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This Is What You Can and Can't Do in Queensland from Midnight on May 15

The state's stay-at-home rules are easing again — here's what you need to know.
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
May 14, 2020
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
May 14, 2020

With COVID-19 cases remaining low in Queensland over the past couple of weeks, the state has been relaxing a number of coronavirus-related restrictions. Already, Queenslanders are allowed to leave the house for some non-essential purposes and welcome five people from another household into their homes. And, from 11.59pm on Friday, May 15, a selection of other normal, everyday activities that have been off the cards since March will be permissible once again.

Among the biggest changes: an increased number of outdoor activities, allowing Queenslanders to venture three times as far away from their homes, and the news that cafes, restaurants and hotels will be able to open for dine-in customers. You can also now have five visitors in your home — including from separate households — and attend outdoor gatherings of up to ten people. But there are, of course, some rules.

These new restrictions are set to remain in place until at least June 12, with the government assessing whether to loosen them further before that date. So, what exactly can you do when the new limits come into effect? We've broken it down.

The below information is correct as of Thursday, May 14. We'll update as any new announcements are made.


Can I see my friends and family?

Yes, visiting your friends and family is allowed. You can also have five visitors into your home, in addition to those you live with, and gatherings of up to ten people outdoors — which includes picnics, personal training, hiking, swimming and non-contact sport. Social distancing measures should be followed at all times and 1.5 metres should be kept between you and other people.


Can I have a dinner party?

Yes, you can — as long as no more than five guests from outside your home are in attendance.


A picnic in a park?

Yes, you can have a picnic in a group of up to ten people. You will need to stay within 150 kilometres of your house, though. If you're looking for a few local spots, here's a rundown.

Brisbane City Council via Flickr


How about exercising in a park?

Yep, as long as you're with a maximum of ten people. Brisbane City Council-run outdoor communal gym equipment and playgrounds will be open, too, as well as skate parks, BMX tracks, and basketball and tennis courts. And non-contact sport — such as kicking the footy, yoga, tai chi and bootcamps — are all allowed.


What other exercise can I do?

Fishing, jet skiing and boating are already allowed, as are walking and bike rides. Other permissible social outdoor sport activities include swimming, throwing a frisbee in the park, and playing golf or tennis.


Can I take my pet out for a walk in the park?

You sure can. Taking your pet for a walk is considered exercise.


Are gyms open?

No, gyms are still closed. But outdoor bootcamps and personal training sessions — with a maximum of ten people — are okay.


Can I visit restaurants, bars and cafes?

For dine-in service, yes — at cafes, restaurants and pubs. They're allowed to open for a maximum of ten dine-in customers, with one for every four square metres.

For takeaway, yes — and at bars, too. Many are even offering delivery.

Food courts are still closed to seated patrons, but you can buy food from an eatery in a food court.


Can I go out for a takeaway coffee?

Yes. But, if you'd like to stay indoors as much as possible, here are some of our favourite roasters offering delivery.


Can I go shopping?

You are allowed to go shopping for non-essential items — "like clothes and shoes," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has advised. Shopping is considered a recreational activity.

That said, you're required to visit purely to purchase what you want, not to shop and hang out. "We don't want you spending hours in those shopping areas," the Premier noted. And, you can only go shopping within 150 kilometres of your house.

Indoors, social distancing is required, with the four-square-metre rule in effect. Outdoors, gatherings must be kept at ten people or less — with social distancing also still required.


Can I get my hair cut?

Hairdressers and barbers have been allowed to remain open during lockdown — but you might want to contact your favourite in advance to see if it is trading. Both services must adhere to the four-square-metre rule, and take a record of names and contact details of each customer for contact-tracing purposes.

Beauticians and nail salons are also now allowed to open, with a maximum of ten people inside.

Spray tans, saunas, steam rooms and non-therapeutic massages are not yet allowed.


Can I road trip to an out-of-town beach for a day?

If that beach is within 150 kilometres or less from your principal place of residence, yes — while adhering to social-distancing rules.

That means that you can visit the Gold Coast's beaches, and many of the Sunshine Coast's as well.


What about driving to go for a hike or bike ride?

If you're staying relatively local, yes. Here are five scenic walks within 50 clicks of the CBD.

If you're keeping within 150 kilometres of your house, that'll be allowed as well from 11.59pm on Friday, May 15.

If you live near a national park, you'll need to check if it's open; however Queensland's Department of Environment and Sciences reopened a number of sites earlier this month — with a full list  available on the department's website.


Can I go on a day trip to a coastal/regional town?

Yes, if that coastal/regional town is 150 kilometres or less from your house, you can drive there for a day trip for recreational purposes. Here are ten places within 150 clicks of the CBD that you can day-trip to.


Can I go on a holiday to a coastal/regional town? Or go camping? Or hire a holiday house?

In short, no. Overnight stays are off-limits, even within 150 kilometres of your home. Camping isn't allowed either.

Short-term rentals, bed and breakfasts and hostels are only open to house people who have been directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine and those whose primary place of residence is not currently available.


I'm on my Ls, how about a driving lesson?

Yes, driving lessons are permitted — but again, you are required to remain within 150 kilometres of your principal place of residence.

You can also only be supervised by a member of your household — so you can't book a professional lesson or get a mate to come over to help.


Can I go to church?

Yes, all places of worship will be allowed to open for small religious ceremonies of up to ten people. Weddings can also have up to ten people, in addition to the couple and the celebrant. Funerals can have up to 20 mourners at an indoor ceremony and 30 outdoors.


If you have more questions, Queensland Health has an extensive rundown of the state's current public health directions on its website — or read Queensland's Roadmap to easing restrictions FAQ.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Published on May 14, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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