A seventh person has died from coronavirus in Australia as the nation prepares to shut its borders to all non-residents.
An 81-year-old NSW woman died on Thursday night, bringing the state’s death toll to six and the national total to seven.
The latest death from the virus comes ahead of all non-citizens and non- residents being banned from entering the country from 9pm on Friday.
Australians and their direct family members will still be allowed in but must self-quarantine for 14 days.
More than 700 people have been infected with the virus in Australia, with almost 50 now recovered.
The national cabinet, which includes federal and state leaders, is meeting to discuss the details and impact of a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
A cap of one person per four square metres for indoor gatherings has been recommended by chief medical officers.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said close contact risked spreading the virus among the most vulnerable.
“We have to slow the virus and that means there are circumstances where we will have to restrict the number of people that are in enclosed spaces,” he told 2GB radio.
“That is what we have to do to save lives.”
There will also be more clarity around cinemas, theatres, hospitality venues and those organising weddings and funerals.
Social distancing guidelines for public transport will also be discussed, as will additional support for indigenous communities and disability support recipients.
Mr Morrison said people catching the train to work in hospitals or other jobs to keep the country running was essential.
“There are other activities in times like this that are not essential,” the prime minister said.
Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong raised concerns about more than one million Australians overseas.
“The government needs a plan to help Australians stranded overseas amid flight cancellations, changing travel advice and closing borders,” she said.
The Morrison government is finalising a second stimulus package to cushion the economic blow caused by the pandemic.
The big four banks are expected to announce a major suite of measures to help Australians through the tumultuous period of economic upheaval.
Australia’s energy ministers will hold a teleconference on Friday to discuss stopping late fees for people unable to pay their bills because of the virus.
The Reserve Bank on Thursday cut interest rates to a historic low of 0.25 per cent, while also providing extra support for banks to keep businesses alive.
It has set up a $90 billion fund to give banks more cash for loans while the government has tipped in an extra $15 billion for smaller lenders.
Tasmania has imposed the most dramatic lockdown in the country, requiring almost everyone entering the island state to go into quarantine for two weeks from Friday.
Outdoor events of more than 500 people have been banned.
Schools are staying open but restrictions have been placed on visitors to aged care homes to protect the elderly from contracting the virus.
The Government has imposed buying restrictions on some medicines and pharmacists will also be required to limit some prescription-only medicines to dispensing one month’s supply at a time.