NEWS
30/04/2020 7:58 AM AEST | Updated 01/05/2020 11:49 AM AEST

Coronavirus In Australia: Which States Are Easing Restrictions?

Which states and territories are next in line to lift lockdown rules?

Bloomberg via Getty Images
States and Territories ease some restrictions this week. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

Australia has recorded 16 new cases of COVID-19 since 6am Thursday. 

With statistics looking optimistic, states and territories will begin to ease some social distancing rules this week but experts warn we must be careful as there is still no vaccine. 

“A second wave is always possible and that’s why those three precedents have been set by the Prime Minister before we lift those social distancing and socialisation rules about case finding, keeping the cases low if possible,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly told reporters. 

“If a second wave does occur, we’ll deal with it quickly and we’ll respond to it.”

Australia has recorded at least 6745 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 90 people have died.

More than 3.2 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 227,000 people have died from it.

More than 570,000 tests have been conducted across Australia.

Here are the Australian states and territories planning on easing a first round of lockdown restrictions. 

Brook Mitchell via Getty Images
Michael Gunner will ease restrictions on weddings and funerals. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

NT

The number of people allowed at outdoor weddings and funerals in the Northern Territory will be amended on Friday, the ABC reports.  Weddings were capped at five people with funerals allowed a max of 10 people, a rule adopted nation-wide. 

Swimming pools and playgrounds in the NT will also be reopened.  

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said people must still keep 1.5 meters distance and maintain good hygiene under the eased restrictions. 

Local NT media reported on Thursday Gunner is set to announce Top End businesses like cafes and shops will be able to reopen in two weeks. 

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PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Representatives for Citizens 4 Health Awareness hold a placards to promote Exercise Your Rights in Kings Park on April 25, 2020 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

TAS

Tasmania has announced some restrictions in the north-west of the state will ease from next week.

Non-essential businesses such as big-box retailrs that were recently forced to close due to the 147 cases in that area, will be allowed to reopen in a few days.

“The outbreak in the north-west is now largely under control, and so today we are confident that those additional restrictions placed on the north-west, Sunday almost three weeks ago, the 12 April, will be able to left this Sunday, the 3 May,” said Premier Peter Gutwein.

“This means on Monday the 4 May, the businesses and services impacted by those additional restrictions can reopen, and that workers and staff will be able to return to work.”

He added that at this stage “this will only be the lifting of the additional restrictions”. 

Tasmania is expected to announce an easing of restrictions around green open spaces in due course. 

“We do want to start easing restrictions, when we safely can, but in order to do that we’re going to be putting in place four safeguards,” the Gutwein recently told reporters. 

“Those safeguards will be more testing, more tracing, and enhanced rapid response capabilities, and COVIDSafe workplace, public space and meeting place plans.”

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during a media briefing on April 29, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that COVID-19 lockdown measures will ease slightly this week. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

NSW

From Friday, two adults will be able to visit another household anywhere in NSW and also bring their children into the home. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian stressed that people should have a conversation about how they navigate the new arrangements. 

“This is not a holiday,” she told reporters on Wednesday. 

“The reason we’re allowing people to do this (is to) reduce isolation, to improve mental health and give people that bit of contact which they haven’t had.”

The premier added that the government has not “put a limit on how far you can travel in order to visit a loved one” but said if people break the rules, NSW will go backwards. 

“The four reasons why you can leave the house still remain,” she said. 

Social distancing measures must still be observed and extra care should be taken when visiting anyone over the age of 70.

Currently NSW residents are only allowed to leave the home for essential reasons, including shopping for food, medical treatments or exercise.

Schools in NSW will begin to return to on May 11 on a staggered basis in preparation for full-time schooling to re-start in July.

SA

Authorities in South Australia reportedly want to see four straight weeks with no new coronavirus cases in order to lift restrictions.

Lockdown restrictions on the Barossa Valley have been eased and schools in the state have been reopened.

There has been no new confirmed COVID-19 cases in SA for one week. 

QLD

From Friday, Queenslanders will be able to go for a drive “for recreation” within a 50km radius of their homes. 

Riding a motorbike or jetski will also be allowed from Friday as well as boating. 

People in the sunshine state will be able to enjoy a picnic, visit a National Park and shop for non-essential items.  

Two adults are allowed to visit another household if people keep a distance of 1.5 meters. 

“The first sign of a spike we will not hesitate to clamp back,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Queensland’s Health Minister, Dr Steven Miles said on Friday: “Our message today is this weekend, as we ease those restrictions, let’s not mess it up. Let’s keep it up.”

VIC

All current “stage three” restrictions remain in place for Victoria and will be reviewed May 11.  Those breaking the rules can be hit with an on the spot fine of $1,652. 

The only four reasons to be out in Victoria are:

  • shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
  • medical, care or compassionate needs
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely

According to the government’s coronavirus website, partners who live separately can visit each other. 

WA

Restrictions in Western Australia have eased significantly since April 27, 7 News reports. 

People can go boating and hiking in groups of two people. Boot camps and exercise are now allowed with up to 10 people present if everyone stays 1.5 meters apart. 

Weddings and funerals can have up to 10 people.