The Queensland border is now closed to all non-essential or exempted travellers. Anyone entering without an exemption will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Evacuation flights for Australians who are stuck overseas due to border controls and cancellations of commercial flights will be organised only “where feasible” and on a case-by-case basis, meaning Australians could be stuck overseas.
New South Wales has introduced on-the-spot fines of $1,000 for people breaching self-isolation rules and introduced new laws allowing police to fine or even jail people for breaching social distancing requirements.
The Victorian government has said it may also introduce laws on social distancing, if Victorians do not heed orders to stay home.
Western Australia is sending 800 Australians from a cruise ship to Rottnest Island to sit out their 14-day self-isolation. Foreign nationals and crew members will not be allowed to leave the cruise ship, unless they are headed directly to a flight home. WA has also restricted alcohol sales.
Wednesday night’s meeting of the prime minister and premiers was due to consider the next batch of restrictions to enforce social distancing, as well as financial assistance measures for renters and landlords – a package that will require cooperation with the banks and insurance companies.
The meeting was also expected to consider how the states can manage the anticipated surge in hospital admissions as coronavirus infection rates continue to climb. We’ll bring you all of that and more as it unfolds.