Kyabram Free Press - - FRONT PAGE -

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel An­drews has urged us all to stay at home and heed warn­ings as clo­sures are im­ple­mented across the state in a bid to con­tain coro­n­avirus.

A ded­i­cated task­force of 500 po­lice of­fi­cers will en­force Vic­to­ria's coro­n­avirus shut­down of non-es­sen­tial ser­vices and self­iso­la­tion of trav­ellers.

The clo­sures have been set for a min­i­mum of three weeks ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment.

‘‘Th­ese bans, this shut­down, in­cludes pubs, clubs, night­clubs, Crown Casino, li­censed venues in ho­tels and pubs be­yond that, gyms, in­door sport­ing venues, places of wor­ship, cin­e­mas, en­ter­tain­ment venues, wed­dings and fu­ner­als,’’ the premier con­firmed on Mon­day.

‘‘This list ba­si­cally rep­re­sents a very big step, a mas­sive step, that is es­sen­tial to keep Vic­to­ri­ans and Aus­tralians safe.’’

To make sure peo­ple are sticking to the 14-day self-iso­la­tion man­date for trav­ellers into Aus­tralia and the shut­down, 500 po­lice have been redi­rected to a ded­i­cated task force.

‘‘In some re­spects, it is dis­ap­point­ing that it has come to this,’’ Mr An­drews told re­porters in a pas­sion­ate plea for co-op­er­a­tion from Vic­to­ri­ans.

‘‘But we've seen peo­ple on beaches in Syd­ney, we could just as eas­ily have seen pic­tures of peo­ple in bars and cafes and restau­rants and night­clubs here in Mel­bourne and right across Vic­to­ria.

‘‘It's un­ac­cept­able, it will cost lives.

‘‘Vic­to­ria's school hol­i­days have been brought for­ward to start yes­ter­day in­stead of Fri­day, so teach­ers can pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity of re­mote learn­ing.

Mr An­drews said at this stage schools were due to re­turn on April 14 and fam­i­lies should plan ac­cord­ingly.

The schools shut­down is in de­fi­ance of Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son's in­sis­tence that they should re­main open.

Vic­to­ri­ans will still be able to go to the su­per­mar­ket, the bank, the phar­macy and other es­sen­tial stores, like petrol sta­tions and con­ve­nience stores.

Freight, lo­gis­tics and home de­liv­ery are con­sid­ered es­sen­tial and will re­main open.

A $1.7 bil­lion pack­age was un­veiled by the Victorian gov­ern­ment on Satur­day to help busi­nesses cope with the im­pact of the coro­n­avirus.

Small busi­nesses will get full re­funds on their pay­roll tax bills for the rest of the fi­nan­cial year, and $500 mil­lion will be avail­able to help peo­ple who have lost their jobs find new work.

❝This list ba­si­cally rep­re­sents a very big step, a mas­sive step, that is es­sen­tial to keep Vic­to­ri­ans and Aus­tralians safe❞

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