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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 last update, the Prime Minister announced Australia is closing its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents, and new strict crowd restrictions – no more than one person per four square metres in a room. Queensland’s local-government elections candidates and their helpers have been directed to stop handing out how-to-vote cards. The Queensland Government will increase the amount of cleaning in all state schools.

The Department of Health announced new limits on dispensing and sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Hon. Greg Hunt MP released a number of transcripts from his COVID-19 interviews with various media outlets.

The Australian Banking Association today announced a small business relief package from Australia’s bank.

In general news, The Courier Mail advised strict new rules for anyone attending hearings at a Queensland tribunal next week. Attendees will have to provide written confirmation that they have had no COVID-19 exposure.


URGENT NOTICE
Coronavirus Australia live updates: crowd restrictions in COVID-19 update
News.com.au

The Prime Minister this afternoon held another press conference:

  • Non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people are forbidden
  • No more than one person per four square metres in a room, including outdoor events
  • Hand hygiene products must be made available in all venues
  • Restricted travel to remote Indigenous communities
  • Non-essential domestic travel is under review
  • Schools will remain open
  • An additional $444.6 million in funding will go to the aged care sector
  • Other states could follow Tasmania’s lead and shut borders
  • States will look at relief for tenants (no further details at this stage)

More information here. Watch the Prime Minister’s Press Conference here.


URGENT NOTICE
Banks announce Small Business Relief Package
Australian Banking Association

Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh today announced a small business relief package from Australia’s banks. The Package will apply to more than $100bn of existing small business loans and could put as much as $8 billion back into the pockets of small businesses.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: Hands off how-to-vote cards
Queensland Government

Minister for Local Government the Hon. Stirling Hinchliffe today announced candidates and their helpers in Queensland’s local government elections have been directed to stop handing out how-to-vote cards. Under new powers introduced in Parliament this week, the Electoral Commission of Queensland had issued the Directive to all candidates to find other ways to display their how-to-vote information.

More information here.


Coronavirus QLD: Updates on the latest stories impacting the Sunshine State
The Courier Mail

Anyone attending hearings at a Queensland tribunal next week will have to provide written confirmation that they have had no COVID-19 exposure. The strict new rules will apply to anyone attending Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearings, including parties, witnesses and other members of the public.

More information here.


Hon. Greg Hunt MP’s, Minister for Health, interviews with various media outlets discussing COVID-19 updates
Department of Health

Transcript for interview on the Channel 9.

Transcript for interview on Sunrise.

Transcript for interview on 2GB

Transcript for interview on Nova 100.3FM Melbourne

Transcript for interview with the Today Show.


19 March 2020 (NEW)

URGENT NOTICE
MEDIA STATEMENT: Border Restrictions
Prime Minister of Australia

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced Australia is closing its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents from 9pm AEDT Friday, 20 March 2020. The entry ban exempts Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, including spouses, legal guardians and dependants. New Zealand citizens who live in Australia as Australian residents are also exempt, so are New Zealanders transiting to New Zealand. Exemptions for Pacific Islanders transiting to their home countries will continue to apply.

More information here.


URGENT NOTICE
MEDIA STATEMENT: Limits on dispensing and sales of medicines
Department of Health

The Australian Government, Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia are now requiring community pharmacists to enforce new limits on dispensing and sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

From today:

  • Pharmacists will be required to limit dispensing of certain prescription products to one month’s supply at the prescribed dose, and sales of certain over-the-counter medicines to a maximum of one unit per purchase
  • Pharmacists will be strongly encouraged to limit dispensing and sales of all other medicines to one month’s supply or one unit
  • Salbutamol (Ventolin, Asmol and Airomir puffers) inhalers provided on an over-the-counter basis will be subject to new enhanced controls, including requiring pharmacists to confirm that supply is appropriate by confirmation of the patient’s diagnosis and need for supply
  • Pharmacists will be required to locate some medicines, including children’s paracetamol formulations, from front of shop to behind the pharmacy counter to assist in allocating supply equitably.

More information here.


 

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