Families of more than two people have been banned from visiting their elderly relatives, and older people aren’t allowed to take part in social activities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the stringent new measures to the aged care sector in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aged care facilities will limit visits to a short duration and to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day to reduce the risk of transmission.
‘These may be immediate social supports, family members, close friends, or professional service or advocacy workers,’ Mr Morrison told reporters on Wednesday morning.
‘Visits should be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors or specific area designated by the facility rather than communal areas where the risk of transmission to other residents is greater.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the stringent new measures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured with Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy
Aged care facilities must also implement limit visits to a short duration, and limit visits to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day to reduce the risk of transmission
Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, and people who have returned from overseas in the last two weeks will be forbidden from visiting elderly relatives.
There should be no large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment to be permitted at this time.
‘No school groups of any size should be allowed to visit aged care facilities.’
Mr Morrison also said visitors should be encouraged to practice social distancing, and maintain a 1.5 metre distance when possible.
‘Having been through this experience in my own family recently I know this could be very difficult for families,’ he said.
The prime minister advised parents to try and avoiding letting children below the age of 16 to visit their grandparents.
‘Kids won’t necessarily follow the hygiene measures all the time like adults will. Any parent will understand that,’ he said.
Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, and people who have returned from overseas in the last two weeks will be forbidden from visiting elderly relatives
In his stark speech this morning, Mr Morrison warned Australia ‘won’t look like it normally does’ for the next six months
Mr Morrison said children sometimes don’t show symptoms, and there can be no knowledge of whether certain kids have been exposed to the virus or not.
‘That is about protecting the residents at the end of the day. In cases of end of life, I know that people will want to see their elderly parents or relatives or others.
‘An aged care facility will have the discretion to put in strict arrangements to enable people to visit their loved ones if that’s the situation that that resident finds themselves in.
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‘But in those cases we all know how distressing that can be and so the aged care facilities will be asked to put in place sensible arrangements to facilitate those types of visits on a compassionate basis.’
In his stark speech this morning, Mr Morrison warned Australia ‘won’t look like it normally does’ for the next six months.
‘We are looking at a situation of at least six months for how we deal with this. It could be much longer than that,’ he said.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said putting Australia in a total lockdown would not help.
‘A short-term two-to-four week shut down of society is not recommended by any of our experts. It does not achieve anything. We have to be in this for the long haul,’ he said.
In his speech, the Prime Minister also slammed people hoarding food.
‘Stop hoarding. I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it,’ he said.
‘It is not sensible, it is not helpful and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis.’
The Prime Minister vowed to keep Australia running despite the drastic measures.
‘We are going to keep Australia running. We are going to keep Australia functioning,’ he said.
‘Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world. Life is going to continue to change as we deal with the global coronavirus,’ he said.
Mr Morrison also said aged care visitors should be encouraged to practice social distancing, and maintain a 1.5 metre distance when possible
In a rallying cry to Aussies, he added: ‘This is a once in 100 year type event. We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the first World War. But together, we are up to this challenge.’
Mr Morrison said his national cabinet of state leaders and medical experts will meet online from now on.
It comes as Italy, Spain and France have introduced policies forcing citizens to stay indoors to control the respiratory infection as cases soar past 187,000 globally.
‘It’s un-Australian’: Prime Minister Scott Morrison demands shoppers STOP hoarding food
Scott Morrison is urging Australians to stop hoarding food and other supplies as supermarkets struggle to cope with shortages amid a coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
The prime minister said the panic-buying chaos sweeping grocery stores across the country has been one of the ‘most disappointing things’ he has seen in ‘Australian behaviour’ in response to this crisis.
‘That is not who we are as a people. It is not necessary. It is not something that people should be doing,’ he said as he addressed the nation on Wednesday.
Scott Morrison is urging Australians to stop hoarding food and other supplies as supermarkets struggle to cope with shortages amid a coronavirus pandemic lockdown
‘What it does is it is distracting attention and efforts that need to be going into other measures, to be focusing on how we maintain supply chains into these shopping centres.
‘It’s ridiculous. It’s un-Australian, and it must stop, and I would ask people to do the right thing by each other in getting a handle on these sorts of practices.’
He also asked people to refrain from ‘abusing staff’, as footage emerged online of customers verbally attacking supermarket employees because they couldn’t locate goods.