Australia's clubs, pubs and restaurants have been ordered to close from midday Monday.
Churches, casinos, cinemas, gyms, indoor spots venues and entertainment venues must also close, along with the licensed parts of hotels, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday night after a meeting of state, territory and federal leaders.
Restaurants and cafes can still serve takeaway and do home delivery, but sit-down meals are banned.
Shops and shopping centres remain open. Funerals are allowed, if the four square metre rule for indoor gatherings is adhered to.
Schools stay open for parents who want to send their children, Mr Morrison said. But parents could choose to keep their children at home and schools would move to distance learning for children that stayed home.
NSW and the ACT have already announced that schools will move to online learning on Tuesday for most students. Chief Minister Andrew Barr described it as a "distance education program for most students on Tuesday as well as continuing to provide a face to face education program for those students who need it".
Mr Morrison said while schools could move to distance learning, they would remain open for parents who wish to send their children.
"For many parents, for those who may be both parents are working, those might be an essential occupations, nurses and doctors, police, paramedics and things like this, this is very important," he said.
"But even more important is we want our children to continue to get an education. There are many things that we're going to have to sacrifice because of this coronavirus. One of the things - premiers, chief ministers and I - are very keen to try and avoid, is having to sacrifice the education of our children. I do not want to see our children lose an entire year of their education."
Mr Morrison said parents must take responsibility for children who stayed home.
"It is not an excuse for them to go down to the shopping centre or to go and congregate somewhere else or potentially put themselves in contact with the vulnerable and elderly population. If you choose to keep your child at home, you are responsible for the conduct and behaviour of your children ... It is important that they observe the strict social distancing arrangements," he said.
Mr Barr's office could not be reached immediately for clarification.
Mr Morrison said he was "deeply regretful" about the impact of club, restaurant and entertainment closures on workers and businesses.
"That is a very, very regretful decision, but a necessary one in the view of the premiers and chief ministers and myself to ensure that we can control the spread of this virus.
"This should highlight to all Australians how serious this is and how hard we all have to work together to get this right."
Mr Morrison said the measures were "stage 1" measures and would be reviewed each month. But people should expect them to be in place for six months.
"I wouldn't want to get the impression that these arrangements are things that will be in place for a couple of weeks or a month and then will be discarded and everything will be OK. These are very significant measures."
The sudden decision to bring forward drastic closures was sparked by behaviour at Bondi when people flocked to the beach on Friday. Mr Morrison said the gathering at Bondi had "sent a very clear message to premiers, chief ministers and that the social distancing practices are not being observed as well as they should be".
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy described the measures as "fairly dramatic and drastic". But Australians must learn to live differently.
"We have to live very, very differently. I can't emphasise that enough," he said. "...We now have to be absolutely rigid. If you come back from anywhere, a cruise ship, a plane, and you come back to this country, you go home and you quarantine for two weeks, no exceptions. You are putting your fellow Australians at risk if you break that rule.
"So please, every one of us has to do our bit. We have to save our vulnerable Australians from what could be - and we've seen this in other countries - fairly devastating impacts if we get a widespread pandemic in this country."
More to come
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