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(Image: Unsplash/Patrick Robert Doyle)

Social distancing in Queensland began to ease on May 15 with stage one of the recovery roadmap.

Here is the latest update on:

  • Social distancing in Queensland
  • Education
  • Work
  • Travel 
  • What businesses are allowed to reopen in Queensland?
  • What are the fines if you don’t follow the rules?

Social distancing in Queensland

As of May 15, the following is allowed:

  • Up to 5 visitors can visit private homes;
  • Up to 10 people can meet in a public place for non-contact sport, personal training, hiking and other recreational activities;
  • Up to 10 people can attend weddings; and
  • Up to 20 people can attend indoor funerals and 30 people can attend outdoor funerals;
  • Up to 10 people can now attend cafes and restaurants and pubs;
  • Up to 10 people can now attend auctions and open houses; and
  • Up to 10 people can now visit beauty and nail salons.

Despite changes to what people can do and how many people can do it at one time. The Queensland government says that public health rules still need to be maintained.

This applies to:

  • Physical distancing
  • 4 square metres per person when indoors
  • Hand hygiene
  • Respiratory hygiene
  • Frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection

Education

As of May 11, Queensland state school students in kindergarten, prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12, have been returning to school and community kindergartens.

Students in years two through to 10 will continue learning from home unless their circumstances mean that they cannot. These students will be allowed to return to school on May 25 if transmission rates remain low. 

Social distancing will continue as restrictions and school closures begin to be eased back.

Schools will:

  • Use larger, alternative locations or classrooms within the school
  • Designate drop-off/pick-up points for parents in spacious areas
  • Make use of outdoor learning spaces
  • Stagger lunch breaks, start and finish times, and other activities to reduce the volume of movement.

The easing of restrictions in state schools will be closely assessed and changes will be implemented should there be any negative fallout from schools reopening. 

Work

While a number of non-essential businesses may begin to start re-opening, there isn’t a definitive answer on when most Queenslanders will return to work. 

It has been hypothesised that workplaces will not all be open and fully functional before all schools are open. The success of all schools reopening rests on low, or no, coronavirus transmission rates, so getting back to work will depend on how schools fare. 

Travel 

From March 25, Queensland closed its borders and only Queensland residents, residents of border communities undertaking essential activities, and those considered an ‘exempt person’, are allowed to enter Queensland via air, sea, rail or road from another state or territory.

These restrictions are still in place, however, Queensland residents can now travel 150 kilometres from their homes for recreational purposes.

Those living in the outback can travel 500 kilometres from home for recreational purposes.

What businesses are allowed to reopen in Queensland?

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Libraries
  • Real estate auctions
  • Open house inspections
  • Outdoor and indoor markets 
  • Hairdressers and barbers
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Physiotherapy clinics
  • Chiropractors 
  • Spa and massage parlours (provided by health practitioners registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law)
  • Drive-in cinemas 
  • Community and recreation centres
  • Indoor and outdoor places of worship

What will stay the same? 

All businesses that remained open during the coronavirus lockdown, such as those that were deemed as essential services, will continue to do so, however, social distancing rules are still in place. 

Weddings may still only be attended by 10 people and funerals may be attended by 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

Those in attendance of both will need to adhere to the one-person-per-four-square-metres rule. 

What are the fines if you don’t follow the rules?

Despite restrictions being eased in Queensland, police officers still have the power to issue on-the-spot-fines for a breach of the rules that are still in place.

Fines for individuals are $1,334.50 and fines for corporations are $6,672.50. Courts can issue maximum penalties that are ten times the fines cited.

Read: When will offices reopen? The end of WFH

Peter Fray

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