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(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

A three-stage plan to ease coronavirus restrictions as laid out by prime minister Scott Morrison and chief medical officer Brendan Murphy, today, May 8, has begun to offer the public an idea into what the next three months will look like for Australians. 

Watch the full video here:

Stage one

Morrison and Murphy state that stage one will be all about allowing for better connection between family and friends. During stage one, Australians will also begin to start seeing certain businesses, sporting facilities and educational campuses beginning to re-open.

For professionals, it is recommended that employees continue to work from home, however, businesses should start thinking about COVID-safe plans to return to work in the coming months. 

Students and children will be further integrated back into the community. Universities and colleges will begin increasing face-to-face teaching where it is safe to do so.  

Stage one will mean that: 

  • 10 people will be able to gather in public
  • 5 visitors will be allowed in homes
  • 10 mourners will now be allowed to attend indoor funerals, 30 will be allowed to attend outdoor funerals
  • 10 guests will now be allowed to attend wedding ceremonies excluding the couple and celebrant
  • Up to 10 people will now be allowed to attend religious gatherings 
  • Up to 10 people will be able to use outdoor gyms
  • Up to 10 people will be able to use skateparks
  • Up to 10 people will be able to use playgrounds 
  • Up to 10 people will be able to take part in non-contact sports such as golf and athletics.

The following businesses will be allowed to open their doors to 10 people at a time: 

  • Retail stores
  • Cafes
  • Restaurants
  • Open houses
  • Auction home

These businesses will need to adhere to the four-metre per person rule. 

Hotels and hostels will begin to reopen and hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to open, however they will need to keep appointments short. Both business types will need to take contact details of each customer to enable contact tracing should there be further outbreaks down the line. 

State borders will remain closed until further notice, however, travelling to regional areas for recreational activities will be allowed. 

Queensland started stage one on May 1 and plan to progress to stage two on May 15. 

Tasmania will progress to stage one on May 18. Other states and territories have not yet specified a start date for stage one. 

Stage Two 

Stage two will depend on the progress made during stage one. While it is expected that there will be a second surge in coronavirus cases, the extent of this number will guide the progress of stage two.

The number of people allowed to gather will increase, though this number has not yet been specified for home, public places and at work. 

The following businesses will be allowed to open their doors to 20 people at a time: 

  • Retail stores
  • Cafes
  • Restaurants
  • Open houses
  • Auction home

Additionally, the following venues will be allowed to open their doors to 20 patrons at a time: 

  • Swimming pools
  • Cinemas
  • Zoos
  • Galleries

Hairdressers, beauty salons, tattoo and massage parlours will be allowed to open their doors to 20 people, they will need to take contact details for the purpose of contact tracing. 

During stage two, inter and intrastate travel will be considered on a case by case basis for each state and territory. 

Stage three

Stage three will depend on the progress made during stage one and stage two. 

At this point, it is hypothesized that stage three could resemble life a lot more closely to how we once knew it. 

During stage three, it is hoped that the entire workforce and student body will be back to normality. 

Gatherings of 10 people in stage one could become 100 people during stage three. 

The following venues may be allowed to host 100 patrons (adhering to the 4-metre rule) during stage three:  

  • Restaurants
  • Food courts
  • Cafes
  • Cinemas
  • Art galleries 
  • Zoos
  • Outdoor and indoor sporting facilities
  • Outdoor and indoor markets
  • Outdoor and indoor entertainment venues

All going well, pubs and nightclubs may also be able to open during stage three. 

When it comes to travel, nothing is set in stone. It will depend on the progress made by each state and territory. 

Moving through stages one to three is at the discretion of each state and territory, while Queensland and Tasmania have already sent out save the dates, there is more to follow from the rest. 


Social distancing updates


Read: Coronavirus Statistics: When will lockdown end?