Over-70s told to stay at home under strict new lockdown measures

Parks and playgrounds closed; gatherings of more than two people effectively outlawed.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's coronavirus speech 29 March 2020

Australians have been told that three’s a crowd under strict new lockdown laws designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Going out in public with more than one other person could, if the states and territories decide, be an enforceable offence. Only families and households would be excepted.

People disregarding social distancing, isolation or quarantine orders prior to the announcement of the new rules can receive fines of $1000 or more in most states.

It is up to the states and territories to decide if the new rules would be enforceable to the same degree.

And older Australians, specifically those aged over 70 and Australians with existing health conditions or comorbidities, have been told to stay at home.

This “strong advice” for self-isolation has been given to those over 70, those over 60 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities, and indigenous Australians over 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities.

These groups have also been ordered to limit contact with others as much as possible when they do go outside.

“There is strong advice – this is not a compulsion, this is strong advice – that people aged 70 and over should stay at home and self-isolate for their own protection to the maximum extent practicable,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“This does not mean that they cannot go outside. They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting some fresh air, some recreation. But they should limit contact with others as much as possible. These arrangements should also apply to those with chronic illness over 60 and Indigenous persons over the age of 50.”

All public spaces including parks, playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms will also be closed from midday on Monday.

The PM said that while parents were allowed to take their kids outdoors for exercise, they should not meet up in groups or use the time to catch up with friends or family.

“The strong advice is don’t gather together in groups. That’s the simple way of putting it. Just don’t do it. It’s not helpful,” he said.

“It is not a time for catching up with friends or bumping into people and having a long conversation and maybe drawing a few other friends across to catch up on how it all is going.

“No, you can’t do that any more. That is what we have to stop doing.

“It actually creates the risk. And when you’re going out for shopping, you should be going for just stuff you need and do it and get home. It’s not a time for browsing.

“You must stay at home except for the following reasons: (A) shopping for what you need, food and other essential supplies that enable you to remain at home and to do that shopping as infrequently as possible; (B) for medical care or compassionate needs; (C) to exercise in compliance with the public gathering rules that I’ve already outlined, and (D) for work and education if you cannot work or learn remotely.

“What we’ve said today is you should be only going out to shop for things that you actually need, and you should be doing it on an irregular basis.

“I’ll give you an example. Our kids are at home now, as are most kids, and Jenny went out yesterday and bought them a whole bunch of jigsaw puzzles. I can assure you over the next few months, we’re going to consider those jigsaw puzzles absolutely essential.

“It’s important that parents and families and households can get the things that they need to completely change the way they’re going to live for the next six months at least. And so what we’ve done is sought to be practical about these issues.

“I mean, people are buying sporting equipment at the moment, gym mats and things like that so they can exercise at home. These are things they’re going to need.”

Chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy reinforced the PM’s advice for all Australians to stay at home.

“We have to change the way we, as people, interact with each other. It is very simple. We need to all stay home unless we are going out to shop, to do personal exercise, to go to medical appointments or to go to work or study if you can’t work from home,” he said.

“So anyone who doesn’t need to be out of their home should be in the home. This is radical. The vast majority of Australians have done the right thing in the last week.

“We have seen huge evidence of that, but we have also seen some very silly behaviour of people who haven’t complied with that, particularly outdoors and sometimes indoors.

“And that’s why we feel that it is really important that every Australian does the right thing because for these interventions to take effect, the science shows that you need more than 90 per cent of the population to be doing it all of the time.

“So please continue to do what you are doing.”

Along with the lockdown measures, the PM also announced a $1.1 billion package to help people with mental health issues, domestic violence prevention and other health measures; and a WhatsApp group and a coronavirus app has been set up to keep the public updated.

As of late last week, Australian Defence Force personnel have been called on to assist state and territory authorities enforce quarantine compliance.

Testing has also been extended to include anyone with a fever or acute respiratory infection who works in healthcare or aged care, or who lives in areas with an elevated risk of community transmission or plausibly linked cases.

All patients will be able to access Medicare-funded online consultations from next week.

“This much-expanded telehealth ‘Medicare at home’ measure keeps both patients and providers safe in terms of social distancing, but also safeguards and ensures care for those non-coronavirus patients with complex chronic conditions so they can continue to be cared for safely,” said Consumers Health Forum of Australia chief Leanne Wells.

“This development highlights how much we can better maximise available capabilities, even the telephone, to improve our campaign against coronavirus. Now we need to see governments and private hospitals working together to ensure their huge capabilities can be recruited in the fight against the virus.”

Still open:

  • supermarkets
  • pharmacies
  • banks
  • public transport
  • some schools
  • hairdressers
  • petrol stations
  • postal and freight services
  • bottle shops
  • newsagents
  • retail shops
  • restaurants restricted to take-away/delivery in most states.

Closed:

  • schools in Victoria and ACT
  • gyms
  • indoor sports venues
  • pubs/nightclubs
  • cinemas
  • casinos
  • places of worship
  • theme parks, amusement parks and arcades
  • auction houses
  • shopping centre food courts
  • beauty therapy/tanning/waxing/nail salons
  • spas
  • tattoo parlours
  • galleries
  • museums
  • libraries
  • youth centres
  • community halls
  • clubs
  • RSL clubs
  • swimming pools
  • indoor and outdoor play centres
  • social sports that involve large groups
  • outdoor and indoor markets
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • skate parks.

Are you staying inside? How seriously are you taking the governments’ lockdown measures? What do you think of those who aren’t taking them seriously?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Realist
    30th Mar 2020
    10:24am
    In my community there are many struggling. I am an "over 70" WITHOUT pre-existing conditions. I volunteer and collect (Pre-arranged) surplus food from supermarkets, which is delivered to a local church. Minimal contact with people whilst collecting, however, I realise I am not "isolated". The Church distributes the food, I have nothing to do with that. I drop of a bag or two to some isolating "elderly" with limited mobility. Simply leave the bag at their door, knock, and walk away. Most I get is a "Hi" and maybe a few words, from 20 metres away.

    Over 70's still have value, but, I am never sure I am doing the right thing - due to the "minimal contact thing, I cannot see that I am putting others at risk - If I quit, what happens to these families? Times are hard enough as it is. Wish I had a crystal ball....
    genimi
    30th Mar 2020
    9:16pm
    Pretty sure that what you are doing would be considered an 'essential service'.
    I am isolating as I have a chronic respiratory illness and would be at higher risk of complications.
    Good on you, we all need to consider those who need a little more help.

    30th Mar 2020
    10:38am
    Perhaps the government buddies are planning on stealing our Super money and don't want to see the elderly massively wearing yellow vests protesting on the streets...? Are they already implementing laws preparing for the 2021 Agenda?
    arbee
    30th Mar 2020
    12:03pm
    If you don't like the way the government are handling the situation, then feel free to go out on the streets and mix with those who may have the virus. Some people have nothing better to do but complain about everything the government is doing. I would bet that the PM, and most of his Ministers are getting very little sleep, and are trying to work out the best ways to keep most of us alive, and yet churlish people like you can only accuse them of trying to work out ways to steal our super. This government, along with ALL of the state governments, Liberal or Labour are winning world wide commendations for the way our country is handling the situation. The only ones who disagree with this are the far left wing commentators such as the ABC, and a few others, like yourself
    inextratime
    30th Mar 2020
    12:10pm
    Keep reading your sci fi novels HKW. And yes I know you are only joking.
    PatrickRM
    30th Mar 2020
    12:55pm
    arbee, the ABC are doing a great job disseminating the government’s information to the public. Give examples of when they’ve disagreed with the government.
    Sceptic
    30th Mar 2020
    2:14pm
    PatrickRM, just about every news and current affairs commentator. Try listening.
    ollie
    30th Mar 2020
    2:31pm
    This is no time to bag opposition parties or leaders we are all in this together the government has stuffed up on a couple of occasions but these are challenging times and mistakes will be made we are lucky that we are an island and we should be able to contain this providing everyone does the right thing
    hyperbole
    30th Mar 2020
    4:28pm
    Totally agree Ollie....the PM and all on the committee are navigating waters none of us have been in before; for goodness sake the "armchair" critics should keep their mouths shut. If they can do a better job contact the PM etc and take over.

    I for one think they are doing a brilliant job (yes, mistakes have been made but I am overlooking those). We are flattening the curve as of today and if we ALL pull our weight and do as we are being told (forget about our personal freedom etc during this time) we will get through this a lot sooner.

    In comparison to other countries we are in the best place in the world during this pandemic. We have under 20 deaths...look at the US and Europe, would you rather be in one of those places...no thanks!!!!!!

    30th Mar 2020
    10:46am
    https://www.natureofhealing.org/status-of-covid-19-plandemic/

    https://healthimpactnews.com/2020/bill-gates-calls-for-vaccine-certificates-as-requirement-for-travel/
    KSS
    30th Mar 2020
    1:28pm
    Given there is no vaccine for COVID-19, this is is yet another irresponsible sharing of conspiracy theories which will harm people in the community by continual promulgation by those unqualified keyboard warriers such as HKW preaching to the desperate and gullible.

    And FYI so far in the UK there are 20,000 deaths. Compare that with the 14 in Australia!
    aussiecarer
    30th Mar 2020
    10:38pm
    Thanks for that information HKW. I did not know until reading the article that as of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK. Nor did I know that the tests for coronavirus can produce up to 80% false positives - meaning only one in 5 of the people who test positive to the virus actually have it!

    Here in WA there have only been 2 deaths so far. Both people who died were in their 70s and they both had been away on overseas cruises. Because of these two deaths however, the remaining 2 million West Australians can't go away on holidays this Easter. Thousands of people have been laid off work. Businesses have gone broke. Schools are closed. Today 14 police cars tore down the freeway in convoy - apparently tonight they are going to set up road blocks to prevent people from travelling out of the area. At the time of writing I am not sure I will even be allowed to pass through their checkpoint to help out on my 85 year old mother who lives alone. I am relying on the compassion of someone at a checkpoint to decide that it's a necessary trip. Australia 2020 resembles Nazi Germany thanks to the fear of the COVID19 virus.

    The other link HKW posted suggests that the real reason for this "plandemic" is to crash banks and strip us of all our retirement savings. Thanks for the share HKW. It's certainly food for thought.
    Sundays
    31st Mar 2020
    1:10pm
    Can you not see that it is precisely because Australia has taken tough measures that the number of deaths are small.
    LFC
    30th Mar 2020
    11:20am
    I hope Jenny and her security personnel maintained social distancing protocols.
    BoroBoy
    30th Mar 2020
    2:55pm
    This is for KSS, 20,000 deaths in UK compared to 14 in Australia, did you read those figures somewhere or did you just think of a number. The number is 1128 as of the 29th March. The minister for the NHS did say, if they achieve less than 20,000 deaths, they will have done very well.
    Jim
    30th Mar 2020
    3:21pm
    Nothing to do with the post, just looking at the name, BoroBoy are you from Middlesbrough, if so you might be interested in the Memories of Middlesbrough site, if you are not already on it. Some great memories on the site.
    BoroBoy
    30th Mar 2020
    3:53pm
    Hi Jim, Yes spot on, to be exact Gypsy Lane, Marton. I will look up the site Memories of Middlesbrough. Thank you for that. Are you also from the ‘Boro’. Cheers
    Jim
    30th Mar 2020
    4:16pm
    Cannon St originally, then Berwick Hills, came to OZ in the 60s on my own, never looked back, but love to visit as all of my family still live there. If you need any more info you can contact me, my email is jheslehurst49@optusnet.com.au
    floss
    30th Mar 2020
    11:26am
    Like the bush fire response too little too late they have always been on the back foot never on top of the game.
    Arvo
    30th Mar 2020
    11:30am
    So very true, floss.
    arbee
    30th Mar 2020
    12:10pm
    That is about the type of response we would have expected from you Floss.
    Only the hard left wing, like yourself and Albanese have these opinions. Thank god he wasn't in power, or we would have been saved from all of this drama by having pink bats supplies to maybe cocoon ourselves in for the duration, or maybe virus free new school halls to shelter in and so on. Strange isn't it then that this government, along with ALL of the state governments, Liberal or Labour are winning world wide commendations for the way our country is handling the situation.
    inextratime
    30th Mar 2020
    12:12pm
    Hindsight, the greatest gift in the world.
    Misty
    30th Mar 2020
    12:55pm
    There is no need for Left or Right wing accusations to be made if you do not agree with any of the comments made here, the govt is doing much that is right but have also done a few things wrong, ie, letting all those people off the cruise ships and also not checking people at airports who have come from overseas.
    ollie
    30th Mar 2020
    2:51pm
    Thank god we had a Labour government that gave us MEDICARE in the USA people with no health insurance are being turned away i read an article where a 17 year old youth with covid 19 symptoms was turned away from a hospital because he could not afford health insurance and died like a dog in the street. One thing i will say about China they have more billion airs than any other country but they are made to look after everyone and that is how it should be. I am not a commo my parents escaped from a communist country but i truly believe that every country should look after its citizens rich or poor and like Kevin Rudd said what comes out of the ground should belong to all Australians not just individuals
    Paddington
    30th Mar 2020
    3:36pm
    You are no better Arbee. Any government in power would probably wish that they were not.
    No one should envy the job the present government has to do. The aftermath will be awful too for them. This government that put so much emphasis on staying ‘back in black’ would be feeling pretty dreadful. No one is exempt from the fear and devastation of life today all around the world. Labor would have done just as well because this is not about politics it is about saving lives.
    Troubadour
    30th Mar 2020
    11:59am
    What if the o er 70's are unwell and feel they need to see the Dr. if you do not drive - how do you get there - is there any provision for home visits?
    Or can we still get taxis?
    ourjeffie
    30th Mar 2020
    12:11pm
    First step is to phone the doctor - they may be able to diagnose you over the phone.
    Public transport is still operating.
    Mariner
    30th Mar 2020
    12:25pm
    We just saw our doctor a few hours ago for the annual flu shot, walked the few hundred meters, first time out of the house in 3 days. And I am over 70.
    KSS
    30th Mar 2020
    1:30pm
    Troubadour, GPs can now offer telehealth to everyone. You just call your doctor and they will call you back. The doctor will conduct his consultation and proceed as before. In the event you need to actually be seen, you will be advised of that and exactly what to do, where to go and when.
    Jim
    30th Mar 2020
    3:14pm
    Also had a doctors appointment this arvo, the doctor rang me to find out what my problem was, he explained what he thought was the problem, he had performed a procedure on me a few days earlier and thought it was related, but nevertheless he asked me to come in at a specific time and the nurse would take me into a treatment room so I wasn’t sat in a waiting room, I was in and out in minutes, both the nurse and the doctor had protective gear on, so there was minimal face time and less opportunities for any contact.
    Paddington
    30th Mar 2020
    3:38pm
    Are you watching the news? Everyone now has access to bulk billed medial calls to their GP. I can even book one online with my nominated time.
    hyperbole
    30th Mar 2020
    4:31pm
    I am amazed at questions being asked here...dont people watch the announcements by the PM which are at least once or twice a day.

    He spoke at length about doctors and how to go about getting appointments over the phone and computer etc.

    You dont need to DRIVE anywhere...you ring the doctor make an appointment and they will contact you over the phone or by Facetime or whatever.
    Ancellotti1
    30th Mar 2020
    11:59am
    I personally think the country should have been put in Lockdown from the 1st of March .
    inextratime
    30th Mar 2020
    12:13pm
    Hindsight, a wonderful gift especially after the event. LOL.
    Misty
    30th Mar 2020
    12:57pm
    Totally agree Ancellotti1
    Sundays
    30th Mar 2020
    1:36pm
    Yes, even though we are doing a great job compared with other countries, there are still mixed messages and constant changes. Feels like death by a thousand cuts.
    pedro the swift
    30th Mar 2020
    12:06pm
    Why are hairdressers allowed to operate. Are they using 1metre long clippers to cut hair. Are they owned by certain persons who have clout with the gov.? Very odd.
    ourjeffie
    30th Mar 2020
    12:15pm
    Hairdressers are considered an essential service.
    Sundays
    30th Mar 2020
    1:38pm
    Many in our local area have closed anyway.
    ollie
    30th Mar 2020
    2:19pm
    I need a haircut badly but no way am i going to the barbers i cut the hair out of my eyes and made a mess it is still over my ears but it can stay like it. To leave barbers open is insane if they really want to stop this they should close them down
    Triss
    30th Mar 2020
    3:33pm
    Come on, Pedro, ScoMo and his mates can't do their own hair. And they've only catered for males, women's hair usually takes longer than 30 minutes.
    Pass the Ductape
    30th Mar 2020
    12:14pm
    Stay home and only go out when it is absolutely necessary - is good advice Mr Prime Minister - and we'd quite easily cope with doing just that - being that we live in a rural area far from the nearest shopping center. However, we also happen to exist in the 70+ group, and as such, require a few items of medication - which means a trip to the chemist on a regular basis. Can we get extra supplies to limit the trips to town - NO! Why not? Because to a large extent, the government refuses to allow the doubling up of prescription medications we require to accomplish just that! Can we obtain extra supplies of food stuffs etc. as we would normally do) to limit out trips to town? NO! Why not? Because purchasing food stuffs for more than a few days is considered hoarding and supermarkets won't allow that! So perhaps it's best if you look at helping us out in this regard - so that we can help you....
    KSS
    30th Mar 2020
    1:36pm
    You are able to have a month medication supplies at one time. And besides, trips to the chemist are not prohibited even for the over 70s.

    You are also able to go to the supermarket to buy what you need. Even if you are over 70.

    You are strongly advised not to leave your home unless it is essential - as in fact is everyone regardless of age. Medication and food are essential, Just don't turn it into a social gathering in the shopping mall or the street and maintain social distancing.

    Just stop catastophising. For goodness sake have some common sense.
    Pass the Ductape
    31st Mar 2020
    6:15am
    Read everything before doing anything - is good advice KSS.
    floss
    30th Mar 2020
    12:31pm
    Please get your facts right i did vote for a Independent at our last election arbee not like your greed is good group that you are part of.Any person that attacks the ABC is a complete moron.
    Paddington
    30th Mar 2020
    3:40pm
    Yes the ABC is the best.
    bay bridge
    30th Mar 2020
    12:43pm
    I am a pensioner who works. I have been let go because of the virus.
    I report fortnightly so would I be entitled to salary relief from the government?
    KSS
    30th Mar 2020
    1:32pm
    You will need to go online and make your claim.
    Happy
    31st Mar 2020
    12:22pm
    You greedy. As a pensioner dont HAVE to work its your choice.
    Therefore your claim will be a bin job.
    Misty
    30th Mar 2020
    1:01pm
    Please be kind to one another in this difficult time, especially when commenting, and respect other people's rights to have a different opinion to yours.
    Triss
    30th Mar 2020
    1:24pm
    Well said, Misty. Sometimes it seems like we haven’t progressed much beyond the witch trials and the inquisition.
    Happy
    31st Mar 2020
    12:25pm
    If most of us implement this,the world would be better place.
    Darts44
    30th Mar 2020
    1:10pm
    Just back from the petrol station , where there is take away in it. The waitresses were not wearing mask.
    What about if there were sneezing , coughing over the food, could that spread the virus to the guy who eat the food?
    My view is , this is not quite right.
    BillF2
    30th Mar 2020
    1:15pm
    If they are so convinced of the righteousness of their actions, I expect to see any future announcements by government officials, prime minister or premiers, to be by themselves alone with no ' hangers-on' except the Auslan interpreter.
    Triss
    30th Mar 2020
    1:36pm
    Yes, Bill, I don’t think they can really understand how this ‘stay at home ‘ rules affect some people, single people and people who suffer from acute anxiety. The estimate of six months alone is too long.
    I realise the government has to do what it’s doing because of the lack of knowledge of this new virus but I would appreciate the media more if it would stop concentrating on the deaths and tell us the number of recoveries. 7% suggested mortality in my age group means that 93% have recovered.
    KSS
    30th Mar 2020
    1:40pm
    The only 'hangers on' as you call it are the Chief Health Officer or the Chief of Police, both of which have things to say regarding the areas they command and occasionally Border Security/Immigration Minister.

    The usual band of 'noddies' are no longer present at these announcements. I think this is just something else you have decided to criticise. They must be doing a good job if this is all there is to pick holes in.
    hyperbole
    30th Mar 2020
    4:34pm
    I dont rely on media...too many times one channel will say one thing...one another.

    I go to reputable government health site to find out the latest updates on the virus.

    https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
    Troubadour
    30th Mar 2020
    1:17pm
    Cannot get to Public Transport - also in the well over 70 and 80 category and isolating as requested so public transport would be a no go. Wish we did live in walking distance Mariner. I would phone the Dr, first in any event - we always do.
    Anniem
    30th Mar 2020
    1:42pm
    We would stay home 24/7 but unfortunately we have to go to the supermarket to buy food. No Click and Collect, no drive through and no home deliveries! Hope they sort it out soon! Take care everyone and stay safe..
    Misty
    30th Mar 2020
    3:22pm
    I don't know why Woollies and Coles are not doing home deliveries, especially for us older people, it could mean more jobs for people, packers and drivers, safer for everyone too as they have no contact with the people ordering.
    hyperbole
    30th Mar 2020
    4:36pm
    they are going to do so.

    https://insideretail.com.au/news/coles-begins-roll-out-of-online-priority-service-as-temporary-substitute-for-coles-online-202003
    Mum
    30th Mar 2020
    3:26pm
    Aged 73 and 75, but still have to go out to buy groceries, and to pharmacy.
    hyperbole
    30th Mar 2020
    4:37pm
    My husband is 84 and I am 74 I go out and do shopping as required. Not a problem for me as 2 mins drive to Coles and pharmacy
    BillF2
    30th Mar 2020
    3:36pm
    Well done HKW! Good links. Hope the open minded of Your Life Choices get to read them.
    Anonymous
    2nd Apr 2020
    5:48pm
    HKW profile, comments and links have been removed from this site.

    That much of FREEDOM OF SPEECH !
    Ted Wards
    30th Mar 2020
    3:36pm
    Is funny how the part where our PM directed media to be careful about the language they use is not included in your report. He specifically said the media is not to use the phrase lockdown so you do not create more and unnecessary fear, yet the work appears in the first sentence. Well done for following directives!
    BillF2
    30th Mar 2020
    3:45pm
    KSS. If two is the maximum number for plebs, I expect the same to apply to those who are making the rules, regardless of who they are. This applies to police and all other guardians of our health and safety, unless they have some God-given immunity. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
    KSS
    30th Mar 2020
    4:31pm
    And it absolutely does BillF2. However, people who have to go to work and who cannot do their job from home are not going to be able to maintain the 2 person rule. They are however, maintaining the social distancing (4 Sq Mtrs inside) as you can see at every media session at which the PM & Co are present. Look at the media representatives too, they are all positioned so they meet the rules.

    And in any case the PM is not over 70, over 60 with a chronic health condition nor is he Aboriginal.

    And the 2 person rule is about everyone leaving their house for any reason. You and your partner are fine to go together to the supermarket, to the chemist, to the GP, to exercise as are all those that live in a single household together e.g. a family or friends living together. You just cannot meet your family members, or friends and socialise with them in person - and that includes at home.



    Stop nit picking. It is churlish and irrelevant.

    2nd Apr 2020
    5:55pm
    Centers for Advance Medicine; https://youtu.be/28eV6tcboUc

    If comment removed that will prove that some editors are accomplice to murder.
    Jean
    3rd Apr 2020
    2:07am
    One place that Scott Morrison has omitted to mention that people should avoid is Op Shops where all goods offered for sale are pre-used and could carry Covid-19 germs. The other day I entered one of these shops to return a shirt I had purchased which did not fit me. The ladies (volunteers) told me they were shutting the store until further notice. I thanked them for the warning and felt somewhat uneasy that I had walked into an area where I could become infected.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles

    You May Like