Press release

Moratorium on evictions and public gatherings reduced to two people

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed the nation after Sunday’s National Cabinet meeting to provide an update on recent decisions.

Confirmed this evening, States and Territories will put a moratorium on evictions for the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies.

The Prime Minister said there will be more support available in the coming days, but this should not prevent landlords, banks and tenants on working out their own agreements. This is part of the hibernation approach that will be a hallmark of the third tranche of support to come and the Prime Minister once again reinforced that any measures or agreements made now must be sustainable for at least the next 6 months.

The primary discussion was around public gatherings, which up until now has been restricted to 10 people except for the purposes of essential shopping, as well as work and education when you cannot do so from home.

This evening the States and Territories all agreed to reduce the number of people who can gather in public from 10 people to two people. States and Territories will decide how they choose to enforce this. The Prime Minister confirmed that the previous restrictions for weddings and funerals has not changed, however this will mean that boot camps will effectively be reduced to private sessions – one-on-one. The Prime Minister said this should be taken seriously. For example, there is an on-the-spot $1000 fine in South Australia for people who violate these rules.

The Prime Minister also reinforced that people must stay home except to shop for essentials to enable you to stay home. Some examples provided were board games and gym equipment to support people to stay home in the months ahead. To further limit the spread of the virus, public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms will be closed.

Finally, strong advice – not a requirement – is for people aged 70 and over to self-isolate for their own protection as much as possible. This advice also applies to people over 60 with chronic illness and to Indigenous people over 50.

Earlier today, the Government also announced the release of a Whatsapp Group and app to help communicate important messages about COVID-19. During the Prime Minister’s second update, he revealed there had already been 291,000 people accessing the Whatsapp group, with 1.2m messages sent. There have been 482,000 downloads of the Coronavirus app.

We understand the Federal, State and Territory Treasurers are currently working on the next package to be released over the next couple of days.

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Further enquiries, please contact:

Therese Raft
National Communications Manager
Grant Thornton Australia

T +61 2 8297 2724
E therese.raft@au.gt.com  

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