Restaurants, pubs and nightclubs across Australia could be forced to shut for a month from Sunday due to the coronavirus outbreak, Colin Fassnidge revealed.
The My Kitchen Rules star said the drastic action will be taken to stop the spread of the deadly virus, which has already infected 450 Australians.
The celebrity chef owns two restaurants in Sydney, 4Fourteen in Surry Hills in Sydney’s inner southeast, and the Banksia Hotel near the city’s airport, and is shutting both of them from today.
‘We’ve been told on the quiet that all the restaurants and pubs need to close on Sunday, so we’re going to close down our restaurants today,’ Fassnidge told the Morning Show.
The celebrity chef (pictured) owns two restaurants in Sydney, 4Fourteen in Surry Hills and the Banksia Hotel, but said he is preparing to shut the door on Sunday
Restaurants have experienced a decline in guests since the coronavirus outbreak, and could now be forced to shut completely (pictured, an empty restaurant in Sydney)
‘It’s more or less going to be Sunday or a few days after. I’m a bit worried today, so we’ll see what happens.
‘Just support us, get takeaway.’
He confirmed that he neither he nor his wife were going to take a wage as they desperately tried to prop up their businesses and pay staff.
The chef revealed that the global pandemic has already taken a toll on their business, with only 20 customers coming to his Banksia bistro on Saturday night.
‘Our Saturday nights would normally see 150 guests – this week we did 20,’ Fassnidge said.
‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen. Everyone’s saying restaurants could be closed for up to three or four weeks.’
Similar action has been taken in New York City, as well as in Ireland.
The government has already effectively banned all gatherings with 500 people or more, which will include festivals and concerts.
The coronavirus outbreak has infected 450 people in Australia to date, causing five deaths
This even included the immensely popular St Patrick’s Day festival, which had been due to take place on Sunday.
But Fassnidge insisted some businesses will remain open for takeaway food, ensuring people are fed during the outbreak.
‘A lot of the restaurants are going to be doing home delivery and takeaway,’ he said.
‘So everyone should support the local restaurants and cafes and just get takeaway.
‘You don’t even have to go in and sit down.
‘The next few weeks are going to be tough. We’re not going to make any money. It’s about just staying afloat – so support us.
‘There is a huge shock out there. But now that we’ve had the shock, it’s about how we help and adapt.
‘We will adapt, and we will get through it – but a lot of people will not get through it.’
Cafes and restaurants across Australia (pictured, an empty cafe in Sydney on Saturday) may be forced to close from Sunday
It comes after a dire warning from one of Australia’s top doctors that the country should prepare for 150,000 coronavirus deaths in a worst-case scenario.
Colin Fassnidge (pictured) encouraged the public to support businesses by ordering takeaway food
Paul Kelly, Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said on Monday anywhere between 20 and 60 per cent of the population could catch coronavirus.
‘It’s something in that range,’ he said.
‘This is an infectious disease … The death rate is about one per cent, so you can do the maths.’
If 20 per cent of Australia’s population of 24 million were to become infected then 4.8 million people would have the illness.
Assuming a death rate of one per cent, that would result in 50,000 people being killed.
If 40 per cent of people caught the coronavirus, that would leave 9.6 million people ill and could kill 100,000.
A worst-case scenario – a 60 per cent infection rate – would result in 15 million people with the virus and could cause 150,000 people to die.
Empty tables are seen at a Sydney cafe (pictured) as it emerged restaurants and pubs may soon be forced to shut