News Coronavirus Hiking, picnicking and swimming: How to do it safely, now that you can

Hiking, picnicking and swimming: How to do it safely, now that you can

Picnic social distancing
These people live in the same house, so in some states, this is a legal picnic now restrictions have been peeled back. Photo: Getty
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Some states are beginning to ease restrictions, bit by bit, allowing residents the chance to partake in some of the activities that have been off limits for the past few weeks.

Although it is an encouraging sign, we’re not out of the coronavirus-infected woods yet.

If you are in one of the states where restrictions are being peeled back (that’s you, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory), here’s a look at how to enjoy your new-found freedom safely.

New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania haven’t made any changes yet, and South Australia has been the most relaxed of all states throughout the pandemic, so there’s no changes there.

You can find a state-by-state breakdown here.

Social distancing restrictions of 1.5 metres remain in place for all states, so that has to be followed no matter how lax your state is.

Outdoor fun

Good news here for Queenslanders and even better news for Western Australians: Picnics and outdoor gatherings with people outside your household are open.

For picnics, the key here is KISS: Keep it separate, stupid.

Everyone who comes to the said picnic, from each household, should bring their own stuff.

That’s separate cutlery, blankets and food. Don’t share things like cups, cigarettes or anything physical really. Stick to jokes and stories.

Wash your hands regularly, and keep that magic 1.5-metre distance at all times.

If you all live in the same household, this picnic scenario is OK. Photo: Getty

You can also sunbathe, and just generally hang out outdoors. The KISS and 1.5-metre rules apply for any activities here.

More good news for some: You can go fishing again. Sharing a boat with a mate, however is probably not going to tick all those boxes.

Find a crowd on your favourite pier to chuck a line off? Save it for another day, buddy.

Politicians have been saying it this whole time, but it really is the easiest way to make a call if you’re asking yourself, should I? Use common sense.

For example, you decide to wander to the beach for a swim and a doze on the sand. But the beach is packed.

There’s no way you can maintain a safe distance from other people. The common sense move here is to go home.

Same goes for walking trails and national parks.

Retail therapy

Some non-essential retail stores are looking to re-open.

Great news for shopaholics. Also great news for a virus that wants to keep on spreading.

Most stories will have in-store customer limits, dependent on their floor size. So if you find yourself lined up outside, keep a safe distance from other people. Also keep your patience in check.

Woolies has also rolled out in-store markings to show customers safe social distances in check-out areas. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

In store, continue to keep a safe distance from other shoppers, avoid touching your face, check out with contactless pay, and try to avoid fondling any items you don’t intend on buying.

Obey any in-store markings or directions from staff.

Wash your hands as soon as you can.

It’s pretty much on par with how we’ve been shopping at supermarkets recently.

Odds and ends

Open homes, weddings, bootcamps and outdoor gatherings have been re-allowed in some states.

They have been wound back to the previous restriction stage, and all those sensibilities still apply.

Keep your distance, obey directions from organisers, and wash your hands.

All state leaders have urged the public to not take these lifts as a free for all – it’s very easy to reverse the repeals and head back to the restrictions of last week.

Disclaimer: This is intended as a guide only – check your state’s health department website for the most up-to-date information and advisories.