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The SAS Group will provide daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, including updates on Government and Department of Health announcements, travel and flight bans, and general media.

Since the weekend, the Federal Government announced the Coronavirus measures being endorsed by the National Cabinet, a ban of public gatherings of over 500 people and cruise ships from foreign ports, travel and flight bans, and Parliament House operations changes.

At a state level, the Queensland Government announced the approval of new employment arrangements for public service employees in the event of a health pandemic and $500m in loans to support workers in businesses affected by the virus, Minister Mark Bailey announced additional cleaning for SEQ public transport, and the suspension of Parliamentary Committee proceedings.

The Department of Health published releases on advice for travellers and prevention guidelines for Aged Care Providers, as well as an interview with the Chief Medical Officer. Corporate Traveller and Smart Traveller published a number of notifications on the latest travel and flight bans for Australia.

The general media since the weekend included articles on topics including Woolworths’ dedicated shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable, five-step remote-work plan, information on COVID-19, the COVID-19 education campaign, and the cancellation of Australian events.


URGENT NOTICE
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for travellers
Department of Health

The Department of Health announced today: when you travel internationally, biosecurity measures at the airport and in-flight will apply to you. Travel restrictions and other arrangements also apply to people travelling overseas, returning to or visiting Australia.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMNENT: Palaszczuk Government offers $500m in loans to support workers in businesses affected by coronavirus
Queensland Government

The Palaszczuk Government will create a new $500 million loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support businesses to keep Queenslanders in work and extend the coronavirus payroll tax deferral to all businesses across the state.

More information here


Employment arrangements in the event of a health pandemic
Minister for Industrial Relations and Commission Chief Executive Directive        

The Queensland Government announced the approval of an extra 20 days leave for public service employees in the event of a health pandemic.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMNENT: Additional cleaning for SEQ public transport - Hon. Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads
Queensland Government

Cleaning across all SEQ public transport will be ramped up in a bit to further minimise the risk of coronavirus. Minister Mark Bailey today instructed TransLink to work with operators and sanitise buses, trains, trams and ferries more frequently.

More information here.


Woolies to close stores Wednesday night as it gives dedicated hour of shopping for elderly
The Courier Mail

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMNENT: Coronavirus measures endorsed by the National Cabinet
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister

The Prime Minister today announced the National Cabinet’s core objection now is to slow the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia by taking additional steps to reduce community transmission.

Effective from 11:59pm Sunday 15 March 2020, all people will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Australia. Enhanced screenings for arrivals will remain in place to identify anyone arriving sick or with symptoms of COVID-19.

The Australian Government also announced its ban of cruise ships from foreign ports (including round trip international cruises originating in Australia) from arriving at Australian ports for an initial 30 days, effective 11:59pm Sunday 15 March 2020.

The National Cabinet also introduced social distancing measures, which includes the ban of social gatherings of more than 500 people.

Media release attached.


Statement regarding temporary and precautionary changes to Parliament House operations
Australian Parliament House

APH today announced changes to Parliament House operations. Parliament House will remain open to the general public to access the public areas and Marble Foyer. Galleries in each chamber for the next parliamentary sitting week commencing Monday 23 March will be closed to the public. Proceedings can still be viewed on the Parliament House website.

Large events being held in function spaces of the building are being postponed and cancelled.

More information here.


 COVID-19 prevention guidelines issued to Aged Care providers
Department of Health

Residential aged care providers will be encouraged to limit visits from today under national guidelines aimed at the prevention and control of coronavirus.

More information here.


Public attendance at Parliamentary Committee proceedings suspended
Queensland Parliamentary Service

Public attendance at Parliamentary Committee proceedings is suspended from 16 March 2020 until further notice. Members of the public are welcome to watch the public briefings and/or public hearings live on Parliament TV.  


Australian businesses fighting Coronavirus with 5-step remote-work plan
Mirage News

More information here.


Coronavirus explained: What you need to know about getting sick, treatment and future vaccines
The Courier Mail

More information here.


 

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