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Coronavirus social distancing guidelines: What do they mean for everyday life in Australia?

As Australia enters ‘stage two’ of restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus, Australians will have limited choices on what they can do and where they can go. 

The prime minister announced a raft of new measures beginning on Wednesday night – including limiting the number of people at weddings and funerals, closing food courts at shopping centres and shutting beauty salons.

The government has also advised people to stay at home unless it’s ‘absolutely necessary’ to go out.   

Exceptions can be made for trips to the supermarket, medical needs, exercise, work and taking children to school. 

Daily Mail Australia takes a look at what these new restrictions and bans mean for everyday life. 

WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES? 

The general rule and health advice for all Australians is to practice social distancing by limiting activities that involve a high degree of social interaction – or to just stay at home.  

New social distancing guidelines will limit what Australians can and cannot do for the next six months

New social distancing guidelines will limit what Australians can and cannot do for the next six months  

WHY HAVE THESE MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED? 

Social distancing is the only guaranteed way to prevent further spread of COVID-19. 

The less face-to-face contact with others, the less there is a chance someone carrying the virus can transmit it to someone else. 

WHEN CAN I LEAVE THE HOUSE? 

There are exceptions for social distancing which include shopping for necessities, medical needs, assisting vulnerable people, exercising (alone or with members of your household only) and going to work (if you cannot work from home).  

If you are sick, you should not be leaving your home and should stay inside until you are recovered – unless medical attention is required.  

GROCERY SHOPPING OR BUYING NECESSITIES 

CAN I GO SHOPPING?

You can go shopping at businesses that remain open, but the general advice is to limit outings as much as possible and only step out to buy necessities. 

Shopping centres and supermarkets remain open, but Australians are advised to go outside only if absolutely necessary

Shopping centres and supermarkets remain open, but Australians are advised to go outside only if absolutely necessary 

WHAT SHOPS REMAIN OPEN? 

Supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, medical centres, hospitals and pharmacies remain open. 

WHAT ABOUT RESTAURANTS OR CAFES? 

BUSINESSES REMAINING OPEN:

  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping centres 
  • Medical centres/hospitals
  • Restaurants and cafes (takeaway only) 
  • Pharmacies
  • Schools

You can no longer dine in restaurants as eating in an indoor space with large groups of people violates social distancing guidelines. 

CAN I ORDER TAKEAWAY? 

You can still order takeaway at restaurants, cafes and food courts. Online delivery services such as Uber Eats have also implemented ‘no contact’ services to limit physical contact. 

CAN I GET MY HAIRCUT?  

Yes. Hairdressers and barbers can continue but must strictly manage social distancing and restrict the amount of time a patron can be in the premises to no more than 30 minutes.  

Nail, tanning, waxing, and beauty salons and tattoo parlours – or services where there is ‘a lot of contact’ – have been closed.  

Hairdressers and barbers are exempt from business closures, however all businesses must practice social distancing and restrict the amount of people on the premises

Hairdressers and barbers are exempt from business closures, however all businesses must practice social distancing and restrict the amount of people on the premises 

EXERCISE 

CAN I STILL WORKOUT AT THE GYM? 

No. Gyms, health clubs, recreation centres and  swimming pools, are among those facilities which have been ordered to close to comply with social distancing guidelines. 

Fitness fanatics like Glen Armener (pictured) rushed into gyms for one final workout before the lockdown comes into play across the nation at midday on Monday

Fitness fanatics like Glen Armener (pictured) rushed into gyms for one final workout before the lockdown comes into play across the nation at midday on Monday

Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.

Yoga, Barre and other group fitness classes may continue as long as they abide by the 10 people or fewer rule and social distance guidelines.  

WHAT ABOUT OUTDOOR EXERCISE? 

You can still leave your home to go for a walk or to exercise outside, but you should only be doing so alone, or with members of your household. You should not be exercising or engaging in sports with large groups of people.   

Outdoor exercise can continue, as long as you are doing it alone or only with members of your household. Group sports or exercising in large groups has been banned

Outdoor exercise can continue, as long as you are doing it alone or only with members of your household. Group sports or exercising in large groups has been banned 

MEDICAL NEEDS 

WHAT IF I NEED TO GO TO THE DOCTOR OR MEDICAL CENTRE?  

These places will remain open and you should seek medical attention if needed. However, if you are sick, or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should not go to the pharmacy and should ask others for help in getting what you need.

EVERYDAY LIFE  

SHOULD I GO TO WORK?   

It is recommended that people who have the option of working from home should do so. If there is no working from home plan in place, you should go to work as usual, but practice social distancing at the workplace. 

Those who can work from their homes have been advised to do

Those who can work from their homes have been advised to do 

CAN I HAVE GUESTS OVER?     

You should aim to limit all physical contact with people outside of your household. Hosting friends, visitors or large gatherings at home is not advised. 

CAN I STILL GO TO MY FRIENDS’ OR PARTNER’S HOUSE?

If you would like to keep in touch with friends, colleagues or relatives who live outside your household, the recommended advice is to use video chat, phone call, or other forms of online messaging to maintain contact with them.  

WHAT ABOUT BIRTHDAY PARTIES/CELEBRATIONS? 

Unfortunately, under new restrictions large parties and gatherings cannot carry on. That includes weddings, which have been restricted to five people, and funerals, which have a limit of 10 people or fewer.  

Hosting parties or social gatherings inside your home or in outdoor spaces is prohibited.

SHOULD I SEND MY CHILDREN TO SCHOOL? 

Primary schools and high schools are still operating. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it still safe to send your children to school. Some state leaders have urged parents to keep their children home, however, facilities will remain open. 

Schools remain open despite conflicting advice from state leaders and the prime minister. Parents can choose to keep their children home from school, but Mr Morrison has advised it is still safe to send them to class

Schools remain open despite conflicting advice from state leaders and the prime minister. Parents can choose to keep their children home from school, but Mr Morrison has advised it is still safe to send them to class

CAN I GET IN TROUBLE FOR NOT FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES? 

Yes. Penalties and fines for violating social distancing rules will vary from state to state.  

In NSW, police officers will have the power to hand out fines of $1,000 to individuals and $5,000 to businesses that breach public health orders or ministerial directions, beginning on Thursday.  

Police have the power to apply penalties already in place under the Public Health Act, which means people can be jailed for six months and/or issued a fine of up to $11,000 if convicted. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said state authorities will also consider putting measures in place that could potentially lead to penalties for those who organise large gatherings in their homes. 

‘STAGE TWO’ RESTRICTIONS

The government is looking to limit interactions between groups, particularly any event or gathering with 10 or more people.

The new restrictions, from 11.59pm on March 25, mean:   

BUSINESS

* Food courts in shopping centres will only be available for takeaway food. No sitting.

* Auction houses will shut. Auctions and open house inspections are banned.

* Outdoor and indoor markets are banned while rules around major food markets will be addressed by states and territories.

* Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours (but not physiotherapy) are banned.

* Hairdressers and barbers can continue but must strictly manage social distancing and restrict the amount of time a patron can be in the premises to no more than 30 minutes.

* Amusement parks and arcades, and indoor and outdoor play centres must close.

* Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.

* Social sports such as large groups of people playing soccer in a park are banned.

* Galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSLs and swimming pools must close.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

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

* Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people.

SCHOOLS

* It is safe to send children to school up to the end of the term.

* But some pupil-free days will be needed to plan distance learning.

* Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all “essential workers”.

* PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.

ESSENTIAL WORKERS

* Everyone who still has a job is an essential worker.

TRAVEL

* The official “do no travel” warning is now an outright ban on overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel.

EXPORTS

* New offence of profiteering and seeking to export goods overseas, relating to such things as medical supplies and masks.

 

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Written by Angle News

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