The daily lives of Australians are dramatically changed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This Easter in the Illawarra will be unlike any other, with social distancing restrictions putting an end to the traditional festivities. 

 In a press conference at Parliament House, the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of maintaining social distancing.

“Stay at home. Failure to do so this weekend would completely undo everything we have achieved so far together, and potentially worse.”

The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, also advised that the usual celebrations with family and friends could lead to an increased spread of the virus. 

“We have, as the Prime Minister said, seen some very impressive reductions in growth in transmission of COVID-19. But if we, in any way, lose that rigour that the Australian community has embraced, particularly over Easter, it could all come undone.”

In NSW, Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says that officers will be acting in support of this advice and taking the steps necessary to enforce social distancing restrictions this weekend. This includes the power to deliver on-the-spot fines of $1,000 and a maximum court penalty of $11,000 and six months in jail.

So how can you celebrate at home this Easter?

Wollongong Central has created an online campaign titled Staying Home, with “tips and ideas to help get you through while you help”. To help you make Easter at home as special and memorable as ever, you can find their inspiration page here.

Local radio station i98 have also announced their Easter Long Weekend Isolation Salvation to “help you stay happy at home, and help flatten the boredom curve”.

You can call the station on 4017 0298, and leave your song requests, shout outs, or simply give thanks to someone you know who deserves it within our community. The show will also feature countdowns from previous years’ hits and special acoustic sessions with some of the music industry’s biggest stars. 

A number of churches in the region will also be making online services available. The Catholic Diocese of Wollongong has announced a broadcast celebration of Sunday Mass online with Bishop Brian Mascord. They’ve made the links available here.