Scott Morrison has used his annual Easter message to urge Australians to stay home, saying the country “cannot undo the tremendous progress” it has made towards flattening the curve of coronavirus cases.
In a subdued but hopeful statement today – which is worlds apart from his Easter commemorations last year – the Prime Minister said Easter in Australia “will be different this year, as it will be all around the world”.
On Easter Sunday a year ago, Mr Morrison invited the media into the service at his Pentecostal church in Sutherland Shire to see him celebrate the Resurrection.
About 1000 worshippers attended the service, including his wife Jenny and their daughters, Lily and Abbey.
“It’s still true that we’ll be able to gather together in our immediate family, but there won’t be the opportunity for that extended family gathering, special times I know, as well as going off to church and our religious services where we can remember the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Mr Morrison said.
The coronavirus means this Easter will be different and we will be staying at home.
“The coronavirus means this Easter will be different and we will be staying at home.”
“And it’s important because we cannot undo the tremendous progress we have made together in recent times.”
“So this Easter we are staying at home. Don’t travel. Don’t go away.”
Mr Morrison said that Christians this year will “live out our faith by doing the right thing” and encouraged people to check in on their neighbours, family and friends.
“That’s what living our faith is all about,” he added.
The PM also said that not being able to gather as a result of COVID-19 restrictions “does not diminish the hope that we have through this important Easter period”.
We cannot undo the tremendous progress we have made together.
“I hope it is a time as you come together in your homes, together with your immediate family, that it will be a strong reminder about what’s most important,” he said.
There are now 6079 COVID-19 cases in Australia and there have been 51 deaths.
The number of new Australian coronavirus cases fell below 100 for the first time in three weeks on Thursday, with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt describing the results as an “exceptionally important development” for the country.
“Very significantly, the curve continues to flatten,” he said.
“Fewer cases, fewer risks, fewer lives at risk – but we still have a huge way to go.”
The number of coronavirus cases in Western Australia jumped by 14 today, bringing the State’s total to 495.