Restrictions tighten for non-essential indoor gatherings to help ‘flatten the curve’

Cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs will now have to seriously consider how many people can be in the room at any one time, due to new gathering restrictions announced by the federal government this afternoon.

Non-essential indoor gatherings will now have to be limited to one person per four square metres of space, while it’s recommended that essential gatherings try and observe these limits where possible as well.

The National Cabinet met this morning for the second time this week, to discuss the next steps in order to slow the spread of coronavirus in Australia.


Today’s measures address a variety of issues, though one that will likely have a severe impact on restaurants and cafes, is the new rules around distancing indoors.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says these are ‘practical’ measures, and while it might take time to get used to, it will be worth it in order to ‘flatten the curve’.

“So for example if you’ve got a room, you’ve got a premise, a meeting room or something like that that’s 100 square metres then you can have 25 people in that room.

“In addition to that, you should continue to practice wherever possible, a metre/a metre and a half of healthy distance between each of us, to ensure we are limiting the contact, and the potential of the spread of the virus.

“I know these rules will take some time for people to get used to, but I’d ask people to move as quickly as they can.

“I know it means a lot of change for a lot of venues, whether they be cafes or restaurants or clubs, or any of these other places of public gathering – including in this building here.

“We’ll be working to ensure that people know how many people can be in the various meeting rooms in this place.

“Next week, the parliament will have less than 100 people in it at any one time, in the chamber.

“So even in essential areas, it is practical to try and observe these, but that wont always be possible for essential gatherings.

“They have a higher purpose, and in some cases that will be more difficult to implement.

“But if we do it more broadly, then we’re slowing the rate, and we’re saving lives,” Prime Minister Morrison said.


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