Australia closes non-essential businesses, including clubs and casinos

As of midday Monday, all registered and licensed clubs, hotels, pubs, casinos will be closed as part of Australia’s battle to fight the spread of the coronavirus. 

The announcement came after a National Cabinet meeting, conducted via video link on Sunday night.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this was “Stage One” of restrictions, and that it will be reviewed in a months’ time. 

The move was made after Bondi beachgoers were blasted by the government for flocking to the famous beach last week, despite social distancing warnings. 

“This should highlight to all Australians how serious this is and how hard we all have to work together to get this right,” he said.

“You are dealing with the principal places of social gathering, where we saw people coming together on the weekend and if we don’t get on top of that, we look at a much more difficult health scenario into the future.”

As well as clubs, pubs, and casinos, other businesses to close include entertainment venues, cinemas, and nightclubs. 

Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway only. Schools, however, will remain open in some states.