Where you can’t go from Monday onwards

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed advice not to attend gatherings of more than 500 people - effective as of Monday.

So, what can you actually do this weekend? The PM's advice apparently does not include going to school or university, but it does include church services.

Mr Morrison said the ban would apply to organised, "non-essential gatherings".

But he said people could still go about their normal, essential business.

Here's what that means in terms of most regular weekend activities.

Scott Morrison advised people not to go ahead with non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people starting from Monday. Picture: AAP/Paul Braven.
Scott Morrison advised people not to go ahead with non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people starting from Monday. Picture: AAP/Paul Braven.

SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY

While students in tertiary education may be desperate for an excuse to skip their Saturday classes, the Prime Minister has other ideas.

"(The advice) of course does not include schools," he said.

"It does not include university lectures. It does not mean people getting on public transport or going to airports or things of that nature.

"Parliament is essential, going to school is essential, going about your normal business and taking your kids to daycare is essential."

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated, assuring parents it's still safe to send their kids to school, despite France shutting its schools.

Students on campus at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Picture: iStock
Students on campus at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Picture: iStock

SHOPPING

As many head out for some retail therapy over the weekend - or to fight over whatever toilet paper is left - some larger shopping centres will easily draw more than 500 people in store.

These public spaces are still fine to visit, according to the PM.

Sitting in your local cinema, doing your weekly grocery shop or wandering around shopping centres are not banned activities.

After Friday's announcement, the Chairman of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia, Peter Allen, released a statement in relation to the ban.

"The shopping centre industry is taking necessary precautions and following relevant health advice to support their people and customers in response to COVID-19 while balancing business continuity for the local community and broader economy," he said.

"Shopping centres provide essential services to local communities such as food and groceries, pharmacies, medical clinics and many other goods and services.

Shopping centres draw crowds of keen shoppers most weekends. Picture: John Grainger.
Shopping centres draw crowds of keen shoppers most weekends. Picture: John Grainger.

SPORT

Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the 500 figure was chosen based on the best available scientific modelling.

He said casual exposure walking through a train station or airport presented a much lower risk.

Mr Morrison said we might be watching football games on the television for some time.

But he said he was still planning to go to the Cronulla Sharks game this weekend before the ban kicks in.

"We will set the ground rules about how these events can be run in the future and I have no doubt that there will be strong co-operation from all of the (football) codes as to how they manage that," he said.

No one is at the cricket today. Picture: Jacob Polychronis
No one is at the cricket today. Picture: Jacob Polychronis

CHURCH

Mr Morrison warned yesterday there would be issues to work through, for instance attendance at public galleries.

He said churches and places of worship would have to make arrangements in relation to how large their gatherings were.

"I suspect they will do something common sense like hold multiple services at different periods of time over the course of the weekend so all their parishioners can come along," he said.

"But having more than a particular amount in one place at one time, I have no doubt they will honour the advice given to them about how many people should get together in one place on an organised basis for several hours."

Mr Morrison said the move was a "common sense" precaution.

"What we are announcing today is just another step," he said.

"It is precautionary. It is getting ahead of this to ensure that we can minimise the impact on your health and we can ensure with confidence the ability for people to be accessing the health services that they and their families will need."

TRAVEL

Whether it be a weekender away or more extensive travel plans, you might want to postpone for the moment.

Michael Johnson, of tourism Accommodation Australia, said they were still waiting on further details on how long the ban would last but he said the impact of the move would be huge.

"This is just another major blow to hotels," he said.

He said the banning of sporting events would impact hotel accommodation greatly, following the announcement of the Grand Prix being cancelled.

"If you think of all those hotels in Melbourne that are full of clients, they'll probably be leaving Melbourne now," he said.

"You're going to have a situation where at those large conference hotels, any conferences will be off the table."

"The advice of the medical experts still has to be taken into account, so it's difficult to criticise, but I can confirm the impact on the industry is going to substantial."