The Australian Government Has Introduced a Ban on Non-Essential Indoor Events of More Than 100 People
The ban, which does not include public transport, supermarkets or schools, is effective immediately.
In an effort to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 across Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has this morning, Wednesday, March 18, announced that non-essential indoor events of more than 100 people will be banned — effective immediately.
This announcement follows last week's ban on mass gatherings of over 500 people, which is still in place for outdoor events.
Airports, public transport, age care, correctional facilities, law courts, parliaments, food markets, supermarkets, office buildings, factories, mining sites, hotels, motels, schools, universities and transit spots — such as Bourke Street Mall, Martin Place — are not be impacted by the ban, but the Prime Minister has said that the "advice to all Australians is do not travel abroad".
State and territory leaders have the power to add to this list of essential gatherings, too.
The Prime Minister also said that social distancing should be observed by all, which includes regularly sanitising your hands, using 'tap and pay', avoiding crowds and commuting at quiet times when possible, and maintaining a distance of 1.5m apart wherever it is practical to do so. You can read the Department of Health's social distancing guidelines over here.
While the PM hasn't stipulated what exactly a non-essential indoor event is, we can expect large art galleries — that haven't already temporarily closed — cinemas and big restaurants, bars and pubs to close in wake of this announcement. Many hospitality venues have already upped their takeaway offering in response to a downturn in customers during the COVID-19, but it's likely more will offer takeout-only options.
During morning's announcement, the PM also said that the hoarding of supplies was "un-Australian" and it should be stopped, and that the above measures were likely to be in place for "six months" so they needed to be "sustainable" and "achievable" for all Australians. For now, the above bans on non-essential gatherings are in place indefinitely.
The Australia-wide ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people is effective immediately. The ban on non-essential outdoor events of more than 500 people is still in place.
Published on March 18, 2020 by Samantha Teague