Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced further measures to combat coronavirus on Tuesday night after a national cabinet meeting.
A nationwide crackdown on social gatherings was announced. Further restrictions were introduced at “major transmitting events” which include funerals which will now be limited to 10 people, whereas weddings will be limited to just five people.
“Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple, the celebrant and the two witnesses,” Mr Morrison said.
Beauty and nail salons, galleries and museums that are still open will be forced to close from midnight Wednesday. The real estate industry will also be affected as open houses and auctions have been banned. Food courts at shopping centres will only operate for takeaway.
Hairdressing salons will still be allowed to stay open as long as social-distancing rules are followed.
“You should only go outside your home to go to those essential things I talked about, not to go and congregate in groups,” Mr Morrison said.
“If we do all these things then we are going to be able to put greater pressure on slowing the rate of the spread of this virus.”
Australians have also been banned from travelling overseas even though the number is currently very low, however there were people that continue to flout the “do not travel” warning. “No-one should be getting on a plane and going overseas,” Mr Morrison said.
Exceptions would be made for aid workers as well as for compassionate purposes.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said “these measures are really draconian … But if we’re going to control community transmission, we have to stop the capacity of this virus from spreading from person to person.”
On Sunday, stage-one restrictions included the shutdown of venues such as clubs, pubs, sporting venues, churches and other places of worship.