Anyone entering the country will be forced to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks, under new measures just announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
By midnight Saturday, all arrivals through our airports will be quarantined in hotels. Quarantining will take place in the state in which the person arrives – so, if a South Australian arrives via Sydney, they will have to quarantine in Sydney.
The Government is arguing that the majority of Coronavirus cases are still from people bringing the virus into the country, and that these measures will help to stem the flow of the virus.
There will be stronger penalties for those who don’t quarantine upon arriving to Australia, including those who’ve recently arrived and have been made to self-isolate, and members of the Australian Defence Force will be assisting with enforcing these laws.
If you have any loved ones aiming to return to the country soon, you definitely won’t be seeing them for long!
Businesses to go into “hibernation”
The PM announced that a third economic support package will be revealed within a few days.
This will include ways to “hibernate” businesses so that businesses who have been forced to close will be able to re-open in the future without mountains of debt.
He didn’t explain much more about that, nor did he say anything about housing or rent relief – issues which the Government has been saying they’ll speak on all week. Hopefully that comes out sooner rather than later.
An announcement about how there’s no announcement on schools
SA schools are effectively going to school holidays a week early through new pupil-free days, a move which a lot of states around Australia are also doing.
The PM said the National Cabinet will have an announcement at some point about when schools will reopen after the holidays and how it will be different.
Don’t call it a “lockdown”
The PM was asked about whether newsagents would be considered an essential service as new lockdown measures are introduced.
ScoMo jumped on that, and cautioned against using the term “lockdown.”
He made an important point – it will not get to the point that Australians can’t leave the house to buy food and access essential services. The word “lockdown” implies that might happen.
We’ll update this post if any other important information comes to light.