QLD border opening date pencilled in, further restrictions to be eased in VIC and NSW
15 June 2020, Written by David Simmons
The highly anticipated July 10 date for the reopening of Queensland's borders has been tentatively confirmed this morning by the State's Premier.
Speaking at a press conference, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reiterated plans to stick to that date, which was outlined in the state's roadmap for recovery but will be subject to review at the end of this month.
"Our roadmap clearly says July 10," Palaszczuk said.
"I raised at National Cabinet that Queensland has a very comprehensive roadmap, and that July 10 is listed there. I also mentioned that we will review at the end of the month but it is our clear intention that July 10 will be the date for consideration."
Palaszczuk's statements come as the State announces the further easing of restrictions on funerals in Queensland.
From tomorrow, 16 June, up to 100 people will be allowed to attend a loved one's funeral. Social distancing restrictions will still apply and records of attendees must be kept.
"The restrictions we've had to enforce on funerals has been one of the hardest for us to implement," QLD Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
"We've received hundreds of heartbreaking stories from families wanting to have more people to grieve their loved ones. It's an event that people don't get to choose the timing of so they can't put it off as they can other events.
"So to be able to now allow up to 100 people at a funeral, provided records are kept of those attending and social distancing measures are implemented, we can do that safely while allowing people to grieve their loved ones."
Palaszczuk also announced today that the Queensland Government is assessing the new gathering restriction rules for Stage 3 announced on Friday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
These new rules will allow venues in Australia to ditch the 100-person venue capacity limit which will instead be replaced by a four square metre per person per room rule.
"We are actively considering that and we don't have a problem," says Palaszczuk.
The latest announcements from Queensland follow statements from the Victorian and New South Wales Governments regarding the further easing of restrictions in those states.
On Sunday, the Victorian Government announced the gradual easing of restrictions from 11:59pm on Sunday, 21 June 2020.
From 22 June up to 50 people will be permitted to sit inside restaurants, cafes and pubs, with a maximum group size of 20 people.
Patrons of these establishments will also be allowed to be served alcohol without food, and bars and clubs will also be permitted to have up to 50 patrons per space.
The state has also increased the number of people permitted to visit a gallery, museum, national institution, historic site, outdoor amusement park, zoo, or outdoor arcade with up to 50 patrons per indoor space.
Indoor cinemas, movie theatres, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums will also be allowed to reopen with up to 50 seated patrons per space.
Private worship or small religious ceremonies can now include up to 50 people plus people reasonably required for the ceremony.
Auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections can now increase to 50 people plus those required to facilitate the auction.
Indoor sport centres and venues can open with up to 20 people per space, with a limit of up to 10 people per group or activity at any one time.
A staggered approach to the return of community sport will also commence from 22 June, including the resumption of full-contract training and competition for people 18 years' old and under, and the resumption of non-contract competition for people aged over 18 years (both indoor and outdoor).
From 13 July, Victoria will allow the resumption of full-contact training for adults, and from 20 July the resumption of all sport competition for adults.
Other limitations on sports will eased on 22 June including the removal of the limit on three people per lane in swimming pools and the ski season will resume.
Shared facilities at camping and tourist accommodation can also reopen on 22 June and indoor play centres and toy libraries will be able to open with 20 people per space.
New South Wales
New South Wales will begin moving into Stage 3 easing of restrictions from 1 July, with the state to apply the new gathering restrictions announced on Friday by PM Scott Morrison.
This will mean the number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the one person per four square metre rule with no upper limit. All activity must be seated only.
Smaller stadiums with a maximum capacity of 40,000 or less will be allowed to reopen at up to 25 per cent of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed, seated and follow strict social distancing guidelines.
Restrictions on funerals will be eased to allow the four square metres rule to apply, while all other restrictions including the 20 guests in the home and 20 for outside gatherings rules will remain the same.
"We are keen to open the economy in a COVID-safe way," NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.
"The government will also be considering solutions for smaller venues, particularly in regional NSW, where the four square metre rule is not practical for small businesses.
"The July 1 measures will allow vital community hubs in the region to open, such as showgrounds, providing a big boost for communities many of which are still recovering from the devastating impacts of drought and bushfires."
Updated at 10:19am AEST on 15 June.
Author: David Simmons