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Scott Morrison announces a new round of coronavirus restrictions

A series of new preventative coronavirus measures have been announced by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and will see even more businesses affected.

The restrictions will come into place from midnight tonight and are the latest efforts to keep the pandemic from spreading.

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The PM has announced a new round of coronavirus measures implemented from tonight which will see more businesses impacted, as well as weddings and funerals.

In addition to already existing measures, from midnight tonight, all food courts inside shopping centres will be closed (although take away will be allowed), as well as outdoor and indoor markets (excluding food markets). Auction houses will also be closed and real estate auctions and open house inspections will be cancelled.

Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, massage, and tattoo parlours will now also be closed, as well as social and sporting-based activities involving large groups. Personal training will be limited to ten people.

Indoor and outdoor play centres will similarly face closure, as well as community and recreation centres, community clubs, halls, RSLs, amusement parks, and arcades, plus galleries, museums, and libraries.

Finally, weddings will be restricted to 8 people (the couple, a celebrant, and no more than five witnesses), whilst funerals will be restricted to ten people.

Food markets will remain open, at the discretion of state governments, as will shopping centres, however only retail premises not included on the list of restrictions will remain open. Hairdressers and barbershops will remain open but must apply strict distancing rules.

The prime minister has urged everyone to work from home and to keep house guests to a minimum. Schools are set to reconvene after the school break with a mixture of “distance learning”, with parents able to choose whether to keep their child at home. There is now an overseas travel ban for all Australians, and South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory, and Tasmania are all closing their borders.

The new regulations come after health messaging experts criticised the government’s communication around the pandemic urging them to launch a mass communication campaign across television, social media, and news services. Confusing messaging around the pandemic has left people unsure of what to do.

In other news, over the weekend Morrison announced that a new rental assistance package was in the works, to protect those unable to pay rent for up to six months.