Pubs, cafes and restaurants close doors as COVID-19 shutdown begins

A man wears a mask while he walks. The Prime Minister says Australians can still go outside and exercise while social distancing.

Sweeping business closures and travel restrictions begin in WA, following new rules to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the social distancing guidelines in a press conference over the weekend.

The rules, which came into effect yesterday, mean people must stay 1.5 metres apart, with 4 square metres per person. Gatherings of more than 100 people indoors have been banned.

The Prime Minister said some businesses and must close because people were gathering in them against social distancing guidelines.

Pubs, clubs, nightclubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, entertainment venues, and casinos must close their doors.

Restaurants and cafes are restricted to takeaway and home delivery services.

Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals in enclosed spaces have also been banned.

Hair dressers and beauticians can remain open for now if they follow social distancing guidelines.

Those businesses considered essential to society will also remain open, including:

  • supermarkets;
  • banks;
  • petrol stations;
  • pharmacies;
  • bottle shops;
  • convenience stores;
  • freight and logistics; and
  • food delivery.

The Prime Minister urged people to stay at home, flagging escalating restrictions for areas with outbreaks in the future.

“More stronger measures will be coming, and they will be coming in more localised areas to deal with outbreaks,” he said.

Meanwhile, WA, South Australia, and the Northern Territory close their borders today. Similar restrictions are already in place in Tasmania. Incoming travellers will be forced to self-isolate for 14 days.

Long queues form outside Centrelink offices, 24 March 2020.

The COVID-19 outbreak has rocked the Australian sharemarket over the past month, caused widespread supply chain issues and seen WA consumer confidence plunge to its lowest level in three years.

The Government has estimated at least one million people will become unemployed as a result of the economic downturn.

Business are encouraged to explore for insight and practical resources navigating the issue.

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