FYI, Australia’s confirmed cases of Covid-19 have jumped exponentially in the last week, increasing by three times. So—now more than ever—we need to practice social distancing and stay the fuck at home.
Each day and as the news continues to worsen, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has introduced new lockdown measures and business closures in an attempt to slow the spread of the infection. And, as cases now sit at over 2,000 across the country, last night’s announcement saw over ten different industries affected.
Here’s what Scott Morrison’s latest address and the new lockdown measures mean for you.
First and foremost, all shopping centres and food courts (if unable to do takeaway) will close. For those working in the hospitality industry, all restaurants and cafes will continue to be open for takeaway, but the decreased service from people staying at home has left many out of work.
For those in the middle of looking for a new place to live, all open house inspections and real estate agencies will be forced to close. Additionally, beauty therapy businesses like tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours will all shut because of physical contact risk between therapists and clients.
And, any other inside and outdoor venues like amusement parks, arcades, community places like museums, galleries, youth centres and health and fitness clubs (rip my yoga classes, tbh) will be shut.
Libraries will be forced to close with some offering online alternatives. What the closure of youth centres and support institutions for young people in need means for those who need support right now is unclear.
These closures follow last Sunday’s announcement, where Morrison declared the temporary closure of social gathering hotspots, namely, gyms, cinemas, nightclubs, live venues, places of worship and concert halls.
While most things will close, essential stores will stay open. That includes last Sunday’s announcement including general practice medical centres, pharmacies and supermarkets, as well as food markets, which will be individually addressed in each state by state government bodies, and physiotherapists.
Bizarrely, both hairdressers and boot camps and PT sessions will stay open, but must ensure they maintain extreme social distancing measures. Personally, I’d much rather stay at home and do my own workout in times like these but to each their own (u crazy tho).
For the former, hairdressers and barbers should limit the number of clients they have in their studios at a time, and each client should not stay any longer than 30 minutes (time to DIY your chonky highlights at home). For the latter, both boot campers and personal trainers should be four metres apart from each other and their fitness victims, and each session can only include up to ten people.
While Covid-19 has already taken an incredible toll on our mental health, weddings and funerals will see the coldest levels of change. While both services will be able to continue, they’ll be extremely limited in who can attend and social distancing measures. For weddings, up to five people can be in a room (the two people getting married, the marriage officiant, and two witnesses… so much for my big fat greek wedding). For funerals, sadly, up to ten people are allowed to attend and both services will need to enforce strict social distancing of four metres apart from each person.
Scott Morrison: “Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary”
Extending all this, Morrison pressed that if you can work from home, do it. Now’s not the time to go out unless absolutely necessary, which he lists as, “going out for the basics [and] going out for exercise.”
“But, going outside and going out and participating more broadly in the community unless you’re shopping for basics or there are medical needs or you’re providing care or support to another individual at another place,” is not on.
As a result, all international travel will be banned from tomorrow with domestic travel significantly cut. The pandemic has left airlines like Virgin Australia to cut its domestic capacity by 90 percent, and 8,000 of its 10,000 staff.
But, where does that leave me?
For many of us, the closures and cuts to these industries, even ones that are barely staying open like hospitality, have taken a huge sudden toll on our lives. Thousands of young people are now at risk of unemployment, stuck in the forever long physical and digital Centrelink queues, and stuck in their homes completely broken and with nothing to support themselves.
Time for the government to need to step up and support us. ASAP.