Following positive developments of the COVID-19 curve flattening, QLD Premiere Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that some of the state’s social distancing restrictions would be lifted from next week.
From May 2nd, QLD residents will be able to shop for non-essential items, have a picnic and go on outings with one friend or members of the same household.
A limited number of QLD’s social distancing restrictions will be eased from Saturday (May 2nd), however, authorities warn that they will immediately be reversed if an increase in infections is noticed.
BREAKING: Following encouraging signs of flattening the curve, some restrictions will be eased in Queensland from next weekend. Social distancing still applies, but we’re giving the green light for some recreational activities and extending the distance you can travel from home. pic.twitter.com/A5PBxgEuLZ
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) April 26, 2020
Taking to Twitter to announce the news, Palaszczuk warned that these measures will be reviewed after two weeks or will be immediately reversed if a spike in new infections is reported. So what can Queenslanders now do? Go for a drive within 50 kms of home; ride a motorbike, jets or boat for recreation; and visit national parks. Outings are still limited, and authorities have advised that residents avoid crowded areas.
The state’s COVID-19 restrictions have been in-place throughout April, with the Premiere announcing on the 2nd of the month that the border would officially close. Soon after this announcement, a demountable barrier was assembled across eight suburban streets, marking the state border between Coolangatta and Tweed Heads. Checkpoints were then created, and authorities began policing vehicles attempting to enter the state, in one case removing a backpacker attempting to enter via bus from Byron Bay.
While neighbours NSW are also seeing a lull in cases, Premiere Gladys Berejiklian has announced that the state has no plans to ease major restrictions anytime soon. Over the weekend, Sydney beaches were reopened for limited hours (6am – 9pm), after being closed for most of the month. Coogee, Maroubra, Clovelly, and Malabar beaches then saw a massive influx of visitors ignoring social distancing as the mercury rose to 29 degrees, causing concern amongst authorities and residents.