Aussies To Distance Even Further In Tightened Coronavirus Measures
People will need a four-square-metre bubble around them at all times in indoor venues, under new strict social distancing rules for coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a further crackdown on people gathering indoors, announcing pubs and restaurants would be required to limit patrons to one person per four square metres of space -- meaning just 25 people in a 100-square-metre venue.
"What we are now moving to is an arrangement for gatherings of less than 100, is that there would be four square metres provided per person in an enclosed space, in a room," he said.
"If we do it more broadly, then we are slowing the rate and we are saving lives."
It comes after the government restricted indoor gatherings to just 100 people at a time, to promote 'social distancing' in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
"There is a way through this. We all need to keep going. I need all of you to keep going," Morrison said.
"The presence of additional [diagnosed] cases is not something of itself that should cause alarm, because at the end of the day, you don't stop this virus, but you can defeat it by slowing it down."
The announcement is expected to further sting the entertainment and hospitality industries, already reeling from the gatherings ban.
Morrison also announced state governments would work to provide "relief" for residential and commercial renters affected by economic downturn amid the coronavirus outbreak. He said further information on that would be confirmed in coming days.
"When people are in closer contact, particularly enclosed spaces, that spreads the virus," Morrison said in a 2GB interview earlier Friday.
"We spread the virus, when it happens too quickly, elderly people are under great threat."
"We have to slow the virus and that means there are circumstances where we will have to restrict the number of people in enclosed spaces."
Just minutes before Morrison's announcement, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard had specifically pleaded with people to engage in social distancing -- which he called "physical separation" -- at beaches and churches.