More restrictions eased

The lockdown is working. The curve is flattening and some states and territories are starting to relax their coronavirus restrictions even more.

But again, it seems, we’re either so excited to break out of isolation or we can’t be trusted to do the right thing with the liberties we’ve been granted.

Police in Queensland ordered some people home after social distancing rules were ignored on the first weekend of eased restrictions.

The relaxed rules in Queensland allows people to drive up to 50 kilometres away from their homes and to have picnics and go boating and hiking, so long as they move only with other people in their household and maintain strict social distancing measures.

But popular spots were described by some as “busier than a shopping centre”, according to a News Limited report.

Most beaches around the country are still closed. At those that are open, authorities have urged Australians not to gather in masses, just because they can.

West Australians can now head to local beaches with up to nine friends. The rules for beach visits in Queensland are the same – only local beaches and only with people with whom you live.

North Territorians can visit the beach for boating and sailing, and can swim in lakes, rivers and natural pools, exercise outdoors and go fishing.

You can surf at your local beach in Tasmania, and if a beach is open in Victoria (many are still closed), you can visit for exercise provided social distancing is maintained.

In NSW, Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches have reopened but are closed on the weekends, with warnings that they will shut again if rules are broken.

Most national parks, as well as barbecue facilities, drinking fountains, picnic spaces, rotundas, toilets, viewing platforms and visitor information centres are still closed until further notice in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania.

Most national parks in South Australia are open for locals, so long as social distancing measures are followed. The same applies in Western Australia, which is also starting to reopen campgrounds within national parks, state forests and reserves.

Queensland reopened some national parks and recreational spaces on the weekend, as did the Northern Territory, but with some restrictions in place for designated biosecurity areas.

Some parks and reserves in the Australian Capital Territory parks are open but will be closed if people don’t follow the rules.

Most campgrounds around the country are restricted or closed.

Picnics and exercise is now allowed in parks in some states. In Queensland, with members of your family or with one other person; in SA, with a recommended two people but up to 10 are allowed; in the NT and the ACT for group exercise, non-contact outdoor sports; and outdoor gatherings of 10 people also now allowed in WA.

Victorian parks can be used for brief, socially distanced exercise only, and play equipment, water bubblers and picnic tables are a no-go.

Parks in NSW are open for exercise, and outdoor gatherings are to be limited to two people.

Tasmania has completely closed all reserves and national parks for recreational use.

Playgrounds are off limits in most states, except in the NT.

While restrictions have eased, domestic travel is still prohibited, in most cases not even to visit holiday homes.

In Tasmania and Victoria, however, you may visit your holiday home if you plan to stay isolated.

You’re allowed to travel internally in the ACT, and families can start to visit other families, but interstate holidays are not allowed.

Essential travel is allowed in NSW, SA, the NT and in WA.

Borders should not be crossed without an essential reason.

Driving in Queensland is allowed so long as you’re not going further than 50 kilometres from home.

Essential travel is allowed anywhere within SA. In the ACT, travel into NSW to visit family and friends is allowed, but visitors will be subject to the tougher rules in NSW.

Victoria is still ruling all non-essential car trips “irresponsible”, with driving allowed only for essential activity specified in the state’s health directions, and not with anyone who lives outside your household. The same applies in Tasmania.

Some aged care facilities are still in lockdown and won’t accept any visitors, while visits to others may now be allowed, but under controlled conditions.

You may only visit a facility if you have an up-to-date flu vaccine. And if you show any signs of sickness – even minor signs – you will not be permitted to enter an aged care facility.

Children may not be allowed to enter and there may be time limits and a limit on the number of people allowed in at any one time.

Visits will most likely need to be arranged in advance and may take place in a quarantined area cleaned before and after each visit.

You may not visit if you’ve returned from overseas in the past two weeks or have come into contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Golf is again permitted in Tasmania, so long as the two-person rule is applied. Some courses are open in all states and territories – except Victoria – so long as social distancing measures are followed.

Non-contact, non-collision sports are allowed in WA and in the NT, as is tennis in SA, so long as the group isn’t larger than 10 people and with social distancing rules applied.

All nail salons, beauty therapy, spas, massage and tattoo parlours have been advised to stay closed until further notice.

Fishing is permitted in the NT. Same goes in Queensland, so long as you’re not more then 50 kilometres from home. It’s also allowed in WA so long as it complies with travel restrictions and there’s no more than 10 people to a group.

Fishing could be classified as exercise in NSW, so long as people comply with the two-person rule. In SA, it is recommended that you don’t go fishing, but if you do go, stay close to home and follow social distancing directions.

Socially distanced fishing and boating is permitted in Tasmania for exercise and recreation in some locations, but not in national parks and reserves.

Fishing and water sports are not permitted in Victoria.

Two adults and their children are again allowed to visit another household in NSW. In Queensland, it is a hard two-person limit, but in South Australia, it is recommended that you can have two visitors at a time but up to 10 are allowed. Ten people at a time are also allowed to gather at homes in WA and the NT.

A two-person rule applies to all non-essential indoor and outdoor gatherings in the ACT, but children will no longer be counted so ‘playdates’ can now occur.

You can’t go to another household for a ‘social visit’ in Tasmania and Victoria.

Pubs and cafés will remain closed for sit-down business in all states and territories.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated that some other strict restrictions will be lifted by the end of the week, with Australians earning an “early mark” for their part in controlling the spread of COVID-19 throughout the nation.

Which restrictions are you most looking forward to being lifted?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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