What you can and can't do under Australia's new coronavirus restrictions

Josh Dutton
News Reporter

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced tighter restrictions for Australia amid a surge in coronavirus cases. As of Monday afternoon, more than 2000 people across the country are confirmed to have the deadly virus.

It’s also killed eight people.

Can I go overseas?

Australians initially had a warning not to travel overseas but this has since been updated to a full travel ban.

“Using the biosecurity powers that were afforded to us by the Governor-General through the Minister for Health, now, the numbers of Australians going overseas has reduced dramatically,” Mr Morrison said.

“There will be exceptions to these rules which will be set out in the directive that will be provided but this would include people involved in aid work in the Pacific and the support we're providing. It may involve compassionate travel and essential travel for employment, things of that nature.”

The PM added the number of people currently leaving Australia is “very, very low”.

People arrive at Sydney's international airport. Travellers from overseas will now have to self-isolate for 14 days. Source: Getty Images

Can I travel interstate?

Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania have or will close their borders.

Non-essential domestic travel has been discouraged.

Queensland's borders will be closed at midnight on Wednesday in a bid to halt COVID-19 spreading across the state. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on social media on Monday.

It will mean people entering the state, particularly those returning from holiday or interstate travel, must isolate themselves for 14 days.

Officials are working out the finer details of who it will apply to and how it will be regulated, which will be released on Tuesday.

Victoria's borders will remain open for now, as the state government introduces tougher measures to contain the coronavirus. 

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed Victoria's borders with NSW and SA will remain open, despite moves by other states to close theirs. 

"I'm not interested in closing our borders I don't think that makes a lot of sense for us," he told reporters.

The premier said if people follow the latest restrictions, including on non-essential travel, the borders could remain open.

"If social distancing is applied, if people use common sense, act in their interest in and the interest of everybody else, instead of acting in a selfish way, then I don't think we need to get to the point (of shutting borders)," Mr Andrews said

South Australia and Western Australia will effectively close their borders in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

SA Premier Steven Marshall announced on Sunday that anyone entering the state would be subject to a mandatory 14-day isolation period.

The new measures will take effect immediately but will be supported by border control from 4pm on Tuesday.

They will not affect the state's essential services, including health workers, patients and freight and food supply services.

"We do not make this decision lightly but we have no choice," Mr Marshall told reporters

Can I go to live sporting events?

A small crowd watches Super Rugby in Brisbane on Saturday. Source: Getty Images

The NRL suspended its 2020 season on Monday night in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The AFL have been shut down until May 31, with the AFLW also being called off.

The A-League and the NBL has shut down completely.

Super Rugby has also been suspended to the foreseeable future.

Most local sporting competitions have been postponed or cancelled too.

Can I go to the supermarket?

Yes, you can still go to the supermarket. 

On Wednesday, Mr Morrison said the government was banning “non-essential” indoor gatherings of 100 people.

Supermarkets remain open albeit with some offering different trading hours. Source: Getty Images

But this doesn’t apply to shopping centres as they are deemed essential.

Although some supermarkets have changed their opening hours due to high demand.

Australians have been told by the government to stand 1.5 metres away from each other in public to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Am I able to go to the movies?

Not any longer.

As of 12pm Monday cinemas are part of the 48-hour shutdown for non-essential services in Victoria, ACT and NSW in a drastic effort to stall the coronavirus outbreak.

Gyms, indoor sporting venues and entertainment venues are also included in the shutdown.

Cafes and restaurants have also been restricted to take away and home delivery only.

Can I go outside for walks?

If you’re in self-isolation, then no.

Otherwise, you’re fine to go outside as long as you practise good hygiene and social distancing.

Part of social distancing includes standing 1.5 metres away from another person.

Outdoor options are still on the cards so long as social distancing can be practiced. Source: Getty Images

Can I go to the beach and for a swim?

You are permitted to be outside in nature spots, including the beach, so long as you are able to remain at least 1.5 metres from other people, as explained by Melbourne doctor Andrew Davies.

“With social distancing you are allowed to be out in nature (if away from other people),” he wrote in a post to Facebook on Monday.

“Even if you need 14 days quarantining you can get some sun and some exercise in your backyard.”

Dr Davies said taking “a dip in the cold water” could help maximise immunity, which obviously was “something we all need”.

He encouraged the public to take part in the nature activity that best suited them, all while staying “socially distant and wellbeing focused”.

However, pools remain closed and a number of Sydney’s beaches remain shut too.

Can I get my haircut?

Mr Morrison said hairdressers and barbers will remain open.

“On top of that, to restrict the amount of time a patron is in the premise to no more than 30 minutes and preferably less,” he said.

Can I get a massage or have my nails done?

Beauty therapies won’t be available to Australian for the foreseeable future.

Can I go to the gym?

Gym-goers will have to find other ways to stay in shape.

Working out in the park or the backyard is still fine as long as social distancing advice is followed.

Mr Morrison said outdoor bootcamps will also be restricted to groups of 10 or less for the foreseeable future.

Gyms remain closed in Australia due to COVID-19. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

What’s open and what’s closed?

The Sydney Opera House has cancelled all pubic performances until June 17, the facility has said all ticket holders will be contacted to organise refunds.

It won’t be until April 13 that the National Gallery of Victoria reopens its doors.

Sydney’s Star Casino is closed.

Crown Casino has closed Melbourne and Perth too.

Brisbane's iconic XXXX Brewery will close tours for the time being. Source: AAP (file pic)

Brisbane’s XXXX Brewery’s alehouse and tours have shut up shop due to COVID-19.

Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art remains closed until further notice.

All hospitals remain open too but a number of major events have been cancelled.

I’m a student - can I go to class?

Mr Morrison said the advice from Australia’s health advisors was to keep schools open.

He pointed to Singapore, where schools have been kept open with its government able to curtail the spread of the virus.

Several private schools have however already closed down and concerned parents have started pulling their children out of class.

“I am telling you that, as a father, I'm happy for my kids to go to school,” Mr Morrison said in a bid to reassure the public.

While Victoria has made the decision to bring on school holidays early, NSW announced schools will remain open but parents are encouraged to keep children at home if they can.

Visiting people in aged care facilities

If you’re looking to visit an elderly relative in an aged care facility you’ll still be able to.

But Mr Morrison announced on Wednesday, only two people will be able to visit at a time and that includes doctors.

Anyone under the age of 16 won’t be able to visit except in exceptional circumstances.

The Prime Minister acknowledged it’s “difficult”.

From May 1, you’ll require an influenza vaccination to visit too.

—With AAP

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