Coronavirus restrictions: How each state and territory will ease their rules

Ash Cant
·10-min read

Yahoo News Australia's Life After Lockdown series investigates what life will be like after coronavirus restrictions.

The prime minister has unveiled the federal government’s ‘roadmap’ out of coronavirus restrictions, however it is up to state and territory governments to roll out the three steps when they see fit.

“States will and must move at their own pace, and will cut and paste out of this plan to suit their local circumstances,” Scott Morrison said on Friday.

Some parts of Australia have already gone ahead and eased restrictions, while others have have remained firm on not relaxing anything just yet.

Mr Morrison also said stage one of the three step plan does not start on “day one”, with each stage having roughly a three-week time frame and a review before progressing to the next stage.

Foreground L-R: Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Phil Gaetjens, Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, speak with (on screen L-R) Jim McDowell, Chief Executive of the South Australia Department of Premier and Cabinet, Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian and Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan during a National Cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders to discuss the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the government's response at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, May 1, 2020. (AAP Image/SMH Pool, Alex Ellinghausen) NO ARCHIVING
The National Cabinet finalised the details of Australia's way out of coronavirus restrictions. Source: AAP

Victoria announces no changes today

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters not to expect changes today, tomorrow or Sunday.

“The rules remain in place,” Mr Andrews said on Friday afternoon.

However, he did say come Monday, Victorians will have a clearer understanding of what to expect in the coming weeks and when the state government will enforces stage one of the national plan.

“On Monday, and indeed throughout next week, I will have a series of announcements to make about changes to the rules,” he said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced changes to Victoria's coronavirus lockdown measures will revealed on Monday. Source: AAP
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced changes to Victoria's coronavirus lockdown measures will revealed on Monday. Source: AAP

“Those rules – will not be all the rules going, and it won't necessarily be that the moment I announce something a change happens right then.”

He reiterated even by the end of May there will still be restrictions in place.

“And they're there for a good reason,” he said,

“They're not there for me. They're there for your safety.”

He did acknowledge he understood the restrictions were “frustrating” but said Victoria was “getting very close” to taking steps to ease restrictions.

Queensland set to ease restrictions next week

Unlike Victoria, Queensland has already eased some restrictions and plans to move forward with “step one” on Saturday, May 16.

Come Saturday next week, Queenslanders will be allowed to have gatherings in line with the federal government’s plan.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced it would mean from May 16 gatherings in homes can include a maximum of five people, and up to 10 people will be allowed to congregate in public outdoor areas like parks, pools and playgrounds.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the state will relax restrictions next weekend. Source: AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the state will relax restrictions next weekend. Source: AAP

She also announced some “good news for all the ladies out there”, or men, with some beauty therapies across the state reopening for business.

Nail salons will be allowed to operate with 10 people inside the premises, however, no walk-ins, all appointments must be pre-booked and must take people’s names and details and have a “COVID-safe” plan in place.

Recreational day trips will also be allowed, with Queenslanders able to travel 150km from their home.

Outdoor gymnasiums and parks will be opened with a maximum of 10 people, and public pools and lagoons will also be reopened.

Fishing is now allowed in Queensland after restrictions due to the COVID-19 disease and coronavirus pandemic have eased. Source: AAP
Fishing is now allowed in Queensland after restrictions due to the COVID-19 disease and coronavirus pandemic have eased. Source: AAP

“We need to make sure those big lagoons are operating and they need to have an approved plan for numbers greater than 10,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Weddings will now be allowed to have 10 guests and indoor funerals can have up to 20 people, or 30 if the funeral is outdoors.

However, for Queenslanders in rural areas, the rules will differ.

“For outback Queensland, the mayors have been onto me and I have to acknowledge that this is a different situation to the rest of Queensland because there are no quarantine cases in the outback,” she said.

“We will allow dining in pubs and cafes [in rural Queensland] of up to 20 people.”

Those in the outback will also be allowed to travel up to 500km for recreational day trips, but must remain in rural areas.

Queensland is also hoping to get some sort of tourism going by school holidays, if the numbers are low come July, travel may be open up completely within the state.

NSW has already listed ‘number of restrictions’

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has released a statement welcoming the framework set by the federal government.

“This framework provides a clear pathway to what citizens can look forward to in coming months,” the statement said.

“The NSW Government has already eased a number of restrictions listed under the first stage of the plan.”

However, as Ms Berejiklian indicated previously, restrictions will not be eased before the weekend.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said restrictions will not ease before this weekend. Source: AAP
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said restrictions will not ease before this weekend. Source: AAP

“There will be no further change to restrictions in NSW this week,” the statement continues.

“NSW will continue to keep our citizens updated on our path forward.”

The current restrictions in place in NSW allow for two adults and their dependent children to attend another household of multiple residents.

It is also clear NSW, which has had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 will take a cautious approach when relaxing restrictions.

South Australia lifting restrictions on Monday

Coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on Monday in South Australia, outdoor dining, community centres and sports training will be able to resume.

In almost all cases, gatherings will be limited to 10 people at a time, however, South Australia will allow up to 20 people to attend a funeral indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

South Australians were allowed gatherings of up to 10 people throughout the restrictions.

"Life as we know it will never be the same. But we have come a long way in the last eight weeks," Premier Steven Marshall said.

South Australia will move to stage one next week. Source: Getty
South Australia will move to stage one next week. Source: Getty

Public libraries and swimming pools will be reopened, and like Queensland, open house inspections and auctions will be able to resume.

Universities and Tafe classes will return to face-to-face, and regional travel will be permitted.

Step two is slated to roll out in South Australia on June 8.

Tasmania to ease restrictions in coming weeks

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has outlined how the island state will ease restrictions in the coming weeks, starting Monday.

From May 11, 20 people will be allowed at funerals, from Monday, one visit per week, of no more than two people will be allowed in aged care facilities.

Residents will be allowed to visit National parks and reserves for exercise, however residents are only allowed to travel 30km to visit parks and reserves.

Mr Gutwein also spoke of how students will return to school, with facilities reopening for some students for practical learning and assessment sessions, kindergarten to Year 6 students will be able to return to school on May 25.

"Year 11 and 12 students at extension schools and colleges will return to learning at school as well," the premier said.

Other remaining year groups will return on June 9.

He also gave a timeframe for when Tasmania will being stage one of the process.

“Stage I of the process will begin on the following Monday, 18 May and again, subject to public health advice, stage I gatherings will increase to 10 people for both indoor and outdoor activities,” he said.

“Including real estate sales, small religious gatherings and weddings, funerals will be able to extend up to 30 people outdoors.”

Five people will be able to gather at homes after May 18, opposed to the current two.

“Restaurants and cafes in all settings including in restaurants and pubs, clubs, hotels and RSL clubs, may open for up to 10 people at a time,” Mr Gutwein added.

“There will only be seated table service and social distancing will need to continue.”

Community and local government facilities and libraries, will reopen, with ten people allowed inside, as will parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms.

Tasmania will move to ease restrictions on May 11, and then allowing for five people to visit a household. Source: AAP
Tasmania will move to ease restrictions on May 11, and then allowing for five people to visit a household. Source: AAP

Boot camps will be allowed to have 10 people under stage one resections.

Tasmania was one of the regions in Australia to close its borders to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Our border controls will remain in place, excepting that in stage I, posted 18 May, Tasmanian residents returning to Tasmania will be able to quarantine in their principal residence, if it is suitable,” the premier said.

Gatherings will increase to 20 people at both indoors and outdoor on June 15, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas, museums, galleries, historic sites, religious gatherings and weddings.

At that stage the premier expects funerals will be able to have 50 attendees.

Northern Territory pushing ahead with own plan

The Northern Territory will push ahead with their own plan for lifting restrictions in wake of the new national measures.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner indicated the Territory would push ahead with its own three-stage approach that will remove most restrictions on business and community activities by early June.

The NT's changes began last weekend with parks reopening and outdoor weddings and funerals allowed along with real estate inspections and auctions.

From May 15, stage two will allow for the reopening of restaurants, cafes, and bars as long as people purchase food.

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Non-contact sports can also start, and indoor activities will be allowed for those of less than two hours.

That includes beauty salons, gyms, libraries and places of religious worship.

The third and final stage for the Northern Territory will start from June 5.

Stage three will remove the two-hour limit on indoor activities, and allow the reopening of bars and clubs without food being compulsory.

Entertainment venues and cinemas will also reopen and team sports such as football and netball will be allowed.

Businesses are required to complete a safety plan to ensure physical distancing and good hygiene.

Internal borders will remain in place until June 18, if not, possibly longer, this includes restricting access to areas that include indigenous communities.

Northern Territory was the first Australian region to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Source: AAP
Northern Territory was the first Australian region to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Source: AAP

ACT rolls back restrictions tonight

The ACT will ease restrictions at midnight tonight, with up to 10 people will be able to gather indoors or outdoors.

A bride, groom and celebrant will be allowed to be joined by up to 10 guests and indoor funerals will be allowed to have 20 mourners, 30 at outdoor funerals.

Religious ceremonies and places of worship allowed up to 10 people, as will outdoor boot camps, non-contact fitness activities, real estate open houses and auctions.

ACT will look to reopen playgrounds, outdoor fitness areas, libraries, BBQ areas and other community facilities in the coming weeks.

Relaxing restrictions on businesses, swimming pools and community sport are all expected to follow soon.

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Western Australia to announce plan on Sunday

Western Australia is yet to outline what the next few weeks will bring, however it is expected all will be revealed on Sunday, May 10.

The state previously lifted the limit on how many guests a household can host, currently 10 people are allowed to visit another household at a time, five more than what the federal government outlined.

The state previously had the two-person rule.

Speaking before the national cabinet meeting on Friday, Premier Mark McGowan said WA could be more "economically progressive" than other states and relax more restrictions.

Interstate borders were previously introduced, and re-opening at least some intrastate borders is a possibility to help boost the local economy.

Mr McGowan did remain firm on his stance on interstate travel.

The premier said he would need to be confident there were "very low or virtually zero" infections on the east coast before re-opening WA's border.

- with AAP

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