DAN TEHAN MP
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WANNON

UPDATE CORONAVIRUS #2

March 18, 2020

The Prime Minister has announced further actions to protect the Australian community from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Prime Minister announced measures around the following:

Gatherings

Non-essential indoor gatherings of greater than 100 people (including staff) will no longer be permitted from Wednesday 18 March 2020.

 This does not apply to essential activities such as:

•             Public transportation facilities

•             Medical and health care facilities

•             Pharmacies, emergency service facilities

•             Food markets

•             Supermarkets and grocery stores

•             Shopping centres

•             Office buildings

•             Factories

•             Construction sites; and

•             Mining sites

The Victorian State Government will give further consideration to practical guidance and rules for non-essential indoor gatherings of fewer than 100 people (including staff) such as cinemas, theatres, restaurants/cafes, pubs, clubs, weddings and funerals.

Outdoor gatherings of less than 500 people are still permitted as long as appropriate hygiene measures are adhered to.

Domestic Transport

All Australians should only consider travelling when it is essential. If unwell, people must stay at home, unless seeking medical care.

Public transport is essential and special attention will be given to cleaning and hygiene.

Older Australians

It is our priority to protect and support elderly and vulnerable Australians.

The following people should not attend aged care facilities:

  • Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days;
  • Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
  • Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath); and
  • Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1 May).

If you have family or friends currently at a nursing home, I would encourage you to contact them before visiting.

Schools

Schools will remain open at this time. Specifically, the National Cabinet has agreed that “pre-emptive closures are not proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.”

Anzac Day

Anzac Day is an important commemoration where we demonstrate our respect and admiration for Anzacs past and present. But the way we commemorate Anzac Day this year will need to change.

The National Cabinet has agreed that Anzac Day ceremonies and events should be cancelled due to the high proportion of older Australians who attend such events and the increased risk posed to such individuals. A small streamed/filmed ceremony involving officials at a state level may be acceptable. There should be no marches.

All Australian-led international Anzac Day Services will be cancelled for 2020 given international travel restrictions and restrictions on public gatherings.

The Australian War Memorial will aim to conduct a national televised Dawn Service with no general public attendance.

State and Territory Governments and the RSLs will work together on local community arrangements to commemorate Anzac Day.

Level 4 Travel Restrictions – DO NOT TRAVEL

Our advice to all Australians - regardless of your destination, age or health - is do not travel overseas at this time. 

Australians who are overseas who wish to return to Australia should do so as soon as possible by commercial means. 

Anyone arriving in Australia from overseas, including Australians citizens and permanent residents, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival. 

Bulk Purchasing of Supplies – DON’T DO IT

As the Prime Minister said ‘Stop hoarding, I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it.’

‘It is not sensible, it is not helpful, and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis.

Where to find information

The National Coronavirus Health Information Line remains the best source of information for concerned members of the community and can be reached by calling 1800 020 080. Further information can also be found by visiting the Department of Health's website www.health.gov.au

My office remains open and I encourage anyone concerned to contact me at dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au or on 1300 131692.

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232
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