PM bans all overseas travel, restrictions on funeral attendance, penalties for profiteers
25 March 2020, Written by David Simmons
On Tuesday evening the Prime Minister held another Covid-19 press conference during which he sought to clarify the Federal Government's position on social distancing measures and travelling overseas.
Australians looking to leave the country will now be prohibited to do so under the Federal Government's powers in the Biosecurity Act.
The National Cabinet hopes this ban will reduce the risk of Australians returning to the country infected with coronavirus.
There are exemptions to the rule including for those citizens ordinarily resident overseas, where travel is essential or necessary, where travel is in Australia's national interest, and on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.
The PM and his National Cabinet have clarified the social distancing rules, building on the existing measures that are in place.
From 11.59pm (local time) tonight the following activities and venues will be prohibited:
"These will be significant sacrifices, I know," says PM Scott Morrison.
"We've all been to those events as extended families and gatherings and gathering together in that way, even around the large family table in the family home when all the siblings get together and bring the kids, these are not things we can do, now.
"All of these things present risks and they obviously present them to the elderly members of our families as well, who we need to protect."
The Federal Government has also announced it intends to take action against those exploiting panic and anxiety by profiteering off essential goods.
"These measures will help prevent individuals purchasing goods including face masks, hand sanitiser and vital medicines and either re-selling them at significant mark-ups or exporting them overseas in bulk, which prevents these goods from reaching people who need them in Australia," says the Federal Government.
The measures come as Australia records 2,144 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
There are 913 cases in NSW, 411 in VIC, 397 in QLD, 175 in WA, 170 in SA, 39 in ACT, 34 in TAS, and 5 in NT.
Eight people in total have died in Australia from the novel coronavirus.
Updated at 8:33am AEDT on 25 March 2020.
Author: David Simmons