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The Slow Return To Normal

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk explains the Queensland pathway into a post-COVID world at a media conference in Brisbane on Friday

May 8, 2020

Queensland will implement Stage 1 of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s three-step “roadmap” out of COVID-19 isolation from Saturday, May 16.

The PM announced his three-step plan (see below) at a media conference in Canberra on Friday afternoon, but said he would be leaving it up the States and Territories to decide when to start implementing the process as conditions varied across Australia.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland would implement its Stage 1 from 11:59pm on May 15.

She said it would be a slow return to normality in the post-COVID world but the Queensland plan would provide some certainty.

The Premier emphasised workplaces must have COVID-safe plans in place.

From May 16 in Queensland:

  • Gatherings will be allowed in homes (to a maximum of five visitors).
  • Gatherings of a maximum of 10 people will be allowed in a public space.
  • Dining will be allowed in restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSLs and cafes, with a maximum of 10 patrons at a time – this does not include bars or gaming venues – but there must be a COVID-safe plan in place.
  • Some beauty therapies and nail salons well be re-opening for a maximum of 10 people – but no walk-ins; all must be booked ahead with names and details and COVID-safe plans must be in place.
  • Recreational travel will be allowed up to a 150km radius for day trips from your principal place of residence.
  • Libraries, playground equipment, skate parks and outdoor gyms will reopen – a maximum of 10 people at a time.
  • Wedding guests will increase to 10; funerals indoors will increase to 20 people or 30 people outdoors.
  • Open homes and auctions – up to 10 people at a time.
  • Reopening of public pools and lagoons with up to 10 people at a time;  larger numbers will need to have an approved plan in place.
  • Outdoor non-contact community sport will be allowed for a maximum of 10 people.

Some different rules will be in place in outback Queensland, where no confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Dining-in for 20 people at a time will be allowed in restaurants, clubs and cafes; and recreational activities will be allowed up to 500km, but people must remain within the outback area.

“Outback Queensland” has been defined as the local government areas of: Balonne, Banana, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Boulia, Bulloo, Carpentaria, Central Highlands, Cloncurry, Croydon, Diamantina, Etheridge, Flinders, Longreach, Maranoa, McKinlay, Mount Isa, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Richmond and Winton.

Premier Palaszczuk said Stages 2 and 3 would be gradually increase travel distances and the number of open businesses.

Stage Two, from 11:59pm on June 12, would allow:

  • Gatherings at homes with a maximum of 20 visitors
  • Dining-in at restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafes and RSLs for up to 20 patrons at a time, and an option for more with an approved COVID-safe plan

Premier Palaszczuk said drive tourism, up to 250km, was expected to resume in Stage 2 in time for the June school holidays.

“All things going well, from June school holidays, Queenslanders will be able to drive and stay at accommodation for the first time since the pandemic hit,” the Premier said.

Plans – including border restrictions – would be reviewed at the end of each month, based on rates of transmission and health advice.

Travel right across Queensland could be opened up in July, if COVID rates of transmission remained good.

Border restrictions would be removed when health advice confirmed it was safe.

 * * *

The Prime Minister’s Three-Step Plan

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Three-Step Plan, developed by the National Cabinet, was “careful to preserve the gains” but Australians could not be “too timid”.

He admitted there would be outbreaks, and not everything would go to plan, but he said we cannot allow our fear of going backwards to stop us from going forwards.

Steps 2 and Steps 3 would be defined in greater detail as the country moves through Step 1.

Prime Minister Morrison said Step 1 included “cautious first steps but important first steps”.

He said Australia had to “hold its nerve” and “get out from under the doona”.

But he warned he could not see international travel resuming for the foreseeable future.


* * *

Queensland Breakdown

There were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Queensland overnight and five more patients have recovered.

More than 4300 tests were undertaken in Queensland during the past 24 hours, taking the State total since the pandemic began to 129,195.

Nationally, there have been 6912 confirmed cases, with 97 deaths; 63 per cent of these confirmed cases were acquired overseas, while 37 per cent were acquired locally.

Health Service  Active  Recovered  Deaths Total 
Cairns and Hinterland 3 30 0 33
Central Queensland 0 8 0 8
Central West 0 0 0 0
Darling Downs 0 40 2 42
Gold Coast 8 188 0 196
Mackay 0 15 0 15
Metro North 17 295 3 315
Metro South 14 243 0 257
North West 0 0 0 0
South West 0 0 0 0
Sunshine Coast 2 91 1 94
Torres and Cape 0 0 0 0
Townsville 0 24 0 24
West Moreton 0 37 0 37
Wide Bay 1 23 0 24
Total 45 994 6 1045*

* Queensland Health notes that changes may occur in the number of notifications reported from day-to-day. This is due to updates as new information becomes available or where discrepancies are detected through data quality assurance activities.


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One Response to The Slow Return To Normal

  1. Susan Mortimer

    Are coffee shops more important than education?

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