Australians should stop shaking hands and stay 1.5 meters from each other at all times under tough new rules from the federal government to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Expanded ‘social distancing’ guidelines for handling the pandemic come on top of a legal ban on mass gatherings of 500 or more from Monday and new 14-day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from abroad .

The national cabinet of federal, state and territory leaders may introduce more measures in the coming weeks for visitors to elderly care facilities, Anzac Day commemorations, isolated communities and events in spaces closed, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.

One of the rules Mr. Morrison describes is to avoid physical contact “whether it is a handshake or something a little more intimate, unless [they are] close family and friends. ”He said it was common sense, but admitted it would be a disruption until everyone adjusted.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said there would be no more handshaking under the guidelines, including between officials, with more cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus in Australia.

“This is a new thing that we have moved on, something that I will be practicing, my cabinet members and others,” Kelly said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on Australians to practice “social distancing” to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Credit:PAA

“There will be other measures that may need to be introduced depending on how things play out in the weeks or months to come.”

Schools would remain open, Mr Morrison said, explaining that keeping them open might seem counterintuitive, but closing them would affect the availability of essential workers such as doctors and nurses who might have to stay home and take care of children. children.


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