Your guide to COVID-19 restrictions

Australia’s coronavirus restrictions vary state by state. Here’s who you can gather with and where you can go.

New South Wales
From Friday 15 May, the following will be allowed in NSW:

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • cafes and restaurants seating 10 patrons at any one time
  • up to five visitors to a household at any one time
  • weddings up to 10 guests
  • indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers
  • use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • outdoor pools open with restrictions.

Travel: You must stay at home, unless you are going to:

  • work (where you can’t work remotely)
  • school or an educational institution
  • shop for food and essentials
  • get medical care or supplies
  • exercise.

Schools: From Monday 11 May, students will attend school one day a week. The aim is to increase the days in a “staged way” and have children back at school full-time by term three in mid-July.

Victoria
From midnight 12 May, Victorians observing safe social distancing can:

  • host up to five visitors in their homes
  • participate in outdoor activities, with up to 10 people
  • attend indoor funerals of up to 20 mourners
  • attend essential community meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in groups of up to 10.

There remain only five reasons for Victorians to leave home:

  • visiting family or friends (no more than five visitors in one home)
  • to get medical assistance or give medical care to a loved one
  • for exercise
  • to get essential supplies such as food
  • to attend work or education if you can’t do so from home.

Travel: Victorians can travel freely, but they cannot stay overnight camping, in caravan parks or hotels, so their movements are effectively limited.

Schools: Victorian schools remain open only for those who cannot stay at home, until 31 May. There will then be a “gradual staged return of face-to-face learning”.

Victoria’s measures will be reviewed on 31 May, when it is expected that cafes and restaurants may be permitted to open in some form. Those who can work from home are being urged to do so until further easing of restrictions is canvassed.

Queensland
Queensland has a three-step plan to ease restrictions.

From Saturday 16 May, under stage one, you can:

  • attend a gathering of up to 10 people in a public space
  • visit cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs and RSLs (up to 10 patrons at a time)
  • visit some beauty therapies and nail salons (up to 10 people at a time)
  • go to libraries, playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms (up to 10 people at a time)
  • visit public pools and lagoons such as Cairns or Airlie Beach (up to 10 people at a time or greater numbers with an approved plan)
  • attend weddings of up to 10 guests
  • attend indoor funerals of up to 20 mourners, or outdoor funerals of up to 30
  • attend open homes and auctions (up to 10 people at a time)
  • if you live in outback Queensland, you can dine at pubs and cafes (up to 20 for locals only).

Travel: You can travel up to 150km from your home for day trips. If you live in outback Queensland, you can travel up to 500km from home.

School: On 11 May, kindergarten, prep, years 1, 11 and 12 return to school.On 15 May,an assessment of restrictions may lead to further changes. On 25 May, it is proposed that remaining students return to school.

The stage two easing of restrictions in Queensland is planned to start 12 June, when gatherings of up to 20 people would be allowed. Stage three is proposed to begin on 10 July and may see a maximum of 100 people allowed to gather in homes and public spaces.

Western Australia
From Monday 18 May, you can:

  • attend indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people
  • visit restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, community clubs, hotels, and casinos (up to 20 patrons)
  • attend indoor funerals of up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • attend indoor weddings of up to 20 guests, outdoor weddings up to 30.

Travel: You cannot enter Western Australia unless an exemption has been granted. There are also restrictions on internal travel, with the state divided into nine regions. Travel between regions is not permitted without an exemption. Exemptions apply for:

  • people travelling to work
  • attending medical appointments
  • transporting freight
  • those who do not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
  • returning to a place of residence
  • attending school or an educational institution where necessary
  • caring for family members
  • compassionate grounds.

Schools: Western Australian public schools are open for term two for all parents and carers who choose to send their children to school. For students who learn from home, distance education packages and resources will be provided, and schools will contact them weekly to give feedback on work package completion. Where schools can provide online support and teaching for students at home, this will be implemented. Where online delivery is not practical, hard copy resources will be provided to students not at school.

South Australia
From Monday 11 May, you can:

  • attend auctions and open inspections of up to 10 people at a time, excluding staff
  • dine outside at cafes and restaurants of up to 10 patrons at a time
  • visit caravan parks and camping grounds in groups limited to 10 people
  • visit community halls, club rooms and youth centres, in groups limited to 10 people
  • visit public swimming pools (maximum of 10 people at a time) with guidelines
  • attend weddings with a maximum of 10 guests
  • attend indoor funerals of up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • go to libraries (up to 10 people at a time)
  • attend places of worship (up to 10 people at a time)
  • play outdoor sport, but it must be non-contact and limited to 10 people.

Travel: From 11 May, South Australians can travel freely around their state.

Schools: Schools, preschools and early childhood services are open. The education department has urged parents to send their children to school but accepts that they are not obliged to do so.

ACT
From Saturday 16 May, you can:

  • attend an indoor or outdoor gathering of up to 10 people (including residents of a home, so if six people live together, four others can visit at a time)
  • attend outdoor fitness boot camps of up to 10 people, but gym equipment should not be shared
  • attend open homes and auctions (up to 10 people at a time)
  • Attend a wedding of up to 10 guests.

Travel: There are no restrictions on travel within the ACT. Canberrans should only travel outside of the Canberra region to visit family and friends for the purpose of providing care and support. 
School: Public schools will return to on-campus learning in stages over the coming four weeks from Monday 18 May (week three of term 2) to Tuesday 2 June (week 6 of term 2).

Tasmania
From Monday 11 May, you can:

  • visit aged care facilities with one another person once per week
  • attend indoor funerals of up to 20 mourners
  • attend TasTAFE campuses and training facilities in small groups of students by invitation only.

Travel: Tasmanians can visit national parks and reserves within 30km of their home to exercise. All non-essential travellers entering Tasmania must be in quarantine for 14 days.

School: From 25 May, primary school students will return to school, as well as year 11 and 12 students. From 9 June, high school students from year 7 to 10 will also return to school.

Stage two begins on 15 June, when gatherings can include up to 20 people

From 18 May, Tasmania will move to stage one, which will mean indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, up to five visitors to a home, and up to 10 people inside restaurants, cafe and other venues.

Northern Territory
From noon on Friday 15 May, you can:

  • eat and drink at shopping centre food courts
  • visit restaurants and cafes
  • visit beauty therapies for (non-facial) services, such as nails and tanning
  • visit art galleries, museums, public memorials, historic sites, or zoos
  • visit bars, sports bars and RSL clubs
  • attend group sports training
  • visit indoor markets
  • attend yoga, Pilates, Zumba, barre or dance classes
  • visit libraries, toy libraries or indoor playgrounds
  • attend places of religious worship.

Travel: Remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT) were closed to all non-essential travel. People cannot enter ‘designated areas’ around Australia except in the following circumstances:

  • you can complete the traveller health information on the designated area compliance form and:
  • you are an approved remote essential area worker (and hold an approved remote area workers (AREW) ID card) or
  • have an exemption from an authorised person (and can provide evidence of this exemption at the checkpoint) or
  • you are a resident within the designated area and can provide evidence to prove you have completed 14 days’ quarantine.

School: Unless a school contacts parents directly with alternative arrangements, children are to physically attend school. Exceptions can be made for parents who have informed the school their child will be learning from home.

Are you happy with the gradual relaxation of the self-isolation rules? Are you noticing more and more people disregarding the rules?

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Written by Will Brodie

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