FRIDAY, May 1
Parts of Australia are being opened up after more than a month of coronavirus lockdown. Some Australian states and territories this week announced an easing of their virus restrictions. Depending on which state you live the changes mean that this weekend you might be able to take part in some retail therapy at the shops, visit your mates, or even go fishing and camping.
With the coronavirus threat at different levels across Australian jurisdictions, some governments have decided to keep all their restrictions in place, others are slightly taking their foot off the pedal, while one has gone hard in winding back its measures.
These, according to the ABC, are all the things your government now says you can and can’t do:
- QUEENSLAND: From Saturday, Queenslanders will be able to leave their homes for recreation and the distance they can travel has been extended to 50 kilometres. The new rules mean residents can now Go for a drive, ride a motorbike, jet ski or boat for pleasure, have a picnic, visit a national park and shop for non- essential items. But physical distancing guidelines remain in place and outings are limited to members of the same household, or an individual and one friend.
- NSW: Restrictions will ease from today with two adults able to make social visits to other households. The two adults are also allowed to take their children, if they have them. Visitors will still need to practise social distancing and take extra care when visiting vulnerable people. People with even mild symptoms, like tiredness or a sore throat, have been urged not visit other people.
- SA: South Australia has not announced any formal easing of restrictions after initially taking a slightly more moderate approach to coronavirus rules than some of the eastern states. The state on Thursday hit eight days with no new COVID-19 cases. While social distancing has been enforced, and fines issued to those found to have breached regulations, beaches were never shut.
- WA: Premier Mark McGowan began what he called the state’s ‘cautious relaxation’ of some coronavirus measures earlier this week. The two-person rule has been eased to a 10-person limit, so small groups can now meet up either outdoors or inside. The easing of the two-person rule means boot camps and some other forms of group exercise will be allowed again providing physical distancing is maintained. Gyms, outdoor gym equipment, playgrounds and skate parks remain closed.
- VICTORIA: For Victorians, stage-three restrictions are likely to stay in place until Victoria’s state of emergency can be lifted on May 11. Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday said he wanted 100,000 people tested for COVID-19 over two weeks before making any decisions on relaxing stage-three restrictions. The two-person limit is still being enforced, and Victorians are still being told that if they can stay at home, they must stay at home. That means social visits with friends are still off the cards, with visitors only allowed when they are providing care or support.
- TASMANIA: On Thursday, Premier Peter Gutwein told Tasmanians that easing coronavirus restrictions would have to wait. But he flagged any relaxation of measures would likely begin with parks, reserves and recreation spaces. While the Premier has not released a timeline on when life might begin returning to normal, he said the current state-wide restrictions would be reviewed in the lead-up to May 15.
- ACT: The coronavirus-free ACT, which on Thursday become the first Australia jurisdiction to neutralise COVID-19 by reaching no active cases, has no formalised plan to wind back restrictions. Public school students returned to remote learning this week, with a number of ‘hub’ schools open to provide supervision to children of essential workers.
- NT: With no recorded coronavirus cases for over three weeks, the NT this week announced the country’s most liberal wind backs, with Territorians able to fish, camp and play non- contact sport from midday. They will no longer be subject to the 10-person limit guideline for outdoor activities. The NT Government has released a list of parks and recreation areas across the NT that will no longer be subject to outdoor restrictions from midday, while Kakadu, Uluru and Nitmiluk will remain shut. The new rules mean there will be no limit on wedding and funeral attendance as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to, while playgrounds will also be opened for the first time in weeks.
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