Moratorium on evictions, elderly to self isolate & groups of two the new order

- March 29, 2020 2 MIN READ

The PM has further increased the restrictions surrounding mass gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Following the national cabinet meeting today, prime minister Scott Morrison has announced the government is slashing the number of people now allowed to gather in public from 10 to two (excluding family/household members).

Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks will now be closed from tomorrow with boot camps allowed to continue but only as one-on-one training.

The two-person limit does not apply to workplaces. However the PM encouraged people to work from home where possible.

“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.”

The PM has also asked all people over 70 and those with chronic illnesses to self-isolate.

In further announcements, the PM said the cabinet had considered issues relating to commercial tenancies.

In good news for small businesses, the cabinet has agreed in principle that the State and Territories will be moving to put a moratorium on evictions of people and businesses that find themselves in financial distress due to the pandemic.

“As a result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments there would be a moratorium on evictions for the next six months under those rental arrangements,” said the PM.

“Now, there is a lot more work to be done here and my message to tenants, particularly commercial tenants, and commercial landlords, is a very straightforward one. We need you to sit down, talk to each other and work this out about looking at the businesses which have been closed, businesses that may have had a significant reduction in their revenues and we need landlords and tenants to sit down and come up with arrangements that enable them to get through this crisis so on the other side.

“The landlord has a tenant which is a business that can pay rent, and the business is a business that can re-emerge on the other side of this and be able to go on and employ people on the other side of these arrangements,” the PM said.

Morrison said further announcements regarding tenancies would be made in the coming days.

“We’re asking businesses to adapt to what is not a usual set of circumstances.

He said the measures being put in place must be sustainable as they are likely to run for at least six months.

“We want to be able to get everybody through. So we are seeking their support. We will have more to say about commercial tenancies in the days ahead.”

There is currently 3978 cases of coronavirus in Australia. While the number of transmissions continues to grow, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the rate of transmission has begun to slow.

However, Murphy said if we are to really slow down the curve we have to stop community transmissions.

“We have to change the way we, as people, interact with each other. It is very simple,” he said.

Murphy said “the vast majority of Australians have done the right thing” but people needed to take the pandemic seriously.

“If people don’t take this seriously and we get big community outbreaks they will be very hard to control.”

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