By Melissa Meehan
Restaurants and cafes will be reduced to takeaway-only outlets as part of tough coronavirus restrictions introduced by the Federal Government.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on Sunday night, licensed premises in hotels and pubs, entertainment venues, cinemas, casinos and nightclubs will be closed from 12 midday on Monday.
Indoor sporting venues and places of worship will also be closed as part of Stage One restrictions.
Funerals will be allowed to go ahead, but those in attendance must follow the strict four metre rule.
Accommodation areas of pubs and hotels will not be affected.
“I have stressed, and others have stressed, that once you start putting these arrangements in, you should have the expectation that they will remain in place for at least six months,” Mr Morrison said.
“That is a very regretful decision.”
Harsher restrictions will be decided by the premiers and chief ministers later in the week.
“What we first want to see is the public responded to these very serious measures,” he said.
Mr Morrison maintained his previous stance that school should remain open, but conceded Victoria had decided to start school holidays almost a week early.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday released a statement pre-warning Victorians that within 48 hours all non-essential activity would be shut down.
“This is not something that we do lightly, but it’s clear if we do not take this step, more Victorians will contract coronavirus, our hospitals overwhelmed and more Victorians will die,” Mr Andrews said.
It is not known whether schools will re-open at the end of the holidays, or if Victorian students will take part in distance education.
He is expected to speak further about the lock down on Monday morning.