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Schools are open but pubs will close for SIX MONTHS to stop the spread of coronavirus

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced sweeping closures across Australia on Sunday as gathering places are shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The sweeping changes come into force at noon on Monday and will radically alter life for all Australians for up to six months, the Prime Minister said in an address to the nation.

All gatherings in enclosed spaces in entertainment venues are to close, including clubs, pubs, cinemas and casinos.

Hotels and pubs will not have to close their accommodation areas, only their licensed areas and gathering areas, the Prime Minister said. 

Bottle shops that are off-license and not used for gatherings will remain open. 

Restaurants and cafes must close their indoor areas but can still sell takeaway and delivery food. 

Indoor sporting venues and places of worship will also have to close their indoor gathering areas but funerals will still be allowed.

‘Enclosed spaces for funerals and things of that nature will have to follow the strict four square metre rule which will be enforced,’ the Prime Minister said.  

Victorian schools are set to close on Tuesday, with the state bringing forward the Easter holiday break. NSW is expected to follow suit.

Premiers Gladys Berejiklian and Daniel Andrews released separate statements assuring supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and home delivery services would stay open during the ‘comprehensive shutdown’.

But bars, restaurants and cafes will likely be forced to close in the coming days. 

The prime minister said a six-month shutdown had been modelled by medical experts – and any lockdown would need to be long-term. 

‘If you shut things down you have to understand that if you do, you may well be doing that for at least the next six months,’ he told Seven News on Sunday night.

  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would keep his kids in school and a lockdown may last for six months as if everything were reopened after two weeks, the virus would spread again

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (right) will close all non-essential services within the next 48 hours in the state to slow the spread of coronavirus

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (right) will close all non-essential services within the next 48 hours in the state to slow the spread of coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 1,354

New South Wales: 533

Victoria: 296

Queensland: 259

Western Australia: 120

South Australia: 100

Tasmania: 22

Australian Capital Territory: 19

Northern Territory: 5

TOTAL CASES:  1,354

DEAD: 7

Mr Morrison told ABC News on Sunday night children could lose their entire school year if broad co-operation on closures was not reached with the states. 

‘If there is not a broad co-operation in the population … states will have to take more severe measures,’ he said.

‘(The restrictions) just won’t be for a couple of weeks. I mean kids could lose their entire year of school. That’s what’s at stake here.’

The states and territories were discussing the proposed closures with the Prime Minister in a National Cabinet meeting on Sunday. 

All non-essential services are set to be closed in NSW, Victoria and the ACT within the next 48 hours and domestic travel has been discouraged in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. 

Supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics services will remain open, with the full details to be spelled out in coming days.

The Prime Minister flagged ‘draconian measures’ earlier on Sunday.  

South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are imposing two-week quarantine periods on people seeking to enter these states, with police checkpoints posted to monitor travellers.

Supermarkets are expected to remain open during the lockdown across three states, which is expected to be announced within 48 hours

Supermarkets are expected to remain open during the lockdown across three states, which is expected to be announced within 48 hours

Pharmacies, petrol stations, convenience stores, freight and logistics services will remain open, with the full details to be spelled out in coming days

Pharmacies, petrol stations, convenience stores, freight and logistics services will remain open, with the full details to be spelled out in coming days

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) is also seeking approval to implement a total lockdown in his state at a scheduled national meeting on Sunday night

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) is also seeking approval to implement a total lockdown in his state at a scheduled national meeting on Sunday night

Scott Morrison says his kids will go to school tomorrow  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will be sending his children to school as the nation gets ready to lock down with internal state borders closing. 

‘On the medical advice, my kids will be going to school in the morning, and that’s important,’ he told Seven News on Sunday night. 

‘A complete closure of schools across the country would take out 30 percent of our health workforce,’ he said. 

‘Now you can imagine what the impact would be on running our intensive care units and our emergency departments.’ 

Schools have closed across other nations such Britain, where exceptions were made for key workers, including healthcare staff and police, SBS news reported.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a teleconference with Australia’s state premiers and chief ministers on Sunday night with advice expected to soon be issued on school closures.

Victorian school holidays have already been brought forward to Tuesday and it is not yet known when they will reopen.

Schools will also be operating as usual in NSW on Monday, although the premier is planning to make further announcements on education in the morning. 

WA Premier Mark McGowan said entry to his state would be restricted via road, rail, air and sea from 1.30pm local time on Tuesday. 

There will be exemptions for health, emergency, defence and policing personnel, certain mining industry workers, flight crews, essential goods deliverers and on compassionate grounds.

Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

Australians have been told not to undertake non-essential travel and Mr Morrison told the ABC on Sunday night what that meant. 

Mr Morrison said travel necessary for compassionate reasons or health was allowed, but holidays or discretionary travel must be cancelled.   

Mr Morrison said Australia’s international travel ban would extend to Australia’s Olympic team throwing their participation into doubt – but he had words of encouragement for the nation.

‘Australians are strong,’ he told Seven News on Sunday.

‘And we’re going to find out just how strong we are, and I know we’re not going to be disappointed … we will get on this bridge to the other side of recovery.’

The AFL announced matches would be suspended until at least May 31. 

Mr Morrison warned of more draconian measures as people continued to ignore warnings about social distancing and maintaining at least 1.5 metres of space between people.

‘You’ve got to keep a healthy distance between each other,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘If Australians can’t do that on a broad scale, then they are denying the governments and the authorities the most important weapon we have to save lives and to save livelihoods.’

WHAT WILL CLOSE IN THE THREE STATES AND WHAT WILL STAY OPEN? 

WHAT WILL STAY OPEN:

Supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and convenience stores.

Home delivery, freight and logistics services. 

Schools (In NSW, pending Monday announcement).

NRL season 

WHAT WILL CLOSE:

Bars, restaurants and cafes.

AFL season until May 31.   

Schools (In Victoria, from Tuesday). 

All bars and restaurants in NSW will be forced to close within the next 48 hours as the premier implements total shutdown of non essential services ( Pictured: Club 77)

All bars and restaurants in NSW will be forced to close within the next 48 hours as the premier implements total shutdown of non essential services ( Pictured: Club 77)

Petrol stations will remain open in New South Wales and Victoria despite Sunday's announcement

Petrol stations will remain open in New South Wales and Victoria despite Sunday’s announcement

UNKNOWN:

Public transport 

Nightclubs

Theatres

Cinemas

Gyms 

Leisure centres 

Bottle shops 

All bars and restaurants in NSW will be forced to close within the next 48 hours as the premier implements total shutdown of non essential services ( Pictured: Club 77)

All bars and restaurants in NSW will be forced to close within the next 48 hours as the premier implements total shutdown of non essential services ( Pictured: Club 77)

Wes Lambert, chief executive of the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association is fiercely lobbying for states to allow restaurants to stay open for take away and delivery purposes.

‘Businesses need to be able to continue to employ staff for food delivery and takeaway, which we think is essential,’ he said.

‘About 36 per cent of meals are eaten outside the home, so you’re talking about a substantial amount of extra purchasing at grocery stores if you don’t allow food delivery.’

Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach on Friday (pictured) despite the threat of coronavirus

Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach on Friday (pictured) despite the threat of coronavirus

Supermarkets throughout Australia are already struggling to cope with extra demand as a result of panic-buying.

NSW Health on Sunday confirmed 97 new COVID-19 cases overnight to Sunday, bringing the state’s tally to 533 and the national count to more than 1340.   

Several of the new diagnoses were made in backpackers in the Bondi area – just a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison was forced to close the famous beach when thousands of people flouted social distancing measures.  

‘There were two recent parties that some of the cases attended where the cases may have acquired their infections,’ a spokesman for NSW Health said.

Partygoers who attended the Boogie Wonderland party at the Bucket List (pictured) on March 15 have been asked to self isolate. The Bondi Beach pub was packed on Friday night just before Waverley Council closed the beach to enforce social distancing rules

Partygoers who attended the Boogie Wonderland party at the Bucket List (pictured) on March 15 have been asked to self isolate. The Bondi Beach pub was packed on Friday night just before Waverley Council closed the beach to enforce social distancing rules

Beachgoers seemingly ignored warnings about the closure of the beach on Sunday morning

Beachgoers seemingly ignored warnings about the closure of the beach on Sunday morning

Those two parties were the Boogie Wonderland party at the Bucket List on March 15 and a party at Club 77 on the same date. 

Beaches were closed across Sydney on Sunday as people continued to ignore the social distancing rule. 

The prime minister has imposed further travel restrictions, placing a ban on all non-essential travel.

Mr Morrison said Australians would still be able to travel for work-related activities, but said people who had interstate trips planned for the upcoming school holidays should cancel them. 

Even within states, people should scrap travel which isn’t part of their standard routine, Mr Morrison said.    

Rangers were on hand to help move people along from the beach on Sunday after Mr Morrison closed it due to lack of social distancing

Rangers were on hand to help move people along from the beach on Sunday after Mr Morrison closed it due to lack of social distancing

Aussies who lose their jobs during the coronavirus crisis will have their Centrelink payments DOUBLED and pensioners to get extra support 

Australia will double unemployment payments to help the thousands who will lose their jobs from the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced a second stimulus package and acknowledged the economic damage would be far worse than anticipated.

‘We now expect the economic shock to be deeper, wider, and longer,’ Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

The extra $66 billion brings the giant rescue package to $189 billion, about 10 per cent of Australia’s GDP, to avoid economic catastrophe.

Thousands of Australians are already losing their jobs as cafes, pubs, and shops of all kinds are empty as many people avoid going out. 

Those already unemployed or soon to be forced out of work will be able to get up to $1,100 a fortnight in Centrelink payments.

The $750 payments to pensioners will also be doubled as Mr Morrison expected the worst economic aspects of the crisis would last at least six months.

Those struggling to make ends meet on reduced incomes – especially sole traders – can withdraw $20,000 from their superannuation tax-free to tide them over.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk