Our everyday life is set to change dramatically over the next 48 hours, as governments move to shut down non-essential activities to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday night that pubs, clubs, cinemas, places of worship, casinos, nightclubs and indoor sporting venues – principal places of social gatherings – will be required to close across the nation from noon on Monday.
Restaurants and cafes are permitted to remain open only to serve takeaway or prepare home deliveries. That means it’s ok to go out for a morning coffee – for now – but do not hang around the cafe.
Mr Morrison said the Stage One measures recommended by the national cabinet could last up to six months.
The announcement comes hours after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced their tough measures on Sunday afternoon, with Mr Andrews adding all schools would shut on Tuesday.
“This is not something that we do lightly,” Mr Andrews said.
“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.”
Under the national guidelines, we are still able to travel to school, work and the shops to buy groceries and household items using public transport.
Travel on compassionate grounds or for emergencies is also permitted. We can still go out of our homes (as of Monday morning there are no lockdowns announced) but everyone is urged to stay 1.5 metres away from each other.
Congregating for activities like going to the gym or to church is not permitted.
Freight, logistics and home delivery services will continue.
There’s still some confusion around what is being considered an “essential service”, and state leaders are expected to provide further details on Monday.