The Australian government has restricted public gatherings to two in order to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country which has reported 3,980 confirmed cases and 16 deaths.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government had taken a number of steps to deal with COVID-19 crisis.

He said people cannot come out of their houses for non-essential reasons. They should only come out for essential services like shopping for food, medical care, exercising and travel for work and education. "When you are going out for shopping, you should be going for just stuff you need and do it and get home," he added.

 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Reuters

Six-month moratorium on evictions

He strongly advised people, especially those aged over 70, those over 60 with chronic illnesses and Indigenous people over 50 to stay home. "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," he said.

Evictions for renters have been halted for six months. Under this, landlords cannot lawfully evacuate tenants during the pandemic. He urged both the parties to negotiate on common terms.

Coronavirus
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Relief package

Morrison announced a $1.1 billion relief package which includes services like mental health, tele-health, and increase in domestic violence and emergency food relief. Under this citizens will be able to access the health care support from their home through telephones or video conferencing.

People who are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence during this period will get support from the government. Charitable organizations who offer emergency and food relief to the needy will be provided with donations when demand increases.

He said all travelers arriving in Australia have to go into self-isolation for 14 days at designated facilities which will be decided by the states.

Various spots like pubs, hotels, gyms, cinema halls and other public places will be closed from Monday whereas supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. "Public areas, public playgrounds, outside gyms and skate parks will be closed as from tomorrow. And bootcamps, obviously, will be reduced to two, which doesn't really make it a bootcamp, that makes it a private session with your trainer for those who are accessing those services," he said.