UPPER Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has urged locals to take practical measures to protect their health and the health of others as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hunter New England hits 47.
The government announced on Sunday night that clubs, churches, casinos, cinemas, gyms and indoor sport and entertainment venues must close from noon on Monday, March 23.
Cafes and restaurants can still serve takeaway and do home delivery, but sit-down meals are banned.
The new rules have already seen a number of local eateries move towards home delivery plans, with an Uber Eats style service in the works.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also made her stance on schools loud and clear on Monday morning, saying that while they will remain open, the government is urging parents to keep their children at home.
Mr Johnsen added to the discussion during an interview with ACM on Monday, stating this would simply not be practical for all parents.
"Some parents just have to and others don't," he said.
"If you can keep your kids away from school, great, if not, the schools will still be open."
Children that do not attend classrooms will be provided with an online work unit identical to that provided at schools.
He has also clarified some of the messaging surrounding "essential" and "non-essential" services, stating that many businesses will remain open as long as they can meet the social distancing measures.
"Each work place knows what is required in order to run their business, so outside the list that the government has provided, every other business can stay open," Mr Johnsen said.
"Cafes and restaurants can still remain open, people can still come in and walk out with their food, just don't sit down.
"Some cafes are providing a valet service, so you can pull up out front if they have the capacity to do so with parking, and they will bring the food out to you."
However, he urged these businesses to keep the physical distancing practices and personal hygiene measures in mind.
"There is also confusion with the four square-metres rule - if you have 100 square metres then you're not allowed more than 25 people in there, but it doesn't mean you have to stand four metres apart," he said.
"That's one rule, then another is to try to keep 1.5 metres apart."
While there is some confusion at the moment, one thing is clear - support for local businesses as they adapt to meet these tough but necessary requirements is more important than ever.
"Support your local businesses, do what you can to keep the businesses open," Mr Johnsen added.
"Be patient with them, and support them, because it keeps people employed and it keeps the business open."