Lockdown begins now: Non-Essential Services are restricted from opening in Australia from today

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Lockdown begins now: Non-Essential Services are restricted from opening in Australia from today

Following the announcement last night that the Victorian and New South Wales governments will be enforcing shutdowns on all non-essential services over the next 48 hours in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to save lives, the Australian government have revealed a list of “non-essential” businesses and services that will be forced to shut from noon today.

This includes pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation); Gyms and indoor sporting venues; Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs; Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery; and Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

Essentials including health services, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations and convenience stores will remain open.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement Australians should expect these measures to be in place for at least six months. “We will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives, allow Australia to keep functioning and keep Australians in jobs.”

The news comes after the national cabinet – the PM, state and territory premiers and chief ministers – agreed to further actions to support social-distancing measures already in place and protect the Australian community from the spread of coronavirus. Practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is the most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives, and it’s the failure of some businesses and members of the public to do this – with many disregarding these measures across the weekend – that puts people’s lives at risk.