In Australia, there are a total of 4,707 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 6am today (1 April) and there have been 348 new cases since yesterday at 6am. According to the Department of Health of the Australian Government, a total of 20 people have passed away because of COVID-19. New South Wales is the hardest-hit state in Australia by having 2,182 cases in the state alone.
To protect the community and minimise potential COVID-19 impacts, Brad Hazzard—the Health Minister of New South Wales—made the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 on 30 March. This Order commences from 31 March to 29 June 2020 unless it is revoked earlier.
As stated on the Government Gazette, people are only allowed to leave their homes with “reasonable excuses” provided in the Order. The “reasonable excuses” involve obtaining food or other goods and services, travelling for work or education if it cannot be done at home, exercise, as well as medical or caring reasons. The Gazette had also added that a person must not participate in a gathering in a public place for more than two persons. However, the exceptions in regards to “public gathering” are gathering of members of the same household, or gatherings essential for work an education.
The Government Gazette stated that anyone who failed to comply with the Order will be imprisoned for six months or a fine up to AU$11,000 (or both) plus a further AU$5,500 fine each day the offence continues.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, emphasised that the people in that state should not be leaving home unless it is within the list of “reasonable excuses”.
“I also want to remind everybody that you shouldn’t be leaving home unless it is for work, for school, for essential things that you need to buy or else if you need to seek medical attention or exercise. They are the only reasons you should leave home,” stated Ms Berejiklian.
She added, “If you can work from home you should, if you can learn from home, you should. If you can do everything from home, you should. It is only in the exceptional circumstances that you should leave home.”