First Aussie states to lift restrictions


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced some of the state’s strict isolation measures would be relaxed on Saturday, May 2.

Speaking with reporters Sunday, Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders would be able to shop for non-essential items, go driving and have picnics.

They will also be allowed to meet with people not from their households and travel within 50km of their home.

Western Australian Premier Mack McGowan followed suit, announcing today that it would relax the two-person limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings from tomorrow, Monday, April 27. Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather for non-work activities, as the state recorded another day of no new COVID-19 cases.

A woman walks her dog past a closed beach at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast. Queensland will be the first state to start relaxing some of its social distancing measures. Picture: AAP / Dave HuntSource:AAP

QUEENSLAND

The Premier stressed the changes were minor and that if Queenslanders did not act sensibly, the restrictions would be enforced again.

“I know these sound like strict rules, everyone, but we are in different times and I’m trying to be flexible and listen to what the public is saying,” she said.

“So, if you are over 65 or over 70, and I know it’s really difficult for people being at home for long extended periods of time, I would suggest going for a drive during the week, Monday-Friday. Because on the weekends, it’s family time, and you won’t be in contact with children who are either being home schooled or the children of essential workers who are at school.”

She also explained that families would be able to have picnics, or if you are single, you can go with one other person.

“You will be able to go shopping for non-essential items like clothes and shoes. So at the moment, people are going out for essential items like going to the pharmacy and going to the grocery store,” she said. “Well, you will now be able to go to get a pair of shoes or to get a new shirt.

“But once again, we don’t want you spending hours in those shopping areas. It’s about making your list and going there, getting what you need and then coming home.

“Also, you’ll be able to go to national parks. We’ll be reopening our national parks, but the day use areas will not be open, nor will the toilets.”

Queensland was the first Australian state to relax COVID-19 restrictions after recording just three new cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

There are now 1030 cases in Queensland.

Though national parks will be reopened in Queensland, day use areas and amenities will remain closed. Picture: AAP/David Clark.

Though national parks will be reopened in Queensland, day use areas and amenities will remain closed. Picture: AAP/David Clark.Source:News Corp Australia

Here is what you need to know about Queensland’s plans.

WHEN:

• It starts 11.59pm Friday, so effectively people will be free to move around on Saturday onwards for recreational purposes.

HOW FAR CAN I TRAVEL?:

• Travel has been restricted to 50km from your place of residence to prevent mass movement of people between cities and towns.

ARE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES RELAXED?:

• Definitely not. Social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene must be maintained and if it’s not adhered to, stay-at-home restrictions could return.

• All other rules on gatherings, including limitations on the number of people who can visit a household, remain in place

CAN I CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS OR JUST FAMILY?

• Only members of the same household are permitted to gather in public, so it’s not a chance to party in a park.

WHAT CAN I DO?

• You’re allowed to go for a drive for up to 50km for your home

• You’re permitted to ride a motorbike, jetski or even spend time on a boat for pleasure

• Shopping for non-essential items is also allowed but it does not mean the business you are visiting will be allowed to open

• You can have a picnic with a family or visit a national park but be mindful toilet facilities will NOT be open.

WHEN WILL THEY BE REVIEWED

• The Queensland Government will review COVID-19 restrictions again in a fortnight.

Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright.

Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright.Source:AAP

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Premier Mark McGowan said it was a “cautious relaxation” of restrictions, acknowledging it had been difficult for everyone, but especially the elderly, to not see family and friends during the pandemic.

“We need to remember we remain in a state of emergency,” he told reporters on Sunday. “I strongly encourage that everyone must continue to practice appropriate social distancing.

“We need to be patient. We need to be careful. We can’t let our guard down on social distancing and good personal hygiene. We cannot slip.

“That’s why our borders will remain shut for a long period of time. Our numbers may be low but we need to keep it that way.”

Western Australia has confirmed a total of 549 coronavirus cases, but only 55 remain active.

There are currently 16 people in Perth hospitals, including four in intensive care.

Health minister Roger Cook said all cases in the Kimberley region, where there is a significant population of vulnerable indigenous people, have recovered.

Here is what you need to know about Western Australia’s plans.

WHEN:

• The new measures kick in from tomorrow, April 27.

HOW FAR CAN I TRAVEL?:

• Travel restrictions remain the same.

ARE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES RELAXED?:

• Not quite yet. Premier Mark McGowan strongly recommended people maintain social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene.

• A maximum of 10 people will be allowed at weddings (an increase from the five person limit), funerals, outdoor personal training (no shared equipment), open homes and display village inspections.

• Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will stay closed, while food outlets remain restricted to takeaway.

CAN I CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS OR JUST FAMILY?

• Only members of the same household are permitted to gather

WHAT CAN I DO?

• You’re allowed to go shopping for what you need, such as food or other necessary supplies

• You’re permitted venture out for medical or health care needs (including compassionate requirements)

• You can have private picnics in the park, as well as go boating, fishing hiking and camping (as long as travel restrictions and the 10-person rule is applied)

• You’re allowed to continue training or university study, where remote learning is unavailable

• You can still leave home to visit childcare, school or work

WHEN WILL THEY BE REVIEWED

• The Western Australian Government said the restrictions “could be in place for six months, but are subject to “regular review”.





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