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What could ‘level three’ restrictions involve?

From midnight Australia will enter ‘stage two’ of restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Businesses including massage parlours and nail salons will be closed and weddings will be limited to five people. 

But even before those measures come in, officials will discuss what the next level of restrictions will be.

The national cabinet will tonight to debate ‘stage three’ restrictions after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned this morning: ‘Stage three is coming’.

Nobody knows exactly what the next stage will entail – but experts have told Daily Mail Australia that more extreme social distancing measures are inevitable. 

‘Distancing can be more extreme and restrictions can be made tougher. Watch this space,’ said Stephen Leeder, a Professor of Public Health at Sydney University. 

Schools

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he wants schools to stay open so essential workers do not have to worry about childcare and children can continue their education.

He said the health risk of keeping schools open was low because young people are not vulnerable to coronavirus – but some teachers fear they are ‘cannon fodder’ and want the gates closed for their own safety. 

Paul Komesaroff, Professor of Medicine at Monash University, told Daily Mail Australia that closing the schools would be a logical step. 

Paul Komesaroff, Professor of Medicine at Monash University, told Daily Mail Australia that closing the schools would be a logical step

Paul Komesaroff, Professor of Medicine at Monash University, told Daily Mail Australia that closing the schools would be a logical step

‘The next thing to do is to close schools and universities,’ he said. ‘But that is a big step because it may impact whether parents can go to work.’

In Norway and the UK, schools have been kept open for the children of essential workers such as doctors and nurses and something similar could be arranged in Australia.

Some states are already moving towards closing schools by bringing forward holidays. 

Tasmania’s school term will end four days early so teachers can prepare online education resources.

Victoria has also closed its schools early, sending 1million pupils home three days before the Easter break which starts this Friday in the state. 

Meanwhile, the NSW Teachers Federation is calling for a planned transition to online learning across all state schools as attendance numbers continue to fall due to coronavirus fears.  

Businesses

On Tuesday night, Mr Morrison announced a raft of businesses that would need to close their doors, putting thousands of Australians out of work.

Personal service businesses ‘where there is a lot of contact’, such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlors will be forced to shut. 

Shopping centres could be forced to close under level three restrictions

Shopping centres could be forced to close under level three restrictions

But hairdressers and barbershops are allowed to remain open as well as food markets and shopping centres, except for the food courts.

These businesses could be in the firing line if the government moves further towards a lock down. 

In an extreme scenario, only critical businesses such as petrol stations, pharmacies and grocery stores would need to remain open.

Exercise 

Mr Morrison announced on Tuesday that social sports such as large groups of people playing soccer in a park have been banned.

But he said that boot camps and personal training will be allowed to go ahead with less then 10 people. 

Yoga and barre sessions, as well as spinning and other exercise sessions, can continue so long as they abide by the 10 people or fewer rule as well.  

Professor Komesaroff said Australia could eventually follow the lead of other countries and ban all exercise outside the home

Professor Komesaroff said Australia could eventually follow the lead of other countries and ban all exercise outside the home

These types of exercise classes could be next on the chopping block.

Professor Komesaroff said Australia could eventually follow the lead of other countries and ban group exercise outside the home.

‘We could see rules where you are only allowed out of your home for a run. Or maybe we won’t even be allowed out as in China.’ 

He added: ‘I personally can’t see a problem with some-one running on the street alone because there’s no risk of transmission if they are not in a group.’ 

Shopping

Grocery shops will always stay open because people need to buy food. 

But there could be limits imposed on the number of people allowed in a supermarket at one time.

Shops could also require customers to better observe social distancing by limiting the number of people in aisles and making them stand two meters apart.  

The queue at Rouse Hill Aldi started two hours before the store opened last week

The queue at Rouse Hill Aldi started two hours before the store opened last week

In Italy, for example, shoppers are forced to wait in ‘socially distanced’ queues just to go to the supermarket. 

‘Supermarkets need to have social distancing,’ Professor Komesaroff said. 

‘They might limit the number of people and have them two metres apart when they queue. That kind of process is inevitable,’ he said.

Gatherings 

Weddings have been limited to five people and funerals to ten people. 

But in the UK weddings have been banned altogether and gatherings of more than two people, except in the family home, are barred.

There is scope for Australia to further restrict the number of people that can gather at one time. 

Professor Komesaroff said such measures would help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

‘We’re right at the start of a catastrophic upsurge and we know that the infection numbers will increase drastically,’ he warned.

‘The minute the health service overwhelms, the death rate will increase dramatically. I don’t think we can be overconfident.’

He said a requirement for people to show police a letter explaining why they have left home would likely be considered in the final stage of measures – not in stage three.    

‘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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