The coronavirus outbreak may have dampened the upcoming Easter 2020 celebrations for most Aussies but despite the current restrictions, there's still time to plan a traditional Easter at home. Here's how.
Australians were forced to cancel their holiday plans for the upcoming Easter break when Prime Minister Scott Morrison upgraded travel restrictions to level four, meaning Australians can't travel overseas, indefinitely. In fact, some states and territories in Australia have also closed their borders due to COVID-19 fears.
Everyone has been advised to stay at home unless carrying out an essential activity such as going to work (if you can't work from home), going food shopping or visiting the pharmacy. It's upsetting not being able travel, meet people and celebrate as you might have done in previous years on Easter, but there's still time to keep an open mind and celebrate at home with the same enthusiasm.
Most important: pre-plan your Easter shopping
Never forget the power of a good home-cooked feast to lift the spirits. If you haven't already, it's time to get your notebook out and jot down all the recipes and ingredients you'll need to pull out the stops for an absolutely delicious meal.
It's advised to pre-plan your shopping and not wait until the day before Good Friday to get all your groceries. Both Woolworths and Coles have followed Aldi's suit and introduced limitations on the number of people in their stores to keep up with social distancing rules.
Restrictions have also been placed on online deliveries so it may be best to shop in-store or visit your local grocer. For example, Coles is prioritising vulnerable customers who aren't able to make it to the shops and Woolworths has started a 'Priority Assistance' home delivery service to get groceries to people who are disabled, elderly or in mandatory self-isolation.
Although you don't want to be making multiple trips amid coronavirus fears, it's a good idea to get as many ingredients as soon as possible and keep your trip on Wednesday or Thursday (the busiest time for all stores) for only fresh items that you can't get in advance. Don't forget to pick up some Easter eggs during your shop.
The National Retail Association has provided a detailed list of trading hour restrictions for Easter 2020 — from Good Friday until Easter Monday. There are variations across the states so have a read through or call the shop you want to visit beforehand to see if they're open.
If you've always had seafood during Easter, Seafood Industry Australia CEP, Jane Lovell, tells the Daily Telegraph there's no reason why people can't keep up with tradition.
"People should get in touch with their local fishmonger or the seafood counter at their local supermarket as many are organising pre-orders with contactless over-the-phone payment, while several independent retailers like Martin’s United are providing a free home delivery service," Lovell said.
Now might even be the time to experiment. Have a look at what people around the world eat during Easter and spice up your menu by doing something different.
Get your partner, family or housemates involved in the cooking spree, put on some feel-good music, crack open a bottle of wine and turn your Easter break into a full-blown laughter-inducing affair.
How to watch Easter services through live streaming
For the first time in living memory, a pope delivered mass on Palm Sunday in an empty St Peter's Basilica without the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. Elsewhere, parish priests in Rome took to rooftops and bell towers to lead services.
It was surreal and also reflective of the new world order. If you're used to going to mass, and don't know what Good Friday and Easter Sunday looks like for you — here's a surprise.
Channel 7 will broadcast Easter services from St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, both live and commercial-free. It will show the Lord’s Passion at 3pm on Good Friday, and the Easter Sunday Mass from 10.30am across the country on Channel 7 and on Prime 7 in regional areas. It can also be live-streamed on 7plus.
Apart from St Mary's Cathedral, several other churches around the country will also be live streaming their services such as St John's Cathedral Brisbane via its YouTube channel and St George's Cathedral in Perth via Facebook. Visit the website of your local church to see if they're offering similar services.
Just remember: it's not too late to plan and have an Easter break full of fun and fond memories even if you're stuck at home.