Australia’s two most populous states Victoria and New South Wales have reportedly plunged into “more comprehensive lockdown” with all non-essential services to be banned within 48 hours. Establishments and schools are set to close indefinitely as containment measures to combat the COVID-19 spread. Anyone entering south Australia after 4pm today will be held under 14-day mandatory quarantine, states declared.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the press conference that people will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy, and other essential stores, they, however, will be strictly dealt with by the police authorities if caught in an aimless movement, he added.
An Australian media agency revealed that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially declared that her state would go into closure within two days. Schools in NSW, she said, will remain open as the authorities did not want to pull parents out of crucial medical care worker roles. The decision comes after NSW and Victoria recorded bulk cases of COVID-19 out of the 3,024 confirmed cases in Australia, she was further quoted saying. More details of the widespread shutdown are awaited with the national cabinet due to meet in the evening where the Premier will discuss measures of NSW's planned closure.
Only yesterday, the Australian city authorities sealed off the popular Bondi beach in Sydney and removed hundreds of people from other popular beaches, according to media reports. The crowd was removed on account of “irresponsible behaviour” as they violated the government's social distancing protocol. A ban was previously in place on the outdoor public assembly of more than 500 people from over a week. Waverley council of Australia also sealed two nearby beaches on the afternoon of March 21. Police were deployed to disperse a large number of people as many Australians were reluctant to leave the area upon being instructed by the local lifeguards to leave.