Following encouraging signs Queensland is flattening the COVID-19 curve, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced stay at home restrictions will ease.
From 11.59pm Friday, May 1, Queenslanders will be able to leave their homes for recreation and the distance they can travel has been extended.
For example, Queenslanders will be able to enjoy some relief from stay-at-home rules and:
- Go for a drive;
- Ride a motorbike, jetski or boat for pleasure;
- Have a picnic;
- Visit a national park; and
- Shop for non-essential items
But there are three conditions that apply linked to the above:
- Social distancing and hygiene must be maintained
- You have to stay within 50km of home and
- Outings are limited to members of the same household or an individual and one friend
All other rules including gatherings and limits on visitors remain in place during this time.
The Premier said numbers of new infections would be watched closely and the measures reviewed after two weeks.
“The first sign of a spike we will not hesitate to clamp back,” the Premier said.
“This is a test-run to see what effect easing restrictions has on the containment of COVID-19.
“I encourage all Queenslanders to back this first step so that we can keep the virus away and help everyone start to get their lives back.”
Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland had earned a reward for its hard work.
“We have done the right thing,” the Minister said.
“We have to keep doing it.”
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young supported the new measures.
“Before you couldn’t leave home unless it was for essential reasons like getting groceries or exercising or going to work and you had to stay in your suburb where possible,” Dr Young said.
“Now we are saying you can have more flexibility but remember we are still having to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
State Disaster Co-ordinator Steve Gollschewski said police will assist people to understand the new rules but will still enforce flagrant breaches.
“Police will be understanding but this isn’t an invitation for people to undo everyone’s hard work,” he said.
The Premier said she hoped easing restrictions would mean some older Queenslanders could finally leave their homes.
“They can go for a drive to Mt Coot-tha or a national park or a beach in their region but they still have to avoid crowds,” the Premier said.
“I know this isn’t returning life to normal again but we are still in the midst of a pandemic and we still have to be careful.”