Rejoice, eager travellers! From midday today, Monday June 1, Queenslanders will be able to enjoy unrestricted travel throughout the state. This change means our state is in its own travel bubble of sorts, allowing Queenslanders to get out and about and support the local tourism industry. This easing of restrictions allows travellers to spend an unlimited amount of time at their chosen destination (this includes stays at camping grounds, caravan parks, hotels and resorts), so you now have the choice to turn your day trip into a weekend getaway. The new rules will see intra-state air-travel resume as well, so if Cairns or Townsville was on your bucket list, now is the time to book your flights! In yesterday’s media conference, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said these changes will open up “Queensland for Queenslanders”, however she confirmed the state’s borders will remain closed for at least the month of June.
So what else is changing? From midday today, up to 20 people will be allowed to dine in at restaurants and cafes, go to a gym, library, indoor cinemas, art gallery, museum or place of worship. The same rule will apply to bars (did we hear a “heck yeah!”?), but patrons must dine in or have seated drinks. All venues must have a COVID Safe plan in place and are required to keep a record of contact details of anyone who attends its premises (in case they are needed for contact tracing in the event of an outbreak). If an at-home gathering has been on the cards, you’ll be happy to hear that the easing of stage two restrictions also allows up to 20 visitors allowed in private residences, with no restrictions on how many houses they come from. This again applies to outdoor gatherings, with up to 20 people allowed to come together in public spaces, including beaches and parks. The changes will also see up to 20 guests allowed at a wedding and up to 50 mourners allowed at a funeral. It was also revealed in the press conference by Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles that health services had been given the green light to resume all elective surgeries and procedures.
There are further restrictions set to ease later this week. From Friday June 5, hospitality venues will be allowed to have 20 people per section of its establishment. This means in a pub, or in any large venue with multiple spaces (including gyms), up to 20 people will be able to be accommodated in each room, as long as there is no more than one person per four square metres. The 20-person rule will apply to beauty therapy salons, nail and tanning salons, tattoo parlours and spas (with a COVID Safe Checklist).
Remember, these changes will only work if we all stick to the same public health rules – keeping a 1.5-metre personal distance, washing hands regularly and staying home if you feel ill. To view the detailed roadmap of easing restrictions, head here.
For an up-to-date snapshot on the coronavirus crisis, take a peek at our Quick Quarantine Updates. For help understanding the cabinet confusion, head to our constantly updated Dissecting Scomo coverage.