No draconian lockdown yet, but PM bans travel and increases social distancing

Coronavirus crisis: Prime Minister Scott Morrison reveals long list of restricted activities amid COVID-19 lockdown

Finally, weddings will be restricted to 8 people (the couple, a celebrant, and no more than five witnesses), whilst funerals will be restricted to ten people.

Scott Morrison said it had "been a very hard decision" to prevent large weddings and funerals from taking place.

Hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to continue trading but must adhere to the one person per four square metre rule and must limit customers' time their premise to no more than 30 minutes.

Social-distancing practices include a 1.5m distance between people, with no hugging or touching allowed.

In the United Kingdom, the government has published a list of key workers deemed essential to the economy who may continue to send their children to school and childcare despite schools being ordered to close.

While the government has previously advised that everyone stay home and social distance during the pandemic, there were still many questions that had remained unclear, and while many still remain unclear, a ban on worldwide travel was enforced tonight, among other strict directives.

The Prime Minister says holding a house party could become a criminal offence, in an effort to protect Australians from the spread of COVID-19.

"Barbecues of lots of friends or even. extended family coming together to celebrate one-year-old birthday parties and all these sorts of things - we can't do those things now", he said.

'And that is why, regretfully, we have to be able to put these arrangements in place'.

"Recent travel from overseas is still the main driver of our new infections", the Health Ministry said.

"The National Security Committee Task Force that works on the coronavirus have met and we have previously had a do not travel warning on Smart Traveller in terms of all overseas travel", the prime minister said.

"That will turn into a ban using the biosecurity powers that were afforded to us by the Governor-General through the Minister for Health", he said.

Australians will also be banned from global travel in the coming days.

Limited exceptions will apply for compassionate travel, aid work and trips for essential employment.

Mr Morrison said it was safe for parents to send children to school.

"The direction is being worked on overnight".

"Who is an essential worker?".

Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all "essential workers".

Schools will continue to remain open despite increasing pressure for a nationwide shutdown.

NSW: Schools remain open but it is up to parents to decide whether to send children to school, and parents have been advised to keep children home unless they need to work.

PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said people must avoid any unnecessary interactions with close contact.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy told the briefing that "We are very anxious about the rate of rise in infections".

The premier stopped short of enforcing a total lockdown similar to those seen in Britain and Italy, but said all Australians "should only go outside to do to those essential things" such as buying groceries or seeking medical attention.

"These measures are really draconian", he said.



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