'No two-week answer': New measures to tackle Covid-19
Gatherings of more than 100 people will be banned in a tough measure to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the media in a lengthy press conference to inform the public of the new measures and to urge the public not to panic.
"This is a once-in-a-hundred-year type of event,” he said.
“We will keep Australia running ... there is no two-week answer to what we are confronting. There is no short term quick fix.
“The idea that you can just turn everything off for two weeks and turn it back on again, that is not the evidence. It is not our way through this.”
Mr Morrison said Australia cannot stop working, as the measures need to be in place for six months.
"The measures, protections that are put in place to protect peoples’ health, they obviously have, in some cases, quite severe economic implications,” he said.
“Wherever possible we need to keep Australians working."
The government has banned non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, effective immediately. This comes after the ban on outdoor events of more than 500.
Mr Morrison said further measures in regards to gatherings of less than 100 are being discussed.
Essential gatherings include airports, public transport, hotels, prisons, courts, shopping centres, offices and factories, construction sites but excludes cafes, pubs and cinemas.
The travel advice to every Australian has been upgraded to “do not go overseas”, meaning it is a level four for the entire world.
“For those considering going overseas in the school holidays: don’t,” Mr Morrison said.
However, Mr Morrison said there is a low-risk when it comes to domestic travel but the states and territories are working on a list of "sensitive areas" that should be avoided.
The government has also put in a series of measures to shore up the aviation industry.
"Schools should remain open", is the health advice for Australia. Mr Morrison said this is supported by all the premiers, all the ministers and health officials.
"The virus operates differently amongst younger people," he said.
"In terms of the health and welfare of our children ... the health advice I am happy to follow for my kids is the same advice I am asking all parents to follow.
"As a father, I am happy for my kids to go to school."
Mr Morrison dispelled any rumours that schools would be closed.
“The disruption that would occur from the closure of schools around this country, make no mistake, would be severe," he said.
"What do I mean by severe? Tens of thousands of jobs could be lost, if not more.”
The government has also lifted the restriction on international student nurses who are already living in Australia.
"Stop hoarding", Mr Morrison bluntly said.
He said it was one of the most disappointing events to occur during the pandemic.
"There is no reason to be hoarding," Mr Morrison bluntly said.
"Also, do not abuse the staff. We are all in this together."
The Prime Minister said that means some 20,000 student nurses will be available to help and support the health system.
There will be strict restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 into nursing homes:
Limit visits to short times
Limit to two visitors at one time, per day
Visits need to be conducted in a resident’s room rather than communal areas
There should be no large group visits or gatherings – including social gatherings or entertainment
No school groups are allowed to visit
In the case of a resident nearing the end of their life, a home will have the discretion to make special arrangements for the family to visit them.
Mr Morrison addressed the cancellation of Anzac Day and said that a nationally televised event will be broadcasted to commemorate the important day.
He also said the government is considering further economic measures after last week focussed on stimulus initiatives.
"We are putting in place further measures and we will announce them once they’ve been properly designed and they can be properly implemented,” Mr Morrison said. "But they are coming."
On a final note, Mr Morrison said that there has been a wealth of misinformation.
He urged Australians to go to the official channels and get the right information.