Australia Bans All Overseas Travel

Coronavirus crisis: Prime Minister Scott Morrison reveals long list of restricted activities amid COVID-19 lockdown

Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple the celebrant and two witnesses, no more than five people.

Mr Morrison said the cancellations were based on the advice of the expert medical panel.

"Sadly, also, and I know this will be very hard, funerals to no more than 10 persons observing the rules around the four-square metre rule and the social distancing practices".

Funerals will be restricted to no more than 10 people.

In the United Kingdom, the government has published a list of key workers deemed essential to the economy who may continue to send their children to school and childcare despite schools being ordered to close.

A nationwide crackdown on social gatherings was announced.

He said much of the growth in Australian COVID-19 diagnoses was still driven by returning travellers and therefore putting the community at risk by failing to observe quarantine would not be tolerated.

"Barbecues of lots of friends or even. extended family coming together to celebrate one-year-old birthday parties and all these sorts of things - we can't do those things now", he said. "But we need to put that arrangement in place".

The prime minister ordered more workplaces to shut by Thursday including libraries and beauticians.

"That will turn into a ban using the biosecurity powers that were afforded to us by the Governor-General through the Minister for Health", he said.

The overseas travel ban follows the effective closure of the country's state borders of Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern territory to all but essential travel and freight in an effort to mitigate the further spread of the coronavirus.

The only exceptions to this strict new ruling will be aid work, essential travel for employment and compassionate travel. "Go out for the basics or medical need only", Mr Morrison said.

"The direction is being worked on overnight".

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Mr Morrison said he was "deeply sorry" to the hundreds of thousands of Australians who had already, or what shortly lose their jobs.

"Australians who have lost hours, lost work, businesses that have been forced to close businesses, these are heart-breaking events in our nation's history and story". Schools are set to reconvene after the school break with a mixture of "distance learning", with parents able to choose whether to keep their child at home.

Mr Morrison remains firm that schools are safe and that it's necessary for them to remain open, but it's clear that negotiations between stakeholders are continuing. The government has presented complex equations about ensuring there are four-square-metres per person in indoor venues (including a 5 person ban on funerals and weddings).

Meanwhile, the country's Chief Medical Office Prof Brendan Murphy expressed frustration with the Australians who were flouting the rules created to protect other people from confirmed coronavirus cases.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy told the briefing that "We are very anxious about the rate of rise in infections".

"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.

"These measures are really draconian ..."

"We have to change the way we interact, as human beings, in our society, for quite a long time", he said.

The prime minister admitted though he hadn't heard of the latter.

Scott Morrison defended the public health campaign so far, pointing to messaging on social media and bus shelters.

"The public advertising whether it is on television or radio or the many other means of communication, it is all being deployed and it is all being increased".

"I had hoped that that would have been fully complied with, and I've got to say Australians have been pretty good about it".

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