Australia SHUTS DOWN: Scott Morrison orders ALL restaurants, pubs close from TOMORROW

The Northern Territory will close its borders from 4pm on Tuesday

Camera Icon The Northern Territory will close its borders from 4pm on Tuesday. Credit Hans Peter Merten Getty Images

Federal and state governments have been shaken by the rapid rise in virus cases - now well above 1000 - and by the crowds on Friday and Saturday on Bondi beach and at bars and clubs.

Mr Morrison said the step had to be taken because Australians were not adequately sticking to rules around social distancing.

"If there is not a broad co-operation in the population. states will have to take more severe measures", Morrison told ABC television on Sunday night.

"The states are moving quickly to mandate and enforce them (social distancing measures), and they will be taking even stronger measures in particular areas, and potentially more widespread".

"People can not be cavalier about these things and must take them extremely seriously because lives and livelihoods are at stake", Morrison said.

Prime Minister Morrison announced that the government was adopting intrinsic measures against non-essential travel, adding that imminent efforts could slow down localized outbreaks, confirmed media reports.

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It is not clear how much further (if any) the "shutdowns" in the two states will go beyond the baseline of closures set at the national cabinet. "If Australians cannot do that, if they can't do that on a broader scale, they are denying the government and authorities the most important weapon we have to save lives and to save livelihoods". The measure could remain in place for several months.

His announcement late on Sunday followed a meeting of the national cabinet after Victoria, the ACT and NSW indicated they were prepared to go it alone on moves to lock down non-essential services in their states.

Restaurants and cafes can continue operating on a takeaway or home delivery basis only.

"We need you to do your bit, when it comes to social distancing, to keeping that healthy distance, to respecting and following the rules that we're setting down".

The total number of coronavirus cases in Australia surpassed 1,300 on Sunday.

Licensed premises in hotels and pubs.

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Importantly, bottle shops will be exempt.

The government could also consider locking down "red zones" as it has in Wuhan and parts of Northern Italy.

The additional restrictions come on top of bans on social gatherings of more than 500 people outside and 100 people inside that are already in place. Restrictions on entering aged care homes have also been introduced. If you are a four year old child at preschool, you do not get your year back.

Many online vented their confusion about closing facilities but leaving schools open which could still see the virus spread.

However, parents were reassured schools would reopen after the Easter holidays, based on current medical advice.

But Mr Morrison warned it would not be school holidays as usual, and the actions taken by parents and children over the break would have broad impacts.

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