Australian News

What you can and can’t do in Australia this weekend

Aussies will become the envy of those around the world this weekend as life in lockdown is about to ease.

Having recorded nearly 7000 coronavirus cases and 97 deaths, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a three step road to freedom designed to get the country back on its feet.

What people will be able to do in each part of the country is a matter for state and territory leaders.

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 connection 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.

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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 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.

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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 people but international travel and mass gatherings of more than 100 people will remain restricted.

Auctions and open homes will be able to have up to 100 people, while cafes and restaurants and food courts can seat up to 100 people – with the one person per four square metres 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.


But 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.

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In NSW two adults are now able to visit another home with social distancing and good hygiene in place and are allowed out for other essential activities like shopping and exercise.

On Friday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there would be no further change this weekend.

“NSW will continue to keep our citizens updated on our path forward,” she said.

At present weddings are limited to five people and funerals to 10 people. Most beaches are open for exercise, swimming and surfing only in the state.

From today, property inspections and on-site auctions are allowed with social distancing rules followed and students will start attending school in stages from Monday.

Breaching the rules still carries heavy penalties of up to $11,000, or imprisonment for six months, or both and a further $5500 penalty may apply for each day the offence continues.

For full details on NSW restrictions click here.


Queenslanders can currently have small in home gatherings including two visitors from the same or different households or up to five visitors from the same household.

They can also go for a drive, picnic, visit a national park, go fishing, boating or jet skiing within 50km of home and go shopping for non-essential items.

On Monday, kindergarten, prep and years 1, 11 and 12, will return to school while years 2-10 will return on May 25.

On Friday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state would move to stage one at midnight on Friday 15 May that would allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to reopen with gatherings of up to 10 people.

People will also be allowed a maximum five visitors at home plus gatherings of up to 10 people for outdoor activities like picnics, personal training, at beaches, parks, libraries, weddings, hikes and in pools.

Funerals will be allowed to have a maximum of 20 people indoors and 30 outdoors and people will be able to travel 150km away from home.

Open homes and auctions will be allowed with up to 10 people while beauty therapy and nail salons will be able to reopen with COVIDSafe plans.

Outback areas will have dining for up to 20 people in pubs and clubs and recreational travel for 500km.

Step two is due to come into effect in Queensland on 12 June with step three scheduled for 10 July.

For full details of Queensland restrictions click here.


In Victoria gatherings are banned and most businesses are closed except for bottle shops and those offering takeaway food.

People are allowed to leave homes 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 just yet.

“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.”

For full details of Victoria’s restrictions click here.


South Australians are currently advised to work from home where possible and restaurants, cafes and bars are open for takeaways

Schools are open along with playgrounds and skate parks and retail shopping is not restricted Social gatherings of less than 10 people are allowed if social distancing is observed.

However from 11 May the state will also permit regional travel, face-to-face university and TAFE classes and outdoor dining for restaurants and cafes.

Community centres and RSL halls will open, as will auctions, open inspections, local libraries and outdoor sports training. Funerals and weddings will be allowed under Step One restrictions and pools will open with limits, as well campgrounds and caravan parks.

Step 2 will come into play from 8 June allowing cinemas and theatres, seated indoor dining and galleries and museums to open with up to 20 people.
Gyms and outdoor fitness centres, sport without spectators and driving lessons will be allowed from then and beauty salons, nails, tattoos and massage parlours will be able to open.

Slated for future consideration are things like larger gatherings, bars, nightclubs, casinos, stadiums, food courts, spas and travel across state borders

For full details on South Australia’ restrictions click here.


In Western Austrlaia gatherings of up to 10 people are already allowed at weddings and funerals, outdoor personal training and open homes, providing social distancing and good hygiene are practised.

Picnics, boating, hiking, camping and group exercise are also now allowed but all public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment are closed. Restaurants, cafes, food vans, food courts and road houses are also only open for takeaway and home delivery.

Premier Mark McGowan will outline Western Australia’s road map for easing restrictions on Sunday.

“Here in Western Australia, we will do the best for our people and our state,” Mr McGowan said on Friday. He said so far the state had focused on social life and would now prioritise the economy but opening borders to interstate travellers will be one of the last things to go.

For full details on Western Australia’s restrictions click here.


Tasmania will begin rolling out changes from Monday on its road map to recovery with the number of people allowed at funerals rising from 10 to 20.

Aged care visits will move to one visit per week of no more than two people. National parks and reserves will also reopen then, but residents are only allowed to travel 30km to reach them. Small groups of students may also be able to attend TAFE campuses.

Then from 18 May the state will bring in step one measures allowing gatherings of up to 10 people for things like real estate events, weddings, and religious gatherings.

The exceptions will be home visits where the maximum number is five and funerals which can have 30 people if they are outdoors.

Restaurants and cafes iwill open and seat up to 10 people at a time. Park exercise equipment playgrounds, pools and boot camps will also open but border controls will remain in place and Tasmanians will be able to quarantine at home if suitable.

From 25 May students from kindergarten to year 6 plus year 11 and 12 will return. Aged care visits will allow two visitors once a day.

From 9 June other grades will return to school. From 15 June stage two restrictions will begin with up to 20 people for gatherings at restaurants/cafes, cinemas, museums, galleries, historic sites, religious gatherings and weddings. Funerals can have up to 50 people and open homes and auctions can have up to 20.

Gyms and boot camps will allow 20 people and beauty services including tattoo and tanning parlours can open for 20 people. Park and exercise equipment and playgrounds, plus indoor and outdoor sport will be allowed with the same number of people but border controls will remain in place,

Step three is set start on 13 July with gatherings going up to 50-100 people depending on public health advice.

Aged care visits will be increased to five people but border controls will remain in place.

Bars, nightclubs and casinos will be under consideration for opening while food courts and trucks will be allowed to open. School day trips and camping will also be allowed with outdoor community sport and pools to resume.

Tasmanian Premiper Peter Gutwein said the state would keep an “eye” to people travelling into the island and the pathway back will be “gradual”.

“We will continue to march to the beat of our own drum. If we find that we cannot move, then we won’t.”

For the full list of Tasmanian restrictions click here.


The Northern Territory has already announced the lifting of many restrictions which began on 1 May.

Territorians can already exercise outdoors, participate in non-contact sports and meet up in outdoor areas like markets and attend outdoor gatherings. People can visit parks, campgrounds and beauty spots to go boating, fishing or swimming.

They can also use playgrounds and outdoor equipment, have visitors over, shop and attend a real estate auction.

Stage two is scheduled for noon on 15 May and will allow visiting a food court, going to restaurants, bars and cafes, sports training, indoor markets and visits to beauty therapists.

People will also be able to go to yoga, pilates, barre dance classes or cross fit, visit public libraries, galleries, museums, zoos or historic sites. The only catch is it should be done in under two hours.

Stage three is scheduled for 5 June and will include visiting a TAB, playing team sports, going to the movies, nightclubs, concerts, bars, beauty services, tattoos and community centres.

People will also be able to visit sporting events with only those over 500 people requiring special approval. Businesses will return to normal based on key principles of community responsibility, hygenie and physical distancing.

For the full list of Northern Territory restrictions click here.


From today, the ACT will allow indoor and outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 10 people, which includes children. However, it’s OK if two households coming together exceeds this number.

Weddings can have 10 people, funerals can have 20 or 30 if outside, and religious ceremonies can have 10, as can outdoor bootcamps and open homes or auctions. Students will return to school in stages between May 18 and June 2.

“It is not a race to lift restrictions and we are not going to move too early or take unnecessary risks. We need to ensure that restrictions are sustainable in the long term,” the Chief Minister’s office said.

“The easing of restrictions will be a gradual process as we need to ensure any changes are sustainable in the long term, and with our most vulnerable community members in mind. This will be a gradual process, and we will need Canberrans to continue playing their part to prevent a new wave of cases.”

For a full list of restrictions in the ACT click here.

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