Australia has banned “non-essential” gatherings of greater than 100 individuals in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced sweeping new measures on Wednesday, together with discouraging journey abroad.
But he mentioned colleges, public transport and public squares would stay open, avoiding the sort of shutdown seen in some nations.
Australia has recorded over 450 constructive checks and 5 deaths, with a pointy rise in instances up to now week.
However, the numbers stay decrease than in Europe and North America.
Following a gathering of cupboard officers on Tuesday night time, Mr Morrison mentioned the federal government had declared a “biosecurity emergency”. He described it as a “one in a hundred-year event” however urged the general public to stay calm.
“We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the First World War. But together, we are up to this challenge,” he mentioned.
As a part of the brand new restrictions, workplaces, prisons and different “essential” locations will nonetheless function as regular.
However different occasions resembling non secular gatherings of greater than 100 individuals and concert events in small venues shall be prohibited.
Mr Morrison mentioned Australians mustn’t journey overseas anyplace – the primary time such recommendation had been given within the nation’s historical past.
“The biggest risk we have had and the biggest incidents of cases we have had… has been from Australians returning from overseas,” he mentioned.
On Sunday, Canberra ordered 14-day self-isolation for anybody arriving within the nation. Australians at present overseas have been urged to return.
‘Keep away from one another’
The doubling of Australian case numbers up to now week has sparked public concern, rising debate about whether or not colleges and different locations ought to shut.
Many workplace employees have additionally begun working from house as Australians apply social distancing measures.
While public well being officers have inspired this, they are saying they don’t seem to be wanting but to implement extra stringent lockdowns – predicting the disaster to final about six months.
“There is no way that we can lock down society and make everyone stay home and then in a month’s time, undo that, because the virus will just flare up again without any real long-term benefit,” Australia’s chief medical officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, instructed reporters.
Instead, he urged Australians to train warning in social interactions: “Keep away from each other where possible.”
Dr Murphy additionally mentioned the latest escalation in instances was “obviously concerning” however famous they had been “largely still fuelled by imported cases”.