NSW Will Implement a Statewide Shutdown of Non-Essential Services Over the Next 48 Hours
Further details will be provided once the national cabinet meets tonight.
Australia's efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 continue to change daily, hourly and even more frequently. Today, Sunday, March 22, for example, the Australian Government has already announced that all non-essential travel throughout the country should be cancelled. Now, just a few hours later, the NSW Government has followed that announcement by revealing it will implement a "more comprehensive" shutdown of non-essential services over the next 48 hours.
That means widespread closures are expected from Tuesday, March 24. Exactly what counts as non-essential activity hasn't been specified as yet; however Premier Gladys Berejiklian has advised that "supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics, and home delivery will be among the many services that will remain open".
Schools will also remain open for now, but the NSW Premier says, "I will have more to say on this issue in the morning".
A similar statewide shutdown of non-essential activity has been announced in Victoria, which has brought forward its school holidays to commence on Tuesday.
It's expected that more details will be provided about the shutdown either tonight or tomorrow morning, with the national cabinet due to meet again this evening — where the Premier will inform the group of NSW's planned shutdown.
As of 6.30am on on Sunday, March 22, NSW has 469 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of a total 1098 cases Australia wide.
The move comes after Australia has already banned non-essential mass events, restricted indoor gatherings, mandated that everyone arriving from overseas self-isolate for 14 days, and closed the country's borders to non-citizens and non-residents. As a result, festivals and gigs are cancelling and postponing in swathes, cultural institutions are shutting down and moving their activities online, restaurants and bars are transitioning to takeaway options, and Aussie airlines are suspending all international flights.
Top image: Kitti Gould
Published on March 22, 2020 by Sarah Ward