Australia now has a two-person limit to all gatherings, but what does that mean?

Last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced another tightening of national restrictions in an attempt to further curb the spread of coronavirus.

The new measures institute a two-person limit to all gatherings, however, the specifics are a little unclear.

scott morrison, australia, two-person rule

Last night Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new two-person rule for all gatherings in new coronavirus measures, but what does it mean exactly?

Last week the Government announced a ten-person limit to all indoor and outdoor gatherings, whilst also strongly advising people to stay at home. Now, the latest measures adjust that ten-person limit down to two. The rule similarly applies to all indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as private properties.

Where this becomes slightly confusing is how it applies to people you already live with. To be clear, the two-person rule does not apply to people living within a household – so if you have five people residing in your house everyone is, obviously, allowed to remain there. You are also allowed to leave the house with everyone you live with, so those five people could all go somewhere together.

However, if you want to have someone over, or leave the house with someone you don’t live with, that can only be one person, in accordance with the new two-person limit.

According to the new rules, there are only four reasons people should be leaving their houses: shopping for essentials, for medical care or compassionate needs, exercise (as long as it involves no more than two people), and for work or education, provided you cannot do this remotely.

How these rules will be enforced is at each state’s discretion. Victoria has already announced it will be handing out on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses who ignore the rules.

The only other exemptions to the regulations are weddings and funerals. For funerals, there remains a ten-person rule, and for weddings, a five-person limit. Public playgrounds, outside gyms, and skate parks are also set to close.

The new rules will come into place from midnight tonight.

For more information, there is now an official Australian Government coronavirus app you can download.