It’s been a nervous wait for residents across Australia today, with Darwin, Perth and Queensland leaders all announcing their decisions on whether or not snap lockdowns would come to an end, while those in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia waited to see if Covid-19 case numbers would rise.
With nearly half the population under strict stay-at-home orders this week, there are a range of rules and restrictions in place. Here’s what the Covid-19 rules are for your state this weekend.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced three new Covid-19 cases on Friday morning and revealed the state’s lockdown will only be partially lifted.
Palaszczuk said Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Townsville will no longer be under stay at home orders from 6pm Friday night, however the lockdown will remain in place for Brisbane City Council and Moreton Bay local government areas.
“For people in the Brisbane City Council and Moreton Bay local government areas, the lockdown will continue for 24 hours,” she said.
This will put the new lockdown end time at 6pm on Saturday night, pending any further extensions.
Find out more about the exposure sites and lockdown rules here.
Premier Mark McGowan announced on Friday afternoon that there had been one new case, who had been in quarantine since Sunday. WA authorities believe she wasn’t in the community while infectious.
Perth and Peel region lockdown will end at midnight on Friday.
From tomorrow, people in the Perth and Peel regions will be free to leave their homes. Masks will remain mandatory, both indoors and outdoors, and on public transport.
Private gatherings of up to ten visitors indoors and 20 outdoors, while all public venues, including hospitality, entertainment and retail outlets can reopen.
People from Perth and Peel can travel to other parts of WA but must follow restrictions like wearing a mask.
Perth and Peel entered a four-day lockdown on Monday after a third Covid-19 case was recorded in the area. Residents in these regions are only allowed to leave home for four reasons: for essential work, for purchasing essential goods, for exercise and for medical and health care purposes. Read more about Western Australia’s lockdown here.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced that both Darwin and Alice Springs would be coming out of lockdown as of 1pm on Friday, Territory time (1:30pm AEST). He said 3,502 tests were processed on Thursday, all of which came back negative.
He says there will be no restrictions on leaving your home, however, masks will be mandatory for people in the Top End and those in Alice Springs must wear a mask when in public and when they cannot maintain social distancing. For the next seven days patrons at hospitality venues will need to be seated for anything that isn’t takeaway. Indoor gyms and markets have been identified as the highest-risk sites and will need to remain closed for another seven days, and gatherings at private residents will be limited to 10 visitors not including household visitors.
“That means the lockdown ends today for the Top End and for Alice Springs as well,” he said.
“We are bringing that forward based on the latest health advice. I know it’s been a bit of a wild ride but we are really happy with what’s come through overnight, especially the rapid testing from the Stuart Park site and we can now transition out of the lockdown.”
Darwin and Alice Springs were locked down after a worker at Newmont’s Granites Mine, in the Tanami Desert, was diagnosed with Covid-19 six days ago. There were some concerns as to whether the lockdown would end on time after officials discovered an infected miner in his 50s breached his isolation order and allegedly lied to authorities.
You can find more information here.
The state is halfway through its two-week lockdown, which is due to end next Friday, though authorities warn they have a long way to go before restrictions are eased.
NSW recorded 24 cases yesterday, 12 of which had been in the community while symptomatic, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, warning “that needs to stop”.
Three healthcare workers were also among the latest cases in NSW, including a student nurse who worked at Fairfield and Royal North Shore (RNS) hospitals in Sydney, a healthcare worker at the RNS, Fairfield and Royal Ryde Rehabilitation hospitals and an aged care worker at SummitCare in Baulkham Hills.
Two of the nurse’s contacts were also deemed positive after the 8pm deadline and will be included in Friday’s numbers.
The state has recorded a total of 195 cases since June 16, when a limousine driver tested positive for the Delta strain, after transporting an international flight crew.
Currently, residents of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour are in a two-week lockdown, meaning they can only leave home for essential reasons, including grocery shopping, exercise, receiving medical care and essential work. New South Wales currently has 149 local cases of Covid-19. The state recorded 19 new local cases on Monday night. You can find out more about latest Covid-19 case locations and alerts here.
Victoria recorded no new cases of Covid-19 in the community and three in hotel quarantine on Friday morning.
All travellers from anywhere in Australia must apply for a permit to enter Victoria. Greater Sydney and Wollongong, as well as Greater Darwin have been declared as red zones, while Greater Brisbane and Perth and Peel regions in Western Australia have been declared as orange zones. People who have been in orange zones can obtain a permit to enter Victoria but must isolate on entry and get tested within 72 hours.
Despite no local cases, a raft of restrictions have been introduced in South Australia. Masks must now be worn in high-risk settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals, and are recommended on public transport. Private gatherings are limited to 150 people, while singing is also prohibited. Premier Steven Marshall said the new restrictions, which came into effect Monday night, will be in place for one week. You can find more details and the latest updates here.
Face masks are now required in certain public settings, such as public transport, indoor retail premises and aged care facilities in the ACT, despite no new local cases. There are currently travel restrictions in place for NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory and New Zealand. You can find out more on the ACT’s official Covid-19 website.
Tasmania has introduced a hard border closure with Greater Sydney, while regions in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland have been listed as high risk with travel restrictions now in place. Find the latest travel restrictions updates here.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a media conference on Friday morning to give an update on the state of the country’s Covid-19 outbreaks stating that at no time in the federation history had the cabinet ever met as frequently as they had in the past 18 months while dealing with the pandemic. The PM announced the cabinet had agreed on a four phase “pathway out of covid-19” which would mean lockdowns go ahead only in “extreme circumstance”, though the full details of the plan or the definition of an extreme circumstance are still to come.