- Australian states and territories are continuing to lift their coronavirus-related restrictions but Victoria has declared a State of Disaster.
- It comes after Prime Minister announced a three-step plan for easing restrictions in the country.
- Each state and territory has their own rules – which are listed below.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
Aussie states and territories are continuing to ease their coronavirus-related restrictions – but Victoria faces more challenges.
On May 8, Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a three step plan for how coronavirus restrictions will be eased in the coming months.
In the first stage, restaurants and cafes will open – allowing up to 10 guests – and non-essential travel will be permitted. The second phase allows gatherings of up to 20 people in places like gyms, beauty shops, cinemas and amusement parks – with some interstate travel allowed.
The third phase involves gatherings of up to 100 people, with the opening of nightclubs, food courts and saunas. Plus, all interstate travel would be allowed.
Victoria, however, has been faced with the country’s most stringent restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
We made a list of the rules which apply in each state and territory:
New South Wales
In New South Wales, the government is “strongly encouraging” residents to wear masks on public transport or in supermarkets where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing. Masks are also recommended for hospitality staff and in places of worship.
In July, the state government temporarily closed the NSW-Victoria border. However, the New South Wales government reinstated a border region that spans around 50km on either side of the border.
Residents within the wider border region will be allowed to go into NSW for work, to access education services (if they can’t already do it from where they are), get necessary goods and services and for care and compassionate reasons. And they’ll need a ‘border region resident’ permit to do so.
From Friday July 17, pubs are restricted to a maximum of 10 people per group booking. And they are restricted to 300 patrons or one customer per four square metres – whichever is less.
Overseas travellers entering the state will be charged for their hotel quarantine accommodation from Saturday July 18.
Amusement and entertainment centres can open. Cultural and sporting events held at outdoor venues that can hold up to 40,000 people, will only be allowed 25% of their normal capacity.
Here’s what else is allowed:
- Up to 20 people can visit a household
- No more than 20 people can gather in a public place
- Weddings, funerals and religious gatherings come under the on person per four square metre rule. The number of people in a place of worship must not be over 100 people, for weddings, the limit is 150 people
- Outdoor equipment can be used with caution
- Outdoor pools can open with restrictions
- Salons providing nail, waxing, tanning and beauty services can open
- Libraries, galleries and museums can open
- Travel within NSW is allowed
- Gyms must have a COVID-19 Safety Marshal at all times.
Queensland shut its border once again to people from New South Wales and the ACT from August 8. Any Queenslander returning home from those two jurisdictions will have to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Some local government areas in Queensland – such as Brisbane, Gold Coast and Ipswitch – have tighter restrictions, with gatherings limited to 10 people in homes public places, restrictions on visitors to aged care facilities and hospitals, and using PPE to treat all patients in hospitals and aged care centers.
Here’s what is currently permitted in the rest of Queensland under stage three of its roadmap to recovery:
- Up to 100 people allowed at weddings and funerals
- Up to 30 people allowed in homes
- The number of customers in a businesses depends on the one person per four square metres rule
- Venues smaller than 200 square metres can have one person per two square metres up to a 50 person maximum
- Museums, art galleries, historic sites have to follow the one person per four square metres rule
- Food courts, nightclubs, saunas, non theraputic massage places and casions can open
- Indoor and outdoor sports facilities can open
- For major sports facilities, up to 25,000 spectators or 50% of capacity is permitted (whichever is less)
- Theatres, concert venues and auditoriums can have up to 50% capacity or one person per four square metres
The spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria, caused state preimer Daniel Andrews to roll back plans to lift some of its restrictions.
Victoria was declared a State of Disaster, which gives police additional power to ensure residents comply with public health orders.
Face masks are mandatory throughout the state when residents leave their homes. While Melbourne is under stage four restrictions, regional Victoria is under stage three restrictions.
On Sunday, state premier Daniel Andrews announced extended restrictions for Melbourne and revealed a roadmap for the state’s reopening.
Here are the changes to the restrictions for Melbourne:
- From 6pm on Sunday August 2, Melbourne entered stage four restrictions, which have since been extended until September 28.
- From September 13, some restrictions will be eased, with the curfew running from 9pm to 5am, 2 hours of exercise allowed and one visitor allowed for people in a single person household
- Childcare and schools continue remote and flexible learning
- Restaurants and cafes can only do takeaway and delivery
- The Second Stage of the restrictions will happen once the average daily case rate in metro Melbourne reached between 30 to 50 cases over a 14 day period
- Under the second stage, up to 5 people from a maximum of 2 households can meet outdoors for social interaction, childcare services can open and school can start going back to face-to-face learning.
Here are the changes for Regional Victoria from September 13:
- You can only leave home for four reasons: exercise, school or work (if you can’t do these from home), care or caregiving and to buy essentials
- Cafes and restaurants are only allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services
- When it comes to public gatherings, up to 5 people from a maximum of 2 households can meet outdoors
- Single person homes can have up to one visitor
- Childcare services can open
- Onsite learning can resume at schools from term 4
- Retail and hairdressing businesses can open
- Outdoor exercise and receration is allowed.
Find out more about the state’s reopening roadmap here.
South Australia had previously reduced the number of people allowed at home from 50 to 10 people. But from August 28, there will be a 50 person limit for residential gatherings.
Here are the other restrictions in South Australia:
- The number of people doing public activities such as auctions, indoor public meetings and sporting activities cannot exceed one person per two square metres.
- A 40km buffer zone has been reinstated between South Australia and Victoria. It means people on the Victoria/SA border can enter South Australia for essential reasons within this zone
- There must be a COVID Marshal at businesses such as gyms, public swimming pools, supermarkets and sporting clubs.
- The number of people allowed at a wedding or funeral is 150
- Eating food and drinking alcohol can resume for people seated at a bar, so long as the bar isn’t near any food preparation area.
- Travellers from Victoria aren’t allowed to enter South Australia unless they are essential travellers.
The Northern Territory has been quick with the easing of its restrictions, opening its pubs in May.
But if you’re planning to travel to the NT from a coronavirus hot spot, you’ll have to cancel your plans.
Businesses in the NT have to lodge a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
The NT has different requirements based on the number of people gathering. For events with less than 100 people, there are no requirements for a safety plan or a checklist but you have to follow physical distancing and hygiene requirements.
For events with 100 to 500 people, a COVID-19 safety checklist must be completed. For safety events with more than 500 people, a COVID-19 Event Safety Plan must be completed and approved by the chief health officer.
Western Australia is now into phase 4 of lifting its restrictions with all existing gathering limits removed. Instead, gathering limits are determined by the two square metre rule.
You can only enter WA if you’re an exempt traveller, such as emergency service workers and truck drivers who normally delivery goods into the state.
Here’s what else is happening in Western Australia:
- 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 are allowed to have performances
- Gyms can operate with regular cleaning
- Major sporting and entertainment venues have a 50% capacity rule
- Businesses must ensure they have a COVID safety plan.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT’s restrictions eased further from June 19, with the state removing limits on the number of people allowed to visit a home.
The territoy is also advising against travel to Greater Sydney unless it is absolutely essential.
- All public gatherings – save for the hopsitality industry – have the one person per four square metre rule up to a maximum of 100 people
- Businesses and vanues can have up to 100 in each indoor space and outdoor space. Or abide by the one person per four square meter rule, whichever is less
- Community sports outside of classes or training can have 100 spectators
- Pubs and clubs can can serve alcohol to seated customers, with no booking limits
- Unstaffed gyms and fitness centres can have 25 people at one time
- Food courts can open
- Casinos and gaming venues can open.
Tasmania has enforced mandatory testing of all essential travellers from Victoria and coronavirus hot spots in Queensland and New South Wales. Plus, all Tasmanian residents and non-Tasmanians who have travelled by air or sea and have to stay in mandatory hotel quarantine, have to pay for their stay.
The state is currently under stage three restrictions, where up to 20 people are allowed in a home, not including those who already live there.
To enter the state, you’ll have to complete a G2G Pass.
Under stage three restrictions:
- There is a one person per two square metres rule, with a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors
- Standing activities like darts, pool and karaoke are allowed in licensed venues. There are restrictions on dancing in venues where food and alcohol is consumed.
- Most parks and reserves are open to the public