Australia will go into a partial lockdown in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus with pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes forced to close.
The drastic new measures come following a meeting of the National Cabinet on Sunday night.
The new rules will come into effect from midday on Monday and will also include nightclubs, cinemas, gyms, places of worship and indoor sporting venues.
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Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and delivery only while shopping centres will remain open and bottle shops will be allowed to continue trading.
Schools will remain open until the end of term one, however parents will be given a choice about whether they let their kids attend class.
Victoria has brought forward the start of school holidays with schools across that state to close from Tuesday.
The tough new rules come after Australians continued to ignore social distancing rules.
“What I am seeking and all the Premiers and Chief Ministers are seeking is that Australians need to do better than they have been,” Mr Morrison said.
“We now need to take action because we can’t have the confidence as a group that the social distancing guidelines and rules we’ve put in place won’t be followed to the level of compliance that we require to flatten the curve and slow the spread and to save lives.”
Mr Morrison says these new measures are just ‘stage one’ of the response and will be reviewed monthly.
But he warned Australians to expect them to be in place for six months.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that these arrangements will be in place for a couple of weeks or a month and they’ll be discarded and everything will be ok.
“This should highlight to all Australians how serious this is and how we have to work together to get this right.”
Schools to stay open
The Prime Minister has resisted calls for a blanket closure of schools across the country.
“Children should go to school tomorrow, there is no change to the medical expert advice,” Mr Morrison said.
“I don’t want to see our children miss an entire year of education, that’s what we’re talking about here.
“Where there’s health advice which says you can get to school and you can get taught, then it’s important we do that for as long as possible, except where health circumstances will change that arrangement.”
Parents will be given the option to keep their kids out of school for the remainder of this term, but schools will remain open.
Schools will also enhance remote learning opportunities for students but parents are warned that may take some time.