New COVID-19 restrictions begin as schools move towards online learning March 23, 2020March 24, 2020 Ben Hillsley The NSW Government has taken significant new steps to increase restrictions across the state – triggering the next level of enforcement necessary to fight COVID-19. Following the decisions made by National Cabinet, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the shutdown to protect NSW citizens. “I understand many in the community are worried, and these changes will affect everyday lives, and may be upsetting,” Ms Berejiklian said. “But these decisions will make us all safer, they are taken with the health of all citizens in mind, and they must be taken now. “If you have the capacity to work from home, you should do so.” In line with health advice, from midday today, the following non-essential activities and businesses will be temporarily shut down: pubs, registered clubs gyms, indoor sporting venues cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery religious gatherings, places of worship (excluding small weddings and funerals that comply with the 4m2 rule, which can proceed). It is important to note essential gatherings at places such as hospitals, workplaces, constructions sites and for public transport are exempt and will continue. As confirmed last night by the Prime Minister schools will remain open, based on health advice, which has not changed. But from tomorrow, in NSW, for practical reasons, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home. “Because nearly 30 per cent of children are already being kept out of school, for practical reasons NSW is encouraging parents to keep their children at home,” Ms Berejiklian said. “This will ensure there is only one unit of work, whether the student is at home or at school. “No child will be turned away from school.” Latest advice Get up-to-date information about the department’s response to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Explore the department’s learning from home resources for teachers and parents to support both online and offline learning for all students.