The Australian Government Has Announced a Mass Closure of Indoor Venues from Today

Clubs, pubs, gyms, cinemas and casinos will close from midday, while cafes and restaurants will be allowed to continue as takeaway and delivery only.
Samantha Teague
Published on March 23, 2020

Pubs, clubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, casinos and places of worship will be forced to close from midday today, Monday, March 23, with the Australian Government introducing a stricter crackdown on mass gatherings in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement last night, after the national cabinet meeting, saying "social distancing is our biggest weapon in fighting this virus". The Prime Minister also slammed those who disregarded social distancing practices over the weekend — including those who crowded Sydney's Bondi Beach — telling Australians to "do better".

Bondi Beach is now closed. Maxim 75 via Wikimedia

The stage one closures, as the above have been called, will be reviewed after one month and will likely remain in place for six months. In Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews has announced the closures will remain in place to at least midnight on April 13.

At the moment, schools are not impacted by the closures — except for in Victoria, where school holidays have been brought forward to Tuesday, March 24 — and bottle shops, attached to pubs and clubs, will be allowed to stay open. Restaurants and cafes will also be allowed to continue running as takeaway and delivery only.

Even more local closures are likely to be announced this morning in NSW, Victoria and ACT, where statewide shutdowns of non-essential services are being rolled out over 48 hours.

While restaurants, cafes and bottle shops are allowed to continue offering takeaway and delivery, you can continue supporting them. We've rounded up some of the spots offering at-home eats in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Julia Sansone

Published on March 23, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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