Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a complex new set of restrictions on Tuesday night, including bans on guests at weddings and a 10-person limit on funerals. The regulations, which come into force at midnight tonight to address the continued rise in COVID-19 cases, include shutdowns of a range of businesses such as amusement parks, recreation centres, public swimming pools, and museums. Hairdressers and barber shops can continue to operate, but customer visits are restricted to 30 minutes. Morrison called on Australians to exercise “common sense” in keeping visitor numbers to homes at a minimum, with no large parties. Australians will also be formally banned from travelling overseas. The announcement came after a National Cabinet conference call with state and territory leaders. Teacher unions will meet with Morrison today to discuss their concerns about schools remaining open.
Confusion has gripped border communities about whether mandatory self-isolation on interstate travel applies to local residents. Tweed residents have been advised they will be excluded from Queensland unless their visit is essential or for work, The Daily Telegraph reports, with possible permits still being developed despite the new regulations coming into force at midnight tonight. Similar issues are faced by people living near the Victoria-South Australia border, where restrictions came into force on Tuesday. A kilometre-long traffic jam formed along the Nullabor desert border crossing between South Australia and West Australia, as people raced to beat the latter’s 1.30pm border closure deadline yesterday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reportedly told a private party room meeting on Tuesday that Australian Border Force officials were responsible for 2647 passengers disembarking from the Ruby Princess cruise ship last week. The Australian ($) claims she said NSW Health was instructed by Border Force to allow the arrivals, with at least 133 passengers subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, and one dying of the virus. Meanwhile, legal action is being investigated ($) against both the Ruby Princess and government authorities for permitting the ship’s arrival.
Poland, India and Egypt are the latest countries to impose lockdown measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile Paraguayan Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo has expressed his approval of videos showing police officers employing humiliating punishments on people found on the streets during the country’s nationwide quarantine, such as forcing people to do star jumps while being threatened with a taser. Recorded COVID-19 cases surpassed 400,000 worldwide, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University, with more than a quarter of those cases identified in the past three days. More than 18,200 deaths have been recorded globally.