In the next 48 hours, NSW and Victoria will both implement a shutdown of all non-essential services in their states.
Victoria Premier Dan Andrews and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced their respective plans to enforce state-wide shutdowns to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, with Victoria and NSW being the worst-hit states by the pandemic in Australia.
It is understood Berejiklian and Andrews will be pushing for a nation-wide shutdown at the National Cabinet meeting on Sunday evening, which will include Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders.
Here is exactly what we know about the respective shutdowns.
On Sunday, Premier Andrews announced, “school holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, starting on Tuesday 24 March”.
This means children in Victoria will attend school on Monday, March 3, before all schools are shut down in Victoria.
As for what will be considered an essential service, Andrews says: “Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores. Freight, logistics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open.”
He continued: “All measures to be implemented by Victoria are consistent with the health advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.”
“This is not something that we do lightly, but it’s clear that if we don’t take this step, more Victorians will contract coronavirus, our hospitals will be overwhelmed and more Victorians will die.
“I will have more to say on these measures tomorrow morning.”
Statement on Victoria’s response to Coronavirus: pic.twitter.com/YF4yFsE4Si
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) March 22, 2020
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday: “Tonight I will be informing the National Cabinet that NSW will proceed to a more comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services.
“This will take place over the next 48 hours.”
For now, schools in NSW will be open on Monday, although Premier Berejiklian is expected to make further announcements on this tomorrow morning.