As the number of coronavirus cases in Australia nears 200, authorities have announced a range of significant measures to combat the outbreak.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people should not go ahead from Monday to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
He said it doesn't include schools, university lectures or people getting on public transport.
However, Morrison said he would still attend the season-opening game of his beloved Cronulla Sharks rugby league team in Sydney on Saturday night. The NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and Gold Coast Titans is also going ahead on Friday night.
Mr Morrison also said every Australian should urgently reconsider their need to travel internationally – regardless of the destination.
A total 195 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across Australia, with 92 in New South Wales, 36 in Victoria, 35 in Queensland, 12 in South Australia, 14 in Western Australia, four in Tasmania, one in the Northern Territory and one in the ACT.
Three people, aged 95, 82 and 78, have died.
The prime minister said:
– From Monday, the government is advising against any non-essential public gathering of more than 500 people. It's not a ban, but formal guidance.
– The advice doesn't extent to schools or universities. There's also no impact on the free movement of people on public transport or through airports.
– Foreign Affairs has urged Australians to avoid all non-essential international travel, regardless of their destination, age or health status.
– There's growing evidence of community transmissions of coronavirus, which is a worry for health authorities.
– Hospitals are experiencing difficulties in medical equipment supply chains, including for coronavirus testing.
– Mr Morrison's declaration that he will still go to the football tomorrow – because it's before Monday's advice begins – has raised eyebrows.
Sydney's Royal Easter Show has also been cancelled amid coronavirus fears.
Organisers made the decision this afternoon in the wake of the Government's announcement.
The show was to be held from April 3 to 14. It is the biggest annual ticketed event in Australia with 900,000 people attending in 2019.
It's only the third time the show has been cancelled, the other times were during the Spanish flu pandemic an the Great Depression.
Meanwhile, despite announcing that all public gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will still go to the footy tomorrow.
"I do still plan to go to the football on Saturday," Mr Morrison said, saying the new advice doesn't begin until Monday.
"I will be going on Saturday because I had previously planned to.
"The fact that I would still be going on Saturday speaks not just to my passion for my beloved Sharks, it might be the last game I get to go to for a long time."
– The fact that the event guidance isn't a ban has also caused surprise, given the government has legislative power.