Coronavirus update: schools to close from tomorrow, some businesses to shut down
VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a further shutdown of non-essential activity across the state from noon today, which is aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.
The businesses that will close due to the Stage 1 shutdown – which will apply across Australia – include pubs, clubs, nightclubs, Crown Casino, and licensed venues in hotels and pubs. It also includes gyms, indoor sporting venues, places of worship, cinemas and entertainment venues.
Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide home delivery or takeaway services.
School holidays for government schools in Victoria will be brought forward, starting tomorrow (Tuesday, March 24). Schools will use this time to support teachers and staff plan for flexible and remote learning in the event schools need to move to that method of teaching. Term 2 will begin on April 14, unless health advice indicates otherwise.
For the moment, childcare services are remaining open.
“The Stage 1 shutdown will have a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of many Victorians, but if we don’t do this, more Victorians will contract coronavirus and more Victorians will die,” Mr Andrews said.
“The decision will be reviewed regularly by the National Cabinet, and speaking as honestly as possible, it’s likely that governments across Australia will need to go further in the days and weeks ahead.”
Victoria Police has also established a coronavirus enforcement squad of 500 officers to ensure containment measures that have been put in place to combat coronavirus are followed.
For the latest updates, head to dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
The state government also launched a hotline for businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Businesses across the state can now get access to information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15, where they can find out about support services, including those available through Business Victoria, which offers mentoring to help operators develop business continuity and recovery plans.
Business operators can also find information at business.vic.gov.au.