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Indoor gatherings of 100 people or more will be banned in Australia to slow the spread of coronavirus, Scott Morrison has announced

James Hennessy

Non-essential, indoor gatherings of 100 or more people are now banned in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday morning.

The ban is effective immediately.

This ban is separate from the ban on non-essential outdoor gatherings of 500 or more, which remains set at the same threshold.

As with the ban on outdoor gatherings, enforcement will be left up to the states. Several states, including NSW and Victoria, have already announced enforcement measures which will likely also apply to the new indoor ban.

The following areas are considered essential and are exempt from the 100 person ban: airports, stations, platforms, stops, trains, trams, buses, medical and health service facilities, emergency service facilities, disability or aged care facilities, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody, courts or tribunals, parliaments, food markets, supermarkets, grocery store, retail stores, shopping centres, office buildings, factories, construction sites, mining sites and other workplaces necessary for their normal operation.

Schools will also remain open, with Morrison citing the example of Singapore, which has also not closed schools. “In Singapore they have been quite effective in managing and limiting the transmission of this virus in that country,” Morrison said.

It's likely the ban will significantly impact businesses like restaurants, pubs and cinemas, and will likely cause issues for events including weddings and funerals.