There’s a lot of information to take in with the coronavirus pandemic, as the situation is changing all the time.
Over the past 24 hours in Australia there have been some pretty significant developments, so let’s take you through what happened.
First, let’s have a look at the number of cases.
There are now at least 1642 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia with 669 in New South Wales, 319 in Queensland, 355 in Victoria, 100 in South Australia, 140 in Western Australia, 22 in Tasmania, 32 in Australian Capital Territory and five in the Northern Territory.
Seven people have died – six in NSW and one in WA – while 69 have recovered.
WHAT WE KNOW
There has been a major national shutdown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a raft of new measures to contain the spread of the virus.
As of midday, the following facilities were forced to close:
• Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues)
• Hotels (excluding accommodation)
• Gyms and indoor sporting venues
• Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
• Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
• Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the one person per four square metre rule applies).
Multiple state borders are closed, global travel is strongly discouraged and within weeks, Qantas and Virgin Australia will suspend all international flights. Domestic travel is now also not advised.
Public transport systems nationally continue to operate, and people are free to walk the streets as normal.
NSW schools will remain open, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called on parents to keep children home if they are able.
School holidays in Victoria have begun after schools closed today.
Tasmanian and Queensland schools will also remain open, but parents can also choose to keep their children at home if they want.
Queensland has joined Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory in taking steps to close its borders
And, our neighbours in New Zealand have moved to lock down non-essential indoor and outdoor services over the next 48 hours. They have also closed schools.
Back in Australia, Victoria will set aside 500 police officers in a special task force to make sure coronavirus rules are enforced.
Meanwhile the ASX has closed 5.6 per cent lower than the start of the day and long queues have been seen outside a number of Centrelink offices around the country.
The NRL has followed the AFL in making the decision to suspend its 2020 season indefinitely.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
There are however, a few things that we’re not entirely sure about just yet in relation to the shutdown.
One of them is how the new rules will affect childcare centres.
Goodstart Early Learning, which runs more than 660 centres across the country, has banned “all but essential” visitors, ended excursions and is ensuring adults at the centres acknowledge social distancing guidelines.
The centres remain open.
In an email to parents on Monday, Explore and Develop, which has 28 centres across Sydney for babies through to preschool-aged children, said it was “open and operating!”.
However, many parents have been left concerned that conflicting advice and centres remaining open will mean they still have to pay their childcare fees if they choose to keep their children home.
There are also questions being asked about whether we’re allowed to go to hairdressers and beauticians.
Hairdressing salons are small, and it seems difficult, if not impossible to stay 1.5-metre away from your stylist while they’re washing your hair.
Mr Morrison was asked about some of those types of businesses last night.
“The only ones that can’t remain open and provide those services are the ones that I’ve listed to you this evening,” he said. “Only those ones. Only those ones.”