- Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have announced they will start to ease some coronavirus restrictions.
- Queensland is allowing residents to shop for non-essential items while Western Australia is letting up to 10 people attend weddings.
- The Northern Territory is opening its national parks for residents.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have all announced they will start lifting some coronavirus-related restrictions, but have warned residents not to take their newfound freedom too far.
On Sunday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queenslanders will be allowed to leave their homes for recreational activities from Friday May 1. Residents will be able to perform activities like going for a drive, shop for non-essential items, have a picnic, take their motorbike, jetski or boat out for a spin or visit a national park.
Queensland is also partially reopening its national parks including day areas at Danbulla National Park around Lake Tinaroo, Laguna Lookout at Noosa National Park. However, barbecue areas, swimming areas and camping grounds will still remain closed.
And there are some rules that still apply in the state. Residents have to continue social distancing measures and are limited to going 50km from their homes. Plus you can only take members of the same family along or just you and one friend.
All other coronavirus-related restrictions are still in place.
The state government will be keeping a close eye on the number of new infections. It will also review the new measures after two weeks.
“The first sign of a spike we will not hesitate to clamp back,” Palaszczuk said in a statement. “This is a test-run to see what effect easing restrictions has on the containment of COVID-19.”
Western Australia is increasing the gathering limit to 10 people
Western Australia is lifting its restrictions from Monday April 27, allowing 10 people to attend indoor and outdoor gatherings like weddings, funerals and outdoor training. It’s a rise from the two-person limit as the state continues to experience a low number of new coronavirus cases.
WA is also allowing open homes and display village inspections up to a 10-person limit as well.
“Relaxing some restrictions to allow for Western Australians to stay connected with their loved ones is a positive step, however it needs to be applied with common sense,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement. “Western Australians have done such a great job so far, although these changes are small, I hope it will be of benefit to many Western Australians – they deserve it.”
Western Australia enforced its toughest border restrictions in Australia earlier in April, by closing its borders for the first time in history to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the ABC reported. From April 5 the border was closed to anyone with the exception of people including health and emergency workers, fly-in fly-out workers and their families, and security.
Northern Territory allows parks to be reopened
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced on Facebook the reopening of the territory’s national parks. He also hinted at further easing of restrictions in coming weeks.
“Territorians will have the opportunity to safely spend this weekend camping, swimming or walking through our beautiful parks and reserves & enjoying the Territory lifestyle that we all love,” he said.
“In the coming weeks, the Territory will gradually transition to a “new normal” – where Territorians can get back to business, back to work, and back to enjoying the Territory lifestyle, while also staying safe from coronavirus.”
Gunner also warned against complacency.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Easing restrictions will actually increase responsibility on all Territorians to keep doing the right thing. That will be our new normal. And we can’t afford to go backwards or do it all again.”
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