It’s been a long few weeks, but Australians can now reap some rewards of life in lockdown with hard-won freedoms this weekend.
It comes after several states and territories relaxed their lockdown measures this week, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country could get an “early mark” if things continue to go according to plan.
Here’s what you can and can’t do this weekend.
Queenslanders can now travel up to 50 kilometres from their homes for recreational purposes, such as shopping or having a picnic
However, you can only travel with your household or with one other person who doesn’t live with you.
The new rule came into effect on Saturday and comes after weeks of strict stay-at-home orders.
“They can go on a picnic, they can go and do some shopping that isn’t essential. They can go and ride a motorbike and take a drive … but it’s really important that’s still with social distancing,” Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said on Thursday.
Police have warned they’ll be out in force over the weekend, particularly at beaches and parks, to make sure there are no large gatherings.
“Police will continue to patrol public spaces and residential areas to ensure there are no large gatherings and people are following the social-distancing rules,” State Disaster Coordinator Steve Gollschewski said on Wednesday.
Queenslanders can also have up to two visitors at their house.
NEW SOUTH WALES
New South Wales eased its restrictions on social contact on Friday.
Two adults (and any dependent children) are now allowed to visit another person’s home. However, visitors must still practise social distancing and good personal hygiene and take extra care when visiting vulnerable people.
“You shouldn’t go to someone’s home who is not well and you certainly shouldn’t be leaving your home if you’re not well,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
The state government said the new rule had been brought in to help reduce social isolation and improve mental health.
The two visitors can be from different households and there is no daily limit on how many visitors you can have over one day, but only two people are allowed at a time.
Bondi Beach will be open for swimmers and surfers over the weekend, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Victoria will remain under stage three restrictions this weekend, meaning residents must stay at home if they can.
You can leave your home to go to work, shop for food, pick up takeaways, and to exercise, but you cannot have friends over for social visits.
Visitors can only enter your home if they are providing you with care or support. If you live separately from your partner, you can still visit each other at home.
On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews said restrictions would not be eased before Mother’s Day on May 10. The state’s current state of emergency extends until May 11.
“We have to be patient and really clear about the fact we are all in this together and we have to stay the course,” Mr Andrews said.
“I’d ask Victorians to keep following the rules, keep staying at home.”
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
The ACT has made three big changes to its coronavirus restrictions, which are now in effect.
Firstly, families (two adults and their children) can now visit other families who live at another property.
You can also leave your home for non-essential shopping.
“It is OK to go shopping for items outside of what you would find in a supermarket,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said on Friday, but physical distancing must be maintained.
“This measure will support retail stores as they re-open,” he said in a statement.
“Many retailers voluntarily closed their doors to support community efforts to suppress the virus. Soon many will re-open and the community is encouraged to support them.”
Finally, travel restrictions have been eased to allow residents to travel outside of the Canberra region to visit family and friends in small groups.
“Canberrans should only travel while maintaining physical distancing,” Mr Barr said.
“As much as possible, travel outside of the Canberra region should be carefully considered, as someone bringing the virus into the Territory from interstate remains one of the biggest threats to the ACT.”
Tasmania has declared its deadly coronavirus outbreak largely under control, but restrictions are staying in place for now.
On Thursday, Premier Peter Gutwein said the current statewide restrictions would be reviewed in the lead up to May 15.
“I am hopeful that in coming weeks the advice from Public Health will be that we can begin loosening some restrictions, however this will only occur if the health risk is low,” he said.
The easing of restrictions will be “carefully phased” and may start with opening up the state’s green spaces, such as parks, reserves and recreation spaces, he said. Public gathering numbers may also be reviewed.
The additional restrictions that were put in place in state’s northwest three weeks ago, which forced the closure of non-essential retailers and schools, will be lifted from Monday.
The current coronavirus restrictions in South Australia still apply.
Premier Steven Marshall has said they will not be eased for at least another two weeks, because as the state’s Chief Public Health Officer has noted, they were never as strict as in other states.
“It’s worth bearing in mind that South Australia didn’t regulate to the same degree as many other states,” Professor Nicola Spurrier said.
That means this weekend you can continue to have indoor or outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, provided you stay 1.5 metres apart.
Mr Marshall has also encouraged South Australians to participate in non-contact sports, such as tennis, golf and lawn bowls.
“As long as you’re not using the change rooms and facilities and keep the numbers under 10, we’re encouraging people to get out and play,” he said.
Wineries, breweries and cellar doors can still provide takeaways.
The WA government relaxed some of its stage three restrictions earlier this week.
Up to 10 people are now allowed at indoor and outdoor social gatherings, including weddings and funerals and personal training sessions.
You can also now enjoy picnics in the park, fishing, boating, hiking and camping, as long as you stick to the 10-person rule and travel restrictions.
Campgrounds within national parks, reserves and State Forests are now open again, although campers can only visit those within their regional boundaries.
All public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms remain closed, and restaurants, cafes and food vans can still only operate for takeaway.
Stage one of the Northern Territory’s roadmap to recovery came into effect at noon on Friday.
Under the new rules, playgrounds, parks and campgrounds have been reopened, as well as public swimming pools, lagoons and water parks.
Territorians can now go fishing, boating and sailing with other people and play outdoor sports where physical distancing can be maintained, such as golf, tennis, shooting and bootcamps.
You can also have visitors over to your house, although health experts have warned you should keep guest numbers to a minimum. The previous 10-person limit no longer applies.
You must also continue to keep 1.5 metres away from others and maintain strict hygiene.
Outdoor weddings and funerals are also now permitted.
Stage two of the state’s recovery plan, which will see restaurants, pubs and cafes reopen, will come into effect on May 15.