Tonight the Prime Minister called a late press conference to address two developments today. There are the notes from his speech. More details to follow.
He said “Social distancing and keeping the healthy physical distance between individuals is our biggest weapon in fighting this virus. Saving lives. And we need all Australians to be following health advice and observing limits dictated by the health officials. The failure to do this puts everything at risk.”
“These things are not happening as they should be.”
He said, what’s important is that we now need to take action. We have no confidence that people are taking action. The Premiers and Chief Ministers have tonight agreed to more wide spread actions in relation to this.
This is Stage One in this response. These rules will apply State and Territory wide. These will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
These are very significant measures.
Effective from midday tomorrow
Stage one would see enclosed spaces for gatherings closed as of midday tomorrow. These would include:
- Registered and licensed clubs.
- Indoor sporting venues.
- Licenced areas in pubs, not accommodation. Off licenced areas will be excluded from these measures.
- Entertainment venues, cinemas, gyms, casinos, nightclubs, and similar venues.
- Cafes & restaurants restricted to take away only.
- Places of worship.
- Funerals will need to comply with the 4 metre squared measures.
- In remote communities specific guidelines will be in place.
On the issue of schools, children should go to school tomorrow. The health advice hasn’t changed on this. The PM would like to thank all teachers and those working in schools, under all the stress of recent times. He doesn’t want to see children lose a year of school over this.
We will be allowing parents to the end of this year’s school term to be able to keep children home where they choose to, but for all of those parents who wish to send their children to school, those schools will remain open. Schools will be looking to offer stay at home learning, but we can’t expect that to happen straight away. What’s important here, is that if you’re a parent that wants to send your child to school, the schools have been told to remain open until the end of term.
They have a view that schools should reopen on other side of term break – but that will depend on medical advice.
For parents keeping their children home, it’s their responsibly to keep the children home. You are responsible for their conduct and behaviour. It’s important they adhere to strict social distancing as advised to the public.
This term break will be like none other. It won’t be a holiday. There won’t be trips interstate. There won’t be congregating. It’s important that families and households understand that. We need to follow strict rules. This is a critical time. The decisions we make, will very seriously determine the trajectory that the coronvirus takes over the following months.
Follow this advice. You will be saving lives and livelihoods.
The PM finished saying there would be a National Cabinet Meeting again on Tuesday night.
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