Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk.
Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk.

Queensland to shut down non-essential services

QUEENSLAND is set to impose tougher restrictions on non-essential services including pubs and clubs within days to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

This coronavirus article is unlocked and free to read in the interest of community health and safety. For full access to our journalism - and to download the digital edition of the newspaper as it is printed every day, subscribe to our newspaper  

Beaches could also be closed after Queenslanders shunned social distancing advice and flocked to the Gold Coast this weekend.

The move comes as NSW announced it would forcibly close non-essential services including pubs, restaurants and gyms over the next 48 hours.

Queensland is also considering school closures but has not yet committed to a time frame for this after Victoria announced classes would close from Tuesday.

The tougher measures will be discussed in a meeting between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premiers tonight.

Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk said she was prepared to back tougher restrictions in line with other states to ensure people do not go out.

"My message on Friday was pretty clear, don't go and have a big night out," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"If we have to take stronger measures, we will take stronger measures. That's what the national cabinet will discuss tonight."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her planned shutdown ahead of the meeting.

Under the plan, only essential services such as supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores and home delivery will remain open.

Ms Palaszczuk said beach closures would be considered but added there needed to be exemptions for people who live in those areas.

It comes after Ms Palaszczuk urged Queenslanders to stay in their local neighbourhood if possible in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

She also said all non-essential travel must stop.

Ms Palaszczuk said everyone should follow social distancing measures including staying 1.5 metres from others and said people should call out those who flout these rules.

"It is not a laughing matter," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"There are people out there who think this is not going to happen to us. Wake up! It is."

Amid alarming scenes of people flocking to beaches on the Gold Coast, the Premier urged people to stay at home.

"I need everyone on the Gold Coast to be listening very carefully. It is a beautiful weekend. I'd love my family to be travelling to the coast as well but they are not," she said.

"I need people to stay in their local villages.

"You need to restrict your non-essential travel and stay as close as possible to home."

Declaring there needed to be "tough love" to save lives, Ms Palaszczuk backed Scott Morrison's call for non-essential domestic travel to cease and warned Queenslanders to prepare for tougher restrictions.

"There are going to be tougher measures in the days and weeks to come," she said.

"Queensland is beautiful but I want Queenslanders there for the future."



Jacaranda Festival celebrates 20-year milestone

Premium Content Jacaranda Festival celebrates 20-year milestone

Since making her grand entrance two decades ago, this special girl is getting a...

ARTEFACTS: Colours of the 60s

Premium Content ARTEFACTS: Colours of the 60s

John Witzig’s beautiful print offers a rare glimpse into this subculture of...

COVID-19: While other shops closed, Sharon expanded her brand

Premium Content COVID-19: While other shops closed, Sharon expanded her...

After COVID-19 restrictions forced her shop to close, Sharon Grayson saw it as an...