Scott Morrison’s nightly press conferences have become a ritual for most Australians as they face further restrictions on their lives in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through the nation.
And they were divided on whether the Prime Minister’s speech was a ‘trainwreck’ that only further confused the country – or a show of good leadership in the face of a once-in-century crisis.
The Prime Minister met with the National Cabinet in Canberra on Tuesday and announced as second round of measures as COVID-19 cases soared past 2,000.
Million of viewers tuned into his press conference just after 9pm, with many anticipating an Australia-wide lockdown.
But when Mr Morrison announced further restrictions, including more business closures and a crackdown on gatherings of more than ten people, viewers took to Twitter to share their frustration.
The Prime Minister met with the National Cabinet in Canberra on Tuesday and announced further restrictions as cases of COVID-19 soared past 2,000
‘Scott Morrison’s lack of empathy and compassion whilst continuing to deliver news of great anguish to so many people is truly unsettling, disgusting,’ one wrote.
Others told Mr Morrison to step down from the job, describing the prime minister as ‘useless’.
‘Can Scott Morrison just f**king resign already?’ one person wrote.
‘Is a three-week lockdown worse than two weeks of major disruption and then a forced lockdown?’ another questioned.
Others said Mr Morrison should follow the lead of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
‘How many will die due to delaying? New Zealand has a leader that is showing amazing strength and compassion to her citizens and frankly making you look like a robot,’ one said.
The government banned people from eating in shopping centre food courts – with the exception of takeaway services’ in new measures unveiled on Tuesday. Pictured: Chairs are removed from a food court in Melbourne to discourage eating in
AUSTRALIA’S NEW 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:
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* Everyone who still has a job is an essential worker.
* The official “do no travel” warning is now an outright ban on overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel. Exact time for ban to start yet to be set.
* New offence of profiteering and seeking to export goods overseas, relating to such things as medical supplies and masks.
Yet another noted: ‘Did anyone else notice all the contradictions in Scott Morrison’s address tonight? Restrictions in some cases but lax [sic] in others? Don’t think he really answered those questions about schools.’
Some compared Mr Morrison’s handling of the virus crisis to his time tackling the recent bushfires, when he famously flew to Hawaii for a holiday as his country burned.
‘What a shame, this is like the Australian bushfires all over again!’ one person tweeted.
‘He leads… by running away from responsibility,’ another wrote.
Social media lit up with Australians questioning Mr Morrison’s new restrictions, including that hairdressers only attend to each customer for 30 minutes.
‘Would love Scott Morrison to explain how he thinks 30 minutes is enough for a haircut while your hairdresser stays 1.5metres away from you,’ one tweet reads.
‘Like are they going to cut your hair using scissors stuck to the end of a pole or?’
‘A hairdresser can continue working but a beauty therapist can’t due to close contact? You’ve confused the whole nation,’ another comment reads.
‘So you can’t go farewell a recently passed loved one, but you can have a full haircut, colour and blow-dry in half an hour by a hairdresser with arms that are 1.5 meres long,’ another said.
While Twitter was awash with thousands of comments blasting the prime minister, a handful applauded him for his handling of the crisis.
Many commentators wondered how a hairdresser can practice social distancing while also cutting your hair (stock image)
A collection of tweets questioning Scott Morrison’s new restrictions for hairdressers amid the coronavirus
‘Praise to Scott Morrison for doing a great job during these tough times,’ one tweeted.
‘Scott Morrison I wasn’t a fan of yours but I’m impressed with your leadership in this crisis,’ another said.
‘Your press conferences are reassuring… well done and thank you.’
While Twitter was awash with thousands of comments blasting the prime minister, a handful applauded him for his handling of the crisis
Earlier, Mr Morrison said food courts at shopping centres would be closed, while he urged people not to have barbecues and threatened criminal penalties for anyone hosting a house party with more than 10 people.
‘There are some very important further rules that we want people to follow, just like the 1.5 metre rule, just like washing your hands, and coughing into your elbow,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘That is, to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary you go out.
‘Going out for the basics, going out for an exercise, perhaps with your partner or family members, provided it’s a small group, that’s fine.’
Mr Morrison urged Australians against outdoor events in groups of ten people or more and said weddings can only be attended by the couple, the celebrant and witnesses.
As of Tuesday evening there were 2,146 confirmed cases of coronavirus across Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Australians to stay home and will fine people if caught having house parties (stock image)
Funerals can also have no more than ten people at the service.
Real estate auctions, which were initially exempt from the stage one lockdown, will no longer be allowed to take place.
Mr Morrison also extended the restrictions to businesses that provide personal service ‘where there is a lot of contact’ including beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours and physiotherapists, and allied health services.
Hairdressers and barbershops will remain open for business provided they adhere to social distancing guidelines and the limit the number of people on their premises.
‘In places of worship and other similar type venues there has been a very difficult decision to make tonight in relation to weddings and in relation to funerals,’ he said.
‘This is not an easy decision. Where we have already found, and Dr Murphy can speak to this, some of the events that have been some of the major transmitting events, it has been exactly these types of events, particularly weddings.
‘And that is why, regretfully, we have to be able to put these arrangements in place.’
Scott Morrison sends Australia into panic with ONE mumbled word during coronavirus restrictions update – before ordering businesses he didn’t know existed close by tomorrow night
Scott Morrison sparked panic across Australia when he appeared to suggest all shopping centres would close while announcing new coronavirus restrictions.
The prime minister ordered more workplaces to shut by Thursday including libraries and beauticians. He allowed barbers and hairdressers to stay open but under strict social distancing restrictions and time limits for customers.
Australians will also be banned from travelling overseas under a further crackdown on international trips as the government tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
While announcing the measures, Mr Morrison sparked confusion when he appeared to say ‘food courts and shopping centres will not be allowed to continue’ .
He was later forced to clarify his announcement, explaining only food courts ‘in’ shopping centres would be closing.
He then admitted he had never even heard of barre classes despite also forcing them to shut their doors during Tuesday night’s announcement.
Barre is a workout routine combining pilates, dance, yoga and strength training.
‘I might need help with that, I’m not sure what that is,’ Mr Morrison said about the latter before spelling the word ‘barre’ out for reporters.