News Some state and territories are opening up before others. Here’s what you can do

Some state and territories are opening up before others. Here’s what you can do

Social restrictions are easing across the country. Here's what is happening. Photo: Getty
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Australia is starting to open up.

This weekend, millions of us will enjoy more freedom than we have in months, as some COVID-19 restrictions ease.

But because the virus has hit different parts of Australia harder, the rules as to what you can do and how many people you can see are different in every state and territory.

Authorities are warning that now is not the time to get complacent, that we need to remain vigilant because the threat has not gone away.

Here is what you’re allowed to do and where.

The ACT has had no new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday.

But ever cautious, there are currently no new plans to ease social restrictions.

The territory already has a more lenient approach to restrictions, with no fines issued for infringements.

Currently, there is a two-person limit on gatherings outside the home. But at home, you can have two people over, as long as there are still four-square-metres per person indoors.

Residents have been asked not to leave their homes except for essentials such as grocery shopping, healthcare needs, exercise and work.

In excellent news, the NT has seen no new cases of coronavirus for over three weeks. So they are opening up.

From lunchtime on Friday, Territorians were no longer subject to 10-person gathering restrictions.

Playgrounds, swimming pools, some national parks and activities like fishing and golf are all back on the table.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner mapped out his plan for the ‘new normal’.

“The whole idea is to get to as close to normal without putting you at risk and without putting some of Australia’s vulnerable at risk,” Mr Gunner said.

“To be clear, the 1.5-metre social distancing guidelines will continue to apply to venues, these restrictions are not being removed.”

The state worst hit by the new coronavirus, with more than half of the nation’s cases, has also announced it is loosening restrictions.

Now, two adults and any children if they have them, are allowed to visit another person’s home.

This measure is to ‘reduce social isolation and maintain mental health’ Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“We haven’t put a limit on how far you can travel in order to visit a loved one but we ask everybody to be responsible – this is not a holiday,” Ms Berejiklian said.

For the last five weeks, Queenslanders have only been allowed out of their homes for essential reasons, including getting groceries, medical attention or caring for family members.

Now, they’ll be allowed to go shopping, have a picnic or go for a weekend drive.

There are some caveats – they must not go more than 50km from their homes, and the ‘two-persons, 1.5 meters away’ rule for outside gatherings is still in effect.

Queensland police have said they are deploying 140 officers to patrol the increase in outdoor activity.

“If we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

South Australia is considering lifting some of the restrictions in place but has not announced changes yet.

The state, which has not had a case of coronavirus for nine days, took a more lenient approach to restrictions from the start.

Social distancing has been enforced but beaches were never shut and wineries, breweries and cellar doors are allowed to operate takeaway services.

Social gatherings are capped at 10 people.

Strict lockdown measures remain in place in the Apple Island state as health officials continue to grapple with the outbreak in the north-west.

On Thursday, Premier Peter Gutwein told Tasmanians that it would be a while before restrictions are eased.

“I am hopeful that in coming weeks the advice from Public Health will be that we can begin loosening some restrictions, however this will only occur if the health risk is low,” Mr Gutwein said.

Victoria’s government is taking a cautious approach to lockdown, keeping the stage three restrictions in place until May 11, when the state of emergency is lifted.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he wanted 100,000 Victorians tested before he would consider relaxing any of the restrictions.

“With that data, with those test results, we will have options to ease some of the restrictions that I know are frustrating and challenging and difficult, but restrictions that are working,” he said this week.

“This is like a double-check. This is about absolutely making sure that there’s not something going on out there that we’re not aware of.”

So, for now, Victorians should be staying at home when they can. Social visits with friends are still banned, but you can leave the house to exercise with one other person, shop for groceries or get medical treatment.

Earlier this week Premier Mark McGowan started to relax the state’s social restrictions, allowing groups of 10 people to gather.

The right to Picnic, fish, go boating and camping are all restored, but skate parks and outdoor gyms will remain closed.

Western Australia continues to  be divided into nine regions, with residents not moving between them without good reason.