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PM Scott Morrison’s Latest COVID-19 Address Puts Long List Of Restrictions On Australians

A set list of directives

On Tuesday night (March 24), Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic to place new measures on the Australian public to ‘flatten the curve’ of the virus. While the government has previously advised that everyone stay home and social distance during the pandemic, there were still many questions that had remained unclear, and while many still remain unclear, a ban on International travel was enforced tonight, among other strict directives. 

One of Morrison’s main iterations: “Common sense of purpose is what we need to keep this nation running”. While the statement may ring true to many of us who have been obeying the rules of self-isolation and doing what we can during these trying times, Morrison was still is yet to bring a firm directive until now. 

Earlier this week, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was praised for her handling of the pandemic due to the harsh (but necessary) regulations she’d placed so far. The PM showed her “composed self, clear but compassionate, quick to act yet warm and unifying”, as my colleague Kathryn Maddyn wrote earlier this week.

To put it into perspective, after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases in NZ (which, at time of publishing had currently seen no deaths), Ardern took significant steps to protect the nation, ones which many Australians were holding out for during the latest address from our leader. New Zealand currently has 102 cases of COVID-19 while Australia has 2,136 confirmed and 8 deaths, per the World Health Organisation

In tonight’s address – Morrison announced that schools would stay open until the National Cabinet could meet again on Wednesday, March 25. “Lots to discuss”, he said to the crowd. 

On top of those questions unanswered, many have been urging the PM to help those “non-essential workers” who had been left without employment due to business closures nation-wide.

His response from the address: “Who is an essential worker? Anyone who has a job,” adding, “People who are earning money. That is an essential job.” 

After that statement, it was confirmed more restrictions would be placed on businesses, including beauty services, outdoor and indoor play areas and youth centres.

Some have considered the sentiment confusing, considering a majority of New South Wales workers have been left with no income – including those who work in the hospitality industry and small businesses that rely on constant traffic.

The National Cabinet will meet again on Wednesday, March 25, to which the PM claims “leases will be considered and other matters” will be discussed. 

“I hope that’s been very clear”, he finished. 

What We Know:

  • COVID-19 is seriously contagious. For any of us, we could catch it and take up to 14 days to show symptoms (or not show any symptoms at all) and in that time, if we are not practising social distancing, could be spreading it to the more vulnerable. In fact, within a month, an extra 400 people could be infected.
  • If we continue the way we are, our already struggling health system won’t be able to cope. Doctors and nurses who are not trained will have to move to the front lines, while Australian hospitals are not equipped with the appropriate equipment to handle such numbers. In short, they’ll have to decide who lives and who dies. 
  • The absolute BEST way we can combat the COVID-19 pandemic is to stay home. The government has presented complex equations about ensuring there are four-square-metres per person in indoor venues (including a 5 person ban on funerals and weddings). It’s probably easier to keep it simple: limit your contact with others. Greatly. Stay home.


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