Public gatherings restricted to two people

Staff writers

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tonight announced further restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a meeting with the National Cabinet earlier today, federal and state governments have restricted public gatherings of people from 10 to two.

The states and territories are deciding how to enforce the new rule.

The limit will not apply to households, education or employment, while skate parks and public playgrounds will also be closed.

But Mr Morrison said parents and their children could go for a walk together even if there were more than two people.

The PM announced all people aged 70 and over should stay at home and self-isolate for their own protection.

“They are not self-isolating for the purpose that people, but this is for their own protection to limit their interaction with others in the community,” he said.

“They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting fresh air and recreation but should limit contact with others as much as possible.”

People aged 60 years and over with chronic illness and indigenous people aged 50 or over should self-isolate as much as possible.

Mr Morrison urged everyone to stay home unless shopping for food or other essential items, work, education, exercise, medical care or compassionate needs.


Groups of more than two people in public are discouraged. States are still deciding on whether to enforce the new rule, which is up from groups of 10.

People aged over 70 or 60-plus with chronic illness are discouraged from leaving their homes unless essential for medical care.

Still open: supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, public transport, some schools, hairdressers, petrol stations, postal and freight services, bottle shops, newsagents, retail shops. Restaurants restricted to take-away/delivery in most states.

Closed: Schools (Victoria/ACT), gyms, indoor sports venues, pubs, cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, places of worship, theme parks, auction houses, food courts in shopping centres, beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours, galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSL clubs, swimming pools, amusement parks, arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, social sports that involve large groups, outdoor and indoor markets, outdoor playgrounds, skate parks.

Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people, but states can provide exemptions; weddings restricted to the couple, celebrant and two witnesses.

All elective surgery in public facilities put on hold.

All patients will be able to access Medicare-funded online consultations from next week.