Here’s What You Can And Can’t Do In Your State Now That Restrictions Are Starting To Ease
Here's what state-approved fun you're allowed to have this weekend
Last week, Australia was given a three-step plan to ease our way out of the coronavirus restrictions that have dominated every aspect of our lives recently.
It’s been up to each state and territory as to when each stage actually would begin, which has led to a patchwork of different responses that differ across borders.
Australia’s national cabinet met again today to look at the progress each has made, as well as further plans to restart the economy without restarting a second wave of the virus.
“Australians can hopefully soon return to domestic holidays and to move around the country more widely, and particularly with school holidays coming up again in July,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today.
The news that restrictions are starting to ease has been the light at the end of the tunnel for many — but that silver lining has come with a caveat.
Some states are taking a slower route to reopening, with concerns that harder-hit states need more time to properly get the virus under control.
In the interest of trying to decipher the different rules and restrictions across the country, we’ve compiled a list of what you need to know to avoid getting slapped with a fine this weekend.
From today people in New South Wales can invite five friends over to the house, bringing back some triggering memories from our MySpace top 8 days. They’re also allowing public, outdoor, gatherings of ten people if you’re just too popular.
The state government is loosening the rules because the number of cases in NSW is now at a “manageable level,” however physical distancing and thorough hand washing is still crucial to keep it this way.
Today is also the day that cafes and restaurants can start opening, but only for ten customers at a time. This won’t be financially viable for every business, but it’s an option.
You’re also allowed to use outdoor playgrounds, exercise equipment and pools (with some restrictions).
Under stage one weddings can now have up to ten guests, funerals can have 20 mourners (or 30 if the service is outside), and places of worship can have ten worshippers.
Regional travel is still banned for recreational purposes.
New South Wales recorded eight new cases of coronavirus overnight, with 3,063 overall. More than 400 of those are still active.
Today Queenslanders will also enter stage one, which again means five people are allowed to visit your home and ten people can gather in a socially-distant group outdoors.
Retail shopping is allowed, as are public pools, 10-person PT sessions, parks and playgrounds, national parks and other public spaces.
Queenslanders have also got an edge over their southern neighbours, with the state government loosening the reins on intra-state travel.
People looking to change up the scenery a bit are now allowed to travel 150 kilometres from their homes, but only for day trips. Fraser Island, Moreton Island and North Straddy are also reopening this weekend for day trips.
If you’re in the outback travel is allowed within a 500km radius for an overnight trip. Outback areas are also allowing 20 locals allowed to dine in at restaurants, cafes and pubs (and yes, they will be checking that local status with proof of residence).
Overnight Queensland reported two new cases of coronavirus — one of which was a nurse who has been working in a Rockhampton aged care facility, despite showing symptoms since May 5. Contact tracers believe she contracted the virus during a recent trip to Brisbane.
That brings the state’s case to 1,054, with 17 active cases.
The Northern Territory have allowed visitors and other leisure activities for the last two weeks, and today jumped ahead to stage two.
That means they ‘re now allowed to head to restaurants, cafes and bars, with alcohol allowed if bought with food. Food courts are also allowed again. Who thought we’d ever miss food courts?!
Territorians can also reopen their art galleries and museums, head back to the gym and fitness classes, or get a (non-facial) beauty treatment like massage or manicure.
They’re expecting to head to stage three on June 5.
There are just two active cases of COVID-19 in the NT, out of 29 total infections.
As of 11.59pm tonight the ACT will allow cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs to set ten (socially distant) patrons at a time. They’re also reopening public places including libraries, playgrounds, outdoor fitness areas, dog parks, skate parks and BBQ areas.
Parks and nature reserves are also reopening (apart from Namadgi National Park) and ten people at a time will be able to head back to community centres.
This comes after they last week loosened restrictions to allow groups of 10 people to gather at home or in public.
The ACT has had 107 infections, with three active cases.
Victoria has hit a big speedbump in the move to reopen the state, with a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to Cedar Meats abattoir and a Fawkner McDonald’s (both in Melbourne).
There were 21 new cases in the state overnight, bringing their grand total to 1,543.
Restrictions are still in place, with the government saying people should only be outside for five reasons.
These include shopping for food and essential supplies; for medical, care or compassionate needs; to exercise; to work or study (if you can’t do it remotely); or to visit friends and family if you need to.
On Tuesday they did relent slightly to allow five people to visit another person’s home.
Police can issue fines for non-compliance with these restrictions.
Tassie won’t allow five people to visit you at home until May 18. That’s also when you’ll be able to gather in groups of ten, and enjoy the other freedoms that come with stage two like sports facilities, and restaurants and cafe (with a 10-person cap).
This week they did get some wiggle room though — funerals can now have 20 attendees, two visitors can now visit their loved ones in aged care facilities once a week, and people lucky enough to have a national park within 30km of their house can now go visit it.
Tasmania has recorded no new cases for the seventh day in a row. There are just 25 active cases of coronavirus remaining in the state, with 23 of those in the state’s north-west.
If you’re in South Australia, congrats! The government is actively encouraging regional travel. Enjoy guys, you’ve earned it.
They’ve still got a ten person cap on social visits, but are now allowing outdoor dining at restaurants and cafes. No alcohol can be served though, before you start dreaming of living it up at the pub again.
Community halls, outdoor training and pools are also on the cards again.
Western Australia won’t see their restrictions ease until Monday, just like Tassie.
But when they do the rest of the country will look on in envy, as they enjoy indoor and outdoor gatherings of 20 people. I can’t even picture what 20 people in a group would look like anymore.
Cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, et cetera will also be allowed to serve 20 patrons.
Community facilities, fitness classes and public pools can also accommodate 2o people.
They’re also starting to ease the strict intra-state travel bans they put in place weeks ago. Thirteen regional zones were established to try and reduce the coronavirus spread across the state, but that will be reduced to four zones from Monday.
Western Australians will also be encouraged to go back to work.
As always, if you are sick all this is a moot point — stay home. Otherwise, go out and socialise in state-approved groups of five to ten people!