Australia will become the envy of many around the world this weekend as it looks forward to life after lockdown.
Having recorded nearly 7000 coronavirus cases and 97 deaths, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a three step road map to freedom designed to get the country back on its feet.
However what people will be able to do in each part of the country and when is a matter for state and territory leaders to decide.
Before we get into how the lockdown will lift in your area, here’s a reminder of what the three steps will look like.
The government regards these “important first small steps” as key to connecting friends and family after weeks of isolation and allowing businesses to reopen.
Under this level, non-work gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, plus up to five visitors at home. People are urged to continue working from home if they can, while offices should develop a COVIDSafe plan and encourage staff to avoid using public transport at peak hour.
Childcare and schools will open according to state and territory plans. Universities and technical colleges will also increase face-to-face classes where possible. Retail stores can open and property services like auctions and open homes can resume with up to 10 people as long as contact details are recorded.
Cafes and restaurants can open for up to 10 people seated, but social distancing must be observed and food courts will remain takeaway only.
Indoor movie theatres, concerts, stadiums, galleries, museums, zoos, pubs, clubs, gaming venues, strip clubs and brothels will remain closed. Gyms will also stay shut while outdoor sport will be allowed for up to 10 people and pools will open with restrictions.
Hostels and hotels are open for accommodation and weddings may have up to 10 guests in addition to the couple and celebrant, while funerals can have up to 20 people indoors and 30 outdoors. Religious gatherings can also have 10 people.
Hairdressers and barbers can reopen, but beauty services, massages, saunas and tattoo parlours will be closed and each state will set their own travel restrictions.
The second stage will build on what is possible under step one, with a few more things allowed to open and the number of people allowed in many venues increased to 20. For example, non-work gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed and more businesses will open such as gyms, beauty services and entertainment venues.
The arrangements for work, childcare, schooling and retail shops will be the same, but 20 people will be allowed at auctions, in cafes and restaurants. Food courts are still closed to seated patrons, while indoor movie theatres, concert venues, galleries, museums and zoos can have up to 20 people.
Pubs, clubs, casinos, nightclubs and strip clubs will remain closed. But up to 20 people will be able to take part in indoor sport. Camping grounds and caravan parks will be allowed to open.
Weddings can have up to 20 people in addition to the couple and celebrant while funerals can have up to 50 people and religious ceremonies up to 20. Beauty therapy, massage, tattoo parlous can open with up to 20 people but saunas and bathhouses will be closed. Interstate travel will be up to states and territories to decide.
This takes things even further and is a commitment to reopening businesses “underpinned by COVIDSafe ways of living” the government said.
People will be able to have gatherings of up to 100 including at auctions, open homes, restaurants, cafes and food courts with the one person per four square metre rule applied.
Venues already open will also be allowed to have up to 100 people with consideration given to opening gaming rooms. Strip clubs and brothels will remain closed.
Weddings, funerals and religious services will be able to have up to 100 people, while restarting community sport will be considered. International travel and mass gatherings beyond 100 people will be restricted.
WHAT IS CHANGING IN YOUR STATE
While Australians can look forward to dining in a restaurant and playing outdoor sport again soon, many of the measures are not in play yet.
“States and territories are able to move between the steps on the pathway at different times, in line with their current public health situation and local conditions,” the Prime Minister said.
“They’ll need to maintain steady case numbers and be able to rapidly contain outbreaks, which we’re set to do – with our enhanced testing regime, strengthened health surge capacity, and improved ability to quickly identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.”
It’s also important to note each move will be underpinned social distancing rules and strict hygenie measures. Here’s what the outlook is like in your area.
In Victoria gatherings are banned and most businesses are closed except for bottle shops and those offering takeaway food. People are allowed to leave home for exercise, food shopping, essential goods, medical attention or working that can’t be done from home.
Those plans won’t change for now and Victorians will have to wait until next week to find out what’s coming next.
On Friday State Premier Daniel Andrews said: “Nothing changes today, nothing changes tomorrow, nothing changes Sunday,”
“The rules remain in place. Let’s not give everything back, let’s not throw away all the progress we’ve made by letting our frustration get the better of us.”
From Monday, a “series of announcement” will be made outlining the steps out of lockdown and providing clarity about the rest of the month will look like, but don’t expect the rules to be ditched.
“Even at the end of next week, even at the end of May, there will still be rules in place,” he said. “I know it’s frustrating … (but) we’re getting very close to making an important step to ease a range of these rules.”