, and no more than 500 people can attend outdoor gatherings.
This does not apply to ‘essential’ gatherings, which includes public transport, medical facilities, prisons, parliaments, supermarkets, and shopping centres.
Mr Morrison said there would be no quick fix to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, and warned that ‘tens of thousands of jobs’ could be lost.
‘We are looking at a situation of at least six months for how we deal with this, he said.
‘It could be much longer than that.’
The move could force the closure of some of the country’s most renowned restaurants.
In Sydney, 267 people of the 565 people nation-wide have been infected with COVID-19
Sydney’s CBD is seeing a dramatic reduction in workers and shoppers on the streets to prevent the spread of coronavirus
Gyms and swimming pools are not required to close, as long as they meet the requirements for social distancing and hand hygiene.
The government confirmed an ‘indoor gathering’ means a gathering within a single enclosed space, be it an area, room or premises.
For place with less than 100 people, Australians are still being asked to practice ‘social distancing’ – meaning they should stay 1.5m away from other people.
What is closing in Sydney?
– Cancellation or postponement of all non-essential City of Sydney events, in person meetings, conferences and training exercises until further notice.
– Temporary closure from Friday 20 March until Friday 3 April of all City of Sydney aquatic and fitness centres.
– Temporary closure for Glebe, Kings Cross and Green Square customer service centres from 19 March, for a period of one month.
– Restricted opening hours of 11am to 1pm, Monday to Friday from 19 to 31 March at Darling Square, Green Square and Custom House Libraries as well as Redfern, Harry Jensen, Reginald Murphy, Ron Williams, Cliff Noble and Juanita Nielsen Community Centres to provide online access to vulnerable community members.
– Temporary closure from 19 to 31 March of libraries at Customs House, Darling Square, Glebe, Green Square, Kings Cross, Newtown, Pyrmont, Surry Hills, Ultimo and Waterloo.
– Temporary closure from 19 to 31 March of Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, Harry Jensen, Juanita Nielsen, Redfern, Pyrmont, Ultimo, Ron Williams, Reginald Murphy, Cliff Noble and St Helen’s Community Centres as well as King George V Recreation Centre.