Coronavirus: Australia limits funerals to 10 people

Clay Curtis
March 24, 2020

"Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple, the celebrant and the witnesses, that's no more than five people", he said.

Morrison said the "do not travel" advisory on overseas trips would be upgraded to a ban on Wednesday, with limited exceptions for essential work, aid workers and compassionate grounds.

He added that states and territories are considering whether to introduce criminal charged against those who organise house parties - a "nightclub" at home, as PM Morrison described them.

They recommended that Australia "without delay implements national stronger social distancing measures, more extensive banning of mass gatherings, school closure or class dismissal". It said it was constantly reviewing its flights to see where there was more demand or requests for services and where possible would add flights or put on bigger aircraft.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed a long list of activities - including barbecues and house parties - that will no longer be tolerated under Australia's tough new coronavirus lockdown laws.

Mr Morrison was due to meet the national Cabinet formed to deal with the crisis, comprising state and federal political and health officials, later on Tuesday to discuss the next steps.

An eighth person, a woman in her 70s, died and the number of cases rose fastest in the most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria.

"If we do all the things that [chief medical officer] Dr Murphy has outlined, and these other quite strict measures we have put in place about areas of social gathering ...stopping all those things we believe will have a really significant impact, we would hope, on the spread of the virus".

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The Prime Minister says holding a house party could become a criminal offence, in an effort to protect Australians from the spread of COVID-19.

"Recent travel from overseas is still the main driver of our new infections", the Health Ministry said.

The premier stopped short of enforcing a total lockdown similar to those seen in Britain and Italy, but said all Australians "should only go outside to do to those essential things" such as buying groceries or seeking medical attention.

"Australians who have lost hours, lost work, businesses that have been forced to close businesses, these are heart-breaking events in our nation's history and story".

"We are very anxious about the rate of the rise", said Professor Brendan Murphy, Australia's chief medical officer.

"Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary that you go out".

"The position of the national cabinet is that schools should remain open and they can provide distance learning for those parents that wish their children to remain at home", he said.

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