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Follow these coronavirus social distancing rules or face fines and jail

The latest social distancing rules mean we cannot go out in groups of more than two people. Photo: Getty
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Social distancing rules aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus now stop more than two people gathering outside.

On Monday night, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania went even further by making it illegal for people to be off their property without a valid reason.

And it was made clear that travelling to a holiday home to self isolate was definitely not an acceptable excuse for leaving home.

“Taking a holiday in a regional area is not a reasonable excuse,” the orders which passed in NSW state.

The message has been repeated loud and clear: Stay home unless you absolutely have to go out. That will save lives.

Police are going to be enforcing the rules and in some states you can be fined a hefty sum – up to $11,000 or five times that for a business – if you don’t adhere to the guidelines. You could even be jailed.

So what are the new restrictions?

We all have questions: Can I visit my family? Can I still exercise outside?

We’ve put together this guide to make it easier for you:

The two-person limit

Social gatherings are now limited to two people at indoor and outdoor settings, as well as at private properties.

This means you can no longer do a group bootcamp at the park, nor can you have two friends over for a cup of tea – even if you all stand at least 1.5 metres apart.

Mr Morrison said the two-person limit was created with women’s safety in mind so “they wouldn’t be required to walk on their own”.

The exception

The two-person limit does not apply to people within your household.

For example, a family of five can take the dog for a walk at the park together.

What happens to me if I breach the two-person limit?

It depends on the state or territory in which you live.

In Victoria, you face an on-the-spot fine of more than $1600.

In NSW, police will be cracking down but no fines have been announced yet.

In South Australia, you can be slapped with a $1000 fine.

In the ACT, you may receive an official warning for now, but police will soon be able to issue fines.

In Tasmania, police can arrest and charge you.

Can I visit my family?

Yes.

A family split across two houses can meet.

You can visit your parents or a sibling, but the usual social distancing rules (like no touching, and standing 1.5 metres apart) apply.

What about older people?

There are no new rules for older people – just strong recommendations.

People aged 70 and over have been encouraged to stay home and self-isolate as a precaution, as well as anybody aged over 60 with a chronic illness.

The advice for Indigenous people is that anyone over the age of 50 should stay home.

“This does not mean they cannot go outside,” Mr Morrison said.

“They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting fresh air and recreation, but should limit contact with others as much as possible.”