Coronavirus: Australia limits funerals to 10 people

PM: Why Aussie schools will remain open

Mr Morrison said the cancellations were based on the advice of the expert medical panel. However, boot camps and personal training can continue if limited to ten people and with appropriate social distancing measures. Funerals will still be allowed by are restricted to ten people.

Food markets will remain open, at the discretion of state governments, as will shopping centres, however only retail premises not included on the list of restrictions will remain open.

Tough measures have already been taken to reduce social gatherings, such as the closure of pubs and places of worship, but many schools remain open, unlike in other countries taking similar action to stop the virus spreading.

In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Australian Government is urging Australians to stay at home.

"Gathering together in that way, even around the large family table in the family home when all the siblings get together and bring the kids, these are not things we can do now", he said.

One of Morrison's main iterations: "Common sense of objective is what we need to keep this nation running".

Mr Morrison said some states would be considering criminal penalties for people who hold large house parties.

"Recent travel from overseas is still the main driver of our new infections", the Health Ministry said. Morrison said this was necessary due to the number of people who have defied the "do not travel" advice to take holidays.

Australian Prime Minister Scott said he considers "essential workers" to be "someone who has a job" in the country.

The former hard directive regarding travel is now a ban under the biosecurity powers after the Prime Minister said he was "disappointed" that a small number of Australians continue to travel overseas for non-essential reasons.

Exceptions would be made for aid workers as well as for compassionate purposes. "No-one should be getting on a plane and going overseas", Mr Morrison said.

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"The direction is being worked on overnight, a soon as that direction is signed off by the health minister, it will come into force then and that will happen tomorrow".

"Everyone who has a job in this economy is an essential worker".

"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".

Mr Morrison described a unified decision-making process despite acknowledging that not all states and territories are at the same stage of contagion.

He said it's vital that essential workers be able to send their children to school if they needed to.

Australia's Chief Health Officer, Brendan Murphy, says he is very concerned by the rapid rise in COVID-19 diagnoses.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy told the briefing that "We are very anxious about the rate of rise in infections".

The Prime Minister clarified that it was acceptable to go out to buy basics and for medical needs, to exercise in small groups and to go to work when you can not work from home.

"These measures are really draconian", he said.

"We have to change the way we interact, as human beings, in our society, for quite a long time", he said. Instead, the Prime Minister kept reeling off exceptions.

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