Coronavirus won’t force closure of retailers as long as they abide by social distancing

Despite a raft of new measures introduced to stem the spread of coronavirus, retailers in shopping centres will remain open for the time being.

Shopping centre food courts will be restricted to take away only from midnight on Wednesday but the retail stores themselves will continue trading.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is not oblivious to the concern this raises but says new measures will be put in place.

Each store will be required to put a notice in their front window advising how many people are allowed inside at any given time.

“In each of the retail premises, there will need to be displayed to assist patrons how many people can be in that shop at any one time, observing the four square metre rule. I hope premises are already doing that,” Morrison said.

He says it is vital for Australians to continue working where feasible.

“Now if you ask me who is an essential worker? Someone who has a job,” he said.

“Everyone who has a job in this economy is an essential worker. Every single job that is being done in our economy with these severe restrictions that are taking place is essential.”

The comments came during the escalation of Australia’s already tight restrictions to prevent indoor mass gatherings.

Pubs, licenced and registered clubs, casinos, cinemas, indoor exercise facilities and places of worship were closed indefinitely on Monday.

Adding to that list on Tuesday night, Morrison announced that food courts, beauty salons, daycare centres, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, libraries and community halls would also be closed from midnight on Wednesday.

The extreme measures are being put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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