The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Australia to shutdown venues from today

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that hospitality venues will be shut down from midday today in order to try and stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Morrison made the announcement in a press conference after New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria said they would move to lockdown “non-essential” venues within 48 hours.

The restriction means that Australian restaurants, cafes, registered and licensed clubs and licensed premises in hotels and pubs will have to close their doors by midday on March 23.

Takeaway and delivery services will remain open, as well as supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics.

Morrison said the restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis, but analysts predict the closures could last for months.

“We don’t have any confidence that people will refrain from gathering in those ways in those places, so because guidelines can’t be followed for public health reasons,” Morrison said. “So we need to take further actions which shuts those gatherings down.”

New Zealand has banned gatherings of more than 100 people and announced new guidelines for hospitality venues but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has not yet not announced lockdowns or closures to hospitality venues.