Full guide to what's allowed after easing of restrictions

 

QUEENSLANDERS will be able go shopping for leisure, picnic at the park and sunbathe at the beach in a weekend relaxation of restrictions that will boost community and business wellbeing.

Families have been told bushwalks and fish and chips are back on from Saturday, while elderly people stuck in isolation have been encouraged to go for scenic drives as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she understood some people were not coping.

The surprise announcement was welcomed by business as Westfield Shopping Centres reported more retailers were expected to reopen to take advantage of increased foot traffic.

The easing of restrictions mean people will be able to go for a drive, ride a motorbike, jetski, or go boating for pleasure, have a picnic, visit a national park and shop for non-essential items such as clothes and shoes.

But people will have to do those activities within 50km of home, with their household groups, or with one other person, and while ­social distancing.

The measures will be reviewed in two weeks, with additional relaxations possible if cases remain low.

The news came as just three additional people tested positive, taking total cases to 1030 and active cases to 98.

 

Picnics, retail shopping and boat or jet ski rides will be allowed once COVID-19 restrictions ease in Queensland next weekend.
Picnics, retail shopping and boat or jet ski rides will be allowed once COVID-19 restrictions ease in Queensland next weekend.

 

Ms Palaszczuk said people would need to exercise personal responsibility as police would be checking.

People have been urged not to enter national parks if carparks were full, or to find another picnic venue if they arrived at a crowded one.

"This is a small step and it's one we need the public to 100 per cent co-operate with because if we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"I hope these are just some small measures to say to the public that we are doing a great job in Queensland, but we are not through this yet and I hope that these measures give some form of relief to families.

"I'm trying to be flexible, I'm trying to listen to what the public is saying.

"I think, too, for people's mental health, this is going to be greatly appreciated and don't think I don't under­estimate how people are really doing it tough at home during these times."

CCIQ spokeswoman Amanda Rohan said the announcement would give some retail businesses confidence to reopen as more ­consumers ventured out to support local business.

"However, it's fair to expect business and consumer confidence may be constrained, especially as so many sectors and industries are heavily impacted.

"The easing of these restrictions is a great first step, but the economy will need more activity than that before it can start to recover.

"For business confidence to return, the Palaszczuk Government must provide a line of sight for when further restrictions will be lifted, so businesses can really start planning on their next moves," Ms Rohan said.

Westfield Shopping Centres were expecting to see increased trading across their outlets.

"Approximately 40 per cent of our stores are open across Australia and more retailers are talking to us about opening,'' a Scentre Group spokeswoman said.

"The economy is still charting the road back and our business and retail has a key role to play in this but it will take time."

But Myer will stick to its planned reopening date of May 11.

The retailer temporarily closed all 13 of its Queensland stores and stood down 10,000 employees ­nationwide in March.

Ms Palaszczuk said National Cabinet was looking at boosting testing, tracing and using the tracing app to allow the economy to eventually get back up and running.

While going for walks has relatively remained the same for Tracey Tyson, the Stafford Heights local hopes that the easing of restrictions won't affect the healthy ­habits Queenslanders have been adopting to escape house isolation.

"I've definitely seen more people going for walks in the smaller parks, but it'll be good to see those larger groups in the parks again," Ms Tyson said.

"They (the restrictions) were definitely needed, I even think they need to stay around a bit longer, so I'll be interested in seeing how we respond as they're being eased," she said.

For Caitlin Dauth and Emma Hambleton, being able to picnic again in New Farm Park next weekend will be welcomed.

"I definitely think the restrictions have been warranted and with everything going on, its encouraging to see they're working," Ms Hambleton said.

"I can't wait to be able to go outside and not feel like a criminal."

ACTIVITIES ALLOWED FROM SATURDAY

  • Go for a drive
  • Ride a motorbike, jetski or boat for pleasure
  • Have a picnic
  • Visit a national park
  • Shop for non-essential items like clothes and shoes

CONDITIONS IN PLACE

  • Social distancing and hygiene must be maintained
  • You have to stay within 50km of home and
  • Outings are limited to members of the same household or an individual and one friend

NATIONAL PARKS REOPEN

  • Some popular areas of National Parks will re-open
  • Day-use areas including Danbulla National Park surrounding Lake Tinaroo and Laguna Lookout at Noosa National Park as well as Queen Mary Falls at Main Range National Park
  • Recreational areas including Bribie Island and Cooloola remain closed to four-wheel driving

 

MYER REACTS TO RELAXATION

DESPITE the announcement, a Myer spokesman confirmed to The Courier-Mail that stores would remain closed for the time being.

A previous ASX announcement made on Wednesday by the department chain said stores would remain closed until May 11.

"Myer will closely monitor government measures and advice over the coming weeks, with a view to reopening stores as soon as possible," the announcement said

"The reopening of stores may occur on a staged basis, taking account of applicable conditions and government measures across different states and localities."

Myer stores will remain closed despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Queensland. Picture: Matt Loxton
Myer stores will remain closed despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Queensland. Picture: Matt Loxton

 

Myer, which temporarily closed all stores and stood down 10,000 staff in late March, has stores in Brisbane City, Carindale, Chermside, Maroochydore and Pacific Fair.

It comes as shopping centre owners begin to look into plotting their way through the coronavirus recovery.

AMP Capital, which owns Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and Indooroopilly Shopping Centre on Brisbane's westside, said a greater focus on healthcare facilities were among several key sectors that the company was planning to target during the coronavirus recovery.

PREMIER'S WARNING

Ms Palaszczuk said numbers of new infections would be watched closely and the measures reviewed after two weeks.

"The first sign of a spike we will not hesitate to clamp back," she said.

"This is a test-run to see what effect easing restrictions has on the containment of COVID-19.

"I encourage all Queenslanders to back this first step so that we can keep the virus away and help everyone start to get their lives back."

OPPOSITION RESPONDS

DEPUTY Opposition Leader Tim Mander said he welcomed any relaxation but said the first restrictions lifted should be on going to school.

"If we want to get this economy going again, it's really important that we get our kids back into schools as quickly as possible," he said.

Originally published as What's allowed, Myer reacts as restrictions ease