As we enter a new month and a new financial year, many parts of the country are easing COVID-19 restrictions. But not in Victoria and not in relation to visits from Victorians.
From 10 July, all visitors – except those from Victoria, whether they hail from coronavirus hotspots or not – will be welcome to cross Queensland and South Australia’s borders.
They will be required to fill out declaration forms stating they have not been to Victoria in the 14 days before arriving in Queensland, with a $4000 fine awaiting transgressors.
And due to the spike in positive cases in Melbourne – now being partially linked to its hotel quarantine program – all flights into the city are being diverted to other cities. Between last Thursday and Tuesday, authorities detected 233 new coronavirus cases. NSW had five new virus infections on Tuesday and Western Australia had two, with both being overseas travellers.
Some states and territories are further relaxing coronavirus restrictions from July. Here’s what you should know.
New South Wales
The number of people in indoor venues is determined by the one person per four square metre rule and amusement and entertainment centres are allowed to reopen under the rule. Cultural and sporting events, held at outdoor venues that can hold up to 40,000 people, are allowed 25 per cent of their normal capacity. Also:
- up to 20 people can visit a household
- weddings can have up to 20 guests
- funerals can have up to 50 people
- religious gatherings or churches can have up to 50 people
- outdoor equipment can be used with caution
- outdoor pools can open with restrictions.
- salons providing nail, waxing, tanning and beauty services can have up to 20 customers (or one customer per four square metres)
- property inspections are permitted
- libraries, galleries and museums can open
- travel within NSW is permitted.
Queensland is looking to ease more restrictions from 10 July, allowing up to 100 people in homes and public spaces as well as venues including indoor cinemas, restaurants, cafes, pubs, nightclubs, outdoor amusement parks and places of worship.
- restaurants, cafes and pubs can have up to 20 people
- some beauty therapies and nail salons open for up to 20 people at a time
- libraries, playground equipment, skate parks and outdoor gyms open for up to 20 people at a time
- up to 20 people allowed at weddings
- up to 100 people allowed at funerals
- open homes and auctions with up to 20 people
- up to 20 people allowed at public pools, non-contact indoor and outdoor community sport, public spaces allowed.
- up to 20 people allowed at museums, art galleries, historic sites, parks and on playground equipment
- up to 20 people at places of worship
- up to 20 people at indoor cinemas, amusement parks, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums
- up to 20 people allowed in homes
- unlimited travel throughout Queensland.
Victoria has had a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, causing it to roll back plans to lift some restrictions.
As a result, from 11.59pm on Wednesday until at least 29 July, residents in 10 postcodes – 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060, 3064 – are in lockdown and may leave their homes for only four reasons: for work or school, for care or caregiving, for exercise, or to get food and other essentials.
Plans to increase the number of people allowed in restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses to 50 people will remain at a maximum of 20 until at least 12 July.
The number of people allowed to gather at homes is five.
Other rules include:
- 10 people at outdoor gatherings
- 20 guests at weddings in addition to the celebrant
- 50 attendees at a funeral
- 20 people at places of worship
- 20 people at outdoor gyms, playgrounds and in outdoor group sports
- 20 people in libraries
- 20 people at galleries, museums, zoos, historic sites, outdoor amusement parks
- beauty services such as tanning, waxing and nail salons can have up to 20 customers
- travellers can stay at holiday homes, tourist accommodation, caravan parks and camping grounds.
South Australia entered step three of lifting restrictions on 29 June. This allows social distancing inside venues to drop to one person per two square metres.
South Australians can be involved in public activities such as sports, indoor public meetings, ceremonies or auctions so long as they adhere to the one person per two square metre rule.
Pubs were opened in May and stage three restrictions are already in place. These permit:
- licensed gaming activities
- playing team sports
- going to the cinema, theatre, nightclub or other similar entertainment venue
- going to an amusement park or community centre
- beauty therapy, cosmetics services, tattoo parlours and the like to operate
- attending an arena, stadium or sporting facility, but a COVID-19 safety plan is required if there are more than 500 people.
Western Australia is now into phase four of lifting its restrictions with all existing gathering limits removed and instead determined by the two square metre rule. Here’s what’s allowed:
- no seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed venues
- no need for a patron register
- all events are allowed, except for large-scale music festivals
- live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs can have performances
- gyms can operate with regular cleaning
- major sporting and entertainment venues have a 50 per cent capacity rule
- businesses must ensure they have a COVID safety plan.
Australian Capital Territory
All public gatherings – except for the hospitality industry – have the one person per four square metre rule up to a maximum of 100 people.
For cafés, restaurants and other hospitality venues, it’s a 100-person limit or one person per four square metre rule, depending on which is less.
Bars, pubs and clubs can serve alcohol to groups of 10 people without a meal.
The four square metre rule applies to cinemas, theatres, indoor amusement centres and betting agencies up to 100 staff.
The four square metre rule (up to 100 people) also applies to other venues including gyms, weddings and funerals, beauty services and community sporting activities.
Tasmania is under stage three restrictions, where up to 20 people are allowed in a home, not including those who already live there.
There is a one person per two square metre rule, with a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors
Some businesses, including indoor amusement parks, saunas, garage sales, zoos, stadiums and markets, have reopened.
Nightclubs are allowed for seated alcohol service only.
Activities where you don’t sit – such as karaoke, dancing, playing pool or darts – aren’t allowed in venues where alcohol is sold.
In other news, deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly says it “may be useful” for Victorian health authorities to rethink their mask advice strategy.
Premier Daniel Andrews has been reluctant to say Melburnians in hotspot areas should wear face masks in public settings.
The latest worldwide tally is 10.3 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 500,000 deaths.
On the international travel front, the European Union wants Australians to start travelling again and has created its first ‘safe list’ of 14 countries – Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Are you preparing to hit the road again? What extra precautions would you take?
If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.