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BREAKING: PM Scott Morrison Advises Against Mass Gatherings Of Over 500

13 March 2020 | 1:47 pm | Staff Writer

The Prime Minister said Government will advise against "non essential organised" mass gatherings from Monday.

Pic by Josh Groom

Pic by Josh Groom

UPDATE:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the Government will advise against "non essential organised" mass gatherings of over 500 from Monday.

"That of course does not include schools," Morrison said at a press conference today.

"It does not include university lectures. It does not mean people getting on public transport or going to airports or things of that nature."

Morrison added that the advisement will be put in place next week as a "common sense precaution", but that things could "scale up in the weeks ahead."

The Prime Minister added that Government are implementing "level 3 travel advice", which advises that all Australians reconsider international travel.

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"Regardless of your destination, age or health, if your travel is not essential, consider carefully whether now is the right time," Morrison said.

"So we are effectively putting in place what is called a level three travel advice for travel of Australians overseas. This is done to protect their health and to limit their exposure, given we have so many countries now that are affected by the coronavirus.

"Only essential travel should be considered if you are going overseas from this point forward, and we would encourage Australians to heed that advice, and if you need further information, then you can look to the Smart Traveller website."

Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the mass gatherings they are advising against are "where people are together for a period of perhaps up to two hours — that's generally where you have a high risk of exposure".

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The Government is reportedly being advised to ban all mass gatherings in Australia in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

According to 9News, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and State Premiers are in meetings with chief health officers in Australia who are advising that any gathering with a capacity of over 500 should be banned. 

"I have been told by one of the officials that the advice the government will get is that any mass gathering of over 500 people should be cancelled from now on so that will cancel every football game, every theatre event and a large gathering, really," Nine's political editor Chris Uhlmann said.

"It is extraordinary advice to Government."

The news comes just hours after the cancellation of Download Festival, as well as the recent axing of shows and tours including Miley Cyrus' one-off Melbourne show and Pixies remaining tour dates.

Meanwhile, Live Performance Australia has called on the Government to support the live music industry in the wake of the multiple cancellations.

It is expected that Morrison will publicly address his meetings with health officials later today.

For more information about how COVID-19 is impacting the music industry, follow the link here.