— With AAP.
Following advice from The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to travellers overseas to return to Australia as soon as possible, the Prime Minister announced that Australia has upgraded its international travel advice to the highest level, with all citizens being told not to travel overseas because of coronavirus. It’s the first time a ban of this magnitude has been implemented in Australia.
“Do not go overseas. That is very clear, that instruction,” the Prime Minister told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday morning.
“For those who are thinking of going overseas in the school holidays, don’t. Don’t go overseas.”
Watch: Mamamia’s Claire Murphy breaks down your most asked questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.
Morrison added that the biggest risk of spreading the virus comes from Australians returning from travelling overseas.
“It is very important that Australians do not travel abroad at this time,” he said.
In line with other countries who have similar travel restrictions, Morrison said the travel ban was indefinite.
Limit indoor gatherings to 100 people.
Besides the existing ban on outside gatherings of 500 people or more, all indoor non-essential gathering of 100 people or more have also been banned. The ban is effective immediately.
As supermarkets, public transport, disability or aged care facilities, correctional facilities, mining sites, courts or tribunals, shopping centres, and hospitals are deemed as essential, they will not be included in the ban.
Major hubs like the Bourke Street Mall and Federation Square in Melbourne and Sydney’s Martin Place are also considered essential.
“Everything else is considered non-essential,” Morrison said.
Morrison added the restrictions on gathering may last for up to six months.
“We believe very strongly that it’s in the best interests of our children and the nation at this time to keep schools open,” he said.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says no more handshaking. No more hugging. Use hand sanitiser.
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) March 17, 2020