Australian venues are facing additional restrictions on the number of people allowed on-site in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed in a press conference this afternoon that gatherings of less than 100 people are now capped.

Venues must provide 4 square metres (2m x 2m) per person in an enclosed space, and said Australians should continue to keep 1.5 metres of “healthy distance” between each other.

For example, a 100sqm venue can host 25 people.

Mr Morrison acknowledged the measures mean “a lot of change for venues”, and said the government’s upcoming package will cushion the blow to small- and medium-sized businesses, sole traders and those who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19.

Earlier today, the ABA announced Australian banks are deferring loan repayments for eligible small businesses, and Mr Morrison said the states are currently working on additional relief regarding tenancy.

“States are working to identify how relief can be provided to … commercial tenants to ensure there will be relief available,” said the Prime Minister.

Mr Morrison said the states will also be ensuring tenancy legislation protects tenants over the next six months.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was also in attendance at the press conference and said the government has identified a “need to make some changes around lending to business”.

“We will be cutting some red tape. It’s critical businesses have access to capital and the speed at which that capital is delivered by the banks as fast as possible.”

Mr Morrison said there will be an additional meeting this afternoon for the discussion of further details regarding the stimulus package.

Image credit: Jacobin

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