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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 yesterday’s update, The Prime Minister and National Cabinet have agreed to Australian Health Principal Protection Committee (AHPPC) recommendations to expand the coronavirus testing criteria, and to suspend all non-urgent elective surgery.

Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk and Minister for Education Grace Grace today announced that QLD schools will go student-free next week. However, schools will remain open for the children of essential workers and for teachers to prepare to move to “learning from home” teaching methods.

The Palaszczuk Government will partner with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to continue to deliver widespread assistance to small businesses affected by the coronavirus over the next three months.

The Australian Government will tonight implement travel restrictions for those wishing to travel to remote areas across Australia. Anyone wishing to enter designated areas will need to self-isolate for 14 days before they can enter.

The Palaszczuk Government has also announced the closure of all campgrounds in National Parks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In local news, all SEQ public transport has implemented new measures to promote better social distancing and Council elections will continue to proceed as scheduled this weekend.


MEDIA STATEMENT: National Cabinet update
The Prime Minister of Australia

The Prime Minister, state and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers continued their meeting on 25 March as the National Cabinet to discuss enhanced health measures to support our efforts to quickly test and contact trace coronavirus in our community.

To further protect Australia, National Cabinet agreed to an Australian Health Principal Protection Committee (AHPPC) recommendation to expand the current coronavirus testing criteria.

National Cabinet endorsed the recommendation for states and territories to suspend all non-urgent elective surgery.

National Cabinet agreed to implement nationally consistent public health directions, at the state and territory level, on self-quarantine for individuals diagnosed with coronavirus.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: Student free days for Queensland state schools next week
Queensland Government

Queensland schools will go student-free next week, as the state’s education system continues to work to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Schools will remain open until the end of term on April 3, to allow for the children of essential workers to remain at school and for teachers to prepare to move to remote learning from home.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: State Government joins forces with industry to support small business
Queensland Government

The Palaszczuk Government is increasing its efforts to help small business during the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) to deliver widespread assistance throughout the state.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said additional services would be available over the next three months for small businesses that are in desperate need.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: Travel restrictions for remote areas commence tonight
Department of Health

The Australian Government is working in close collaboration with State and Territory Governments to help save Australian lives by stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Following agreement from the National Cabinet, the movement into certain remote areas is being restricted to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians.

From 11:59pm Thursday 26 March 2020, anyone wishing to enter designated areas will

need to self-isolate for 14 days before they can enter. This is a requirement that will be made by the Minister for Health under the Commonwealth’s Biosecurity Act 2015 and includes residents of communities in these areas.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: Further statement on hairdressers, barbers and funerals from National Cabinet
The Prime Minister of Australia

Following the receipt of feedback on the practical implementation of measures announced regarding barbers and hairdressers it was agreed by Premiers and Chief Ministers at National Cabinet last night that the instruction regarding 30 minutes per patron will be lifted (effective immediately), but that the 4sqm rule per person must be strictly observed within the premises and that personal contact during the patron’s visit should be minimised wherever possible.

Also, it was noted that in hardship cases, States and Territories can provide exemptions in relation to attendance at funerals, but only at the margin.

National Cabinet will meet again on Friday, March 27.

More information here.


Coronavirus Qld: Council elections to proceed
The Courier Mail

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has held firm on elections for the state’s 77 councils this weekend, as the Electoral Commission of Queensland again insisting that voting is compulsory.

More information here.


Next state of coronavirus lockdown revealed
The Courier Mail

Retail shops would close and all outdoor sporting activity would shut down in the next stage of a coronavirus lockdown, with an Australian health body now concerned about the number of transmissions with no link to overseas travel or other confirmed cases.

More information here.


25 March 2020 (NEW)

MEDIA STATEMENT: Essential supplies keep trucking into Queensland
Queensland Government

A joint Queensland Government and industry taskforce to ensure the supply of food and other essential goods for Queensland during COVID-19 met yesterday (25 March).

Chaired by Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick, the Essential Goods Supply Committee brought together senior government and industry executives to provide more information to industry, business and workers about the border closure declaration that came into effect at midnight.

The committee was convened two weeks ago as part of the Queensland Government’s response to COVID-19 to ensure food and other supply chains keep flowing into Queensland during this emergency event.

More information here. 


 

MEDIA STATEMENT: Changes to SEQ public transport to promote better social distancing
Queensland Government

All public transport commuters in the south east will need to use a go card or pay for tickets using station fare machines from today.

Passengers will no longer have the option to pay cash on south east Queensland trains, trams, ferries and buses to promote better social distancing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

More information here. 


 

MEDIA STATEMENT: Campgrounds close in response to COVID-19 outbreak
Queensland Government

The Palaszczuk Government today announced the closure of all campgrounds in national parks, state forests and state managed recreation and protected areas, in response to the COVID-19 (corona virus) outbreak.

More information here.


 

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