Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published August 3rd 2020
Covid19 Updates from Victoria to the Northern Territory
The Covid19 pandemic continues to be a situation of rapid change. Although it is human nature to come together in support during times of stress, surviving this pandemic demands staying apart to keep us all together. In this time of rapid change, policymakers need to adjust and announce new guidelines and restrictions that aim to keep everyone safe. Events over the past couple of weeks have led to a number of updates, discussed alphabetically by state or territory below.
The ACT is currently under Step 2.2 restrictions, with small changes that came into effect on Friday 17 July 2020. These include:
No limit on the number of people who can visit within each home.
Public gatherings, except for the hospitality sector but including museums, galleries, and libraries, are limited to each person per 4 square metres.
Hospitality (eg. cafes, bars, and restaurants) are set at 100 patrons per indoor or outdoor space.
Cinemas, amusement centres, gyms, community sports, outdoor attractions, choirs, weddings, funerals, and places of worship are all open following the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.
More information on restrictions in the ACT can be found here.
New South Wales (NSW)
At present New South Wales is endorsing the 4 square metres per person rule for most public venues and gatherings, although there are some exceptions such as airports, hospitals, and public transport. More information on the 4 square metre rule and exclusions can be found here, and people in NSW are being asked to wear a mask in places where they are unable to practice physical distancing of 1.5 metres.
A number of small updates were made to the Covid19 restrictions in NSW on 31 July 2020. These include:
Up to 20 people may visit another household at one time (including children).
Up to 100 people may attend a funeral providing the 4 square metre rule can be followed.
Places of worship can have up to 100 people present at a time, providing the 4 square metre rule can be followed and they are registered as a CovidSafe venue.
Up to 150 people can attend a wedding providing the 4 square metre rule can be followed.
Employers must allow employees to work from home where possible.
International travellers entering NSW will have to enter hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Travellers from Victoria may not enter NSW except under special circumstances.
More information on the current NSW restrictions and guidelines can be found here.
Northern Territory (NT)
Work and travel within the Northern Territory are currently allowed as there is no evidence of community transmission. However, there are some border restrictions for people entering the NT from other states and territories, and from overseas. This includes returning Territorians.
A curfew that will apply from 8pm - 5am, from 2 August 2020. People will still be able to leave home for work, medical care, and caregiving.
People will need to stay where they slept on 1 August 2020, although there will be exemptions for partners who live apart and for work, if required.
Exercise is to be limited to a maximum of 1 hour each day, up to 5Km from home in groups of 2 (who may or may not reside together), or with as many children as reside in the household.
Shopping is limited to one person per household per day, up to 5Km from home (unless the closest supermarket is further than 5Km from home).
These distance, gathering and time limits don't apply to work, medical care, or compassionate reasons.
TAFE and uni study must be completed remotely.
Schools, childcare, and early education services will be returning to flexible learning across all year levels, except for children of essential workers.
Face coverings are compulsory when outside of the home.
Although some businesses will need to close under Stage 4 restrictions, supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, post offices, newsagents, convenience stores, banks, and outlets selling disability and maternity supplies, and stores selling alcohol will remain open.
Hardware, building, and garden stores will remain open to tradespeople only.
Hairdressers, many retail stores, pubs, food courts, furniture stores, travel agencies, and call centres will be closed under Stage 4 restrictions.
For Regional Victoria (including Mitchell Shire), these restrictions include:
Stage 3 restrictions will continue to apply to these areas.
There are only 4 reasons to leave home - to shop for food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, to exercise, and to work or study, if you can't work or study from home.
People must wear face masks or coverings when outside of their homes.
People may no longer visit other people's homes.
Western Australia (WA)
Western Australia is currently under Stage 4 of their recovery plan. Although Stage 5 easing of restrictions was intended to have started on 1 August 2020, this has now been pushed back with a tentative date of 15 August 2020. Under Stage 4 restrictions people in WA may:
Gather providing there is space of at least 2 square metres per person.
People may stand while eating or drinking at food businesses and licensed premises.
Sports and entertainment venues may operate at up to 50% capacity.
People are encouraged to return to work or study unless they are unwell or vulnerable.
Family members may visit people in aged care, providing they have not returned from overseas in the last 14 days, been in contact with a confirmed Covid19 case in the last 14 days, don't have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory disease, and have had an up to date influenza vaccination.
Everyone should observe the 1.5 metre physical distancing rule.
Contactless payment is encouraged rather than cash.
The rapidly changing Covid19 situation within Australian states and territories, and the great geographical distances that exist between many of them, can add to people's uncertainty around the guidelines and restrictions that are in place across the country. This article, and the links within it, has aimed to provide a one-stop solution to finding information for all of Australia's updated Covid19 information by state and territory.