Australia bans all overseas travel, limits social gatherings amid COVID-19 pandemic

No forced evictions measures have been mooted for the nation's three million rental residential properties

No forced evictions measures have been mooted for the nation's three million rental residential properties

As of Tuesday evening, Australia has 2,139 recorded cases of coronavirus and eight deaths. Auctions and open house inspections are banned.

A maximum of 10 people will be allowed to attend funerals and five to attend weddings in Australia under new curbs in the fight against coronavirus.

Australians have been banned from leaving the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced tonight.

"Our goal is to get through this together and by following commonsense rules and doing the right thing, that's how we slow the spread of this virus, and that's how we save lives", Morrison said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged tougher rules will be imposed for social distancing after a "blatant disregard" for guidelines by the community.

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

Hairdressers and barbers are allowed to remain open under the new measures. Morrison was forced to clarify his comments during the press conference, saying that shopping malls will remain open, and only the food courts inside would be impacted by the new measures.

Beauty, tanning and nail salons and other personal services will close, as will theme parks and recreation centers.

Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.

"I want to emphasise again that we are really serious now about a return traveller, you leave the airport, you go home and stay there for 14 days and the States and Territories will be checking on you", he said. "Go out for the basics or medical need only", Mr Morrison said.

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Parties and barbeques are banned, and groups of people should not congregate outside.

Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all "essential workers".

PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.

In Victoria, schools are closed after the Term 1 holidays were brought forward to Tuesday and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has encouraged parents to keep their children home if they can.

"Who is an essential worker? That means they will need to keep sending their children to school for an education".

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said he was very anxious about the "very, very steep growth" in the rate of infections and urged people to change their behavior.

"We are very anxious about the rate of rise... it is a very, very steep growth and it's very concerning", he said.

Large sections of the Australian economy and social life will be shut down from midnight on Wednesday, after the national cabinet agreed to a range of further restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings in addition to a ban on non-essential overseas travel to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.

"Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary that you go out", the prime minister told citizens.

Dr Murphy admitted the social distancing measures were "draconian" but absolutely necessary to defeat the virus.

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