Pubs, clubs closed: Time for takeaway



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From midday today pubs, clubs and other non-essential indoor venues will be forced to close, while restaurants and cafes will be limited to takeaway only.

The new stage one restrictions on social gatherings were announced by the Prime Minister last night to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).
  • Isolated remote community hubs are not included in these restrictions.

These measures also apply to outdoor spaces associated with the above venues.

With a huge portion of Port Douglas businesses falling into those categories it is a huge blow for the tourism town.

However, already social media has come alive with local business urging the community to stick together and support local businesses, with many restaurants and cafes still operating through takeaway, some for the first time ever.

In making the announcement in Canberra last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this decision was not made lightly but was in the interest of community safety.

"I am deeply regretful that those workers and those business owners, who will be impacted by this decision, will suffer the economic hardship that undoubtedly they will now have to face," Mr Morrison said.

He also said there was “no need” for anyone to flood supermarkets or other essential services as they would not be closing.

“What we're doing is closing down gatherings in pubs and clubs and things of that nature," Mr Morrison said.

“There is also no reason for anyone to rush to any of those venues tomorrow before midday. That would be highly irresponsible.”

Mr Morrison warned they were the first stage, and future closures would result if people continued to ignore social distancing requirements.

He warned the closures could continue for six months.

The new restrictions build on existing measures to slow the virus including:

  • No non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people outside or more than 100 people inside.
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have no more than one person per 4sqm. All Australians should expect their local businesses to be following this rule.
  • Where possible, keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Restrictions on entering aged care homes to protect older Australians

The government has acknowledged that these new restrictions will change the way we live and expressed deep regret for those business owners and employees who will be impacted.

The goal is to reduce the spread of the virus, to flatten the curve and to save the lives of fellow Australians.

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