"Can I go for a day trip?" Exactly what you can do in your state this weekend.

After almost two months under essential coronavirus restrictions, life in Australia is gradually returning to normal. Or something like it.

Our success at limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus means that, in certain states, people are sitting down at restaurants, having picnics in parks or friends over for dinner for the first time in weeks.

It’s all part of the federal government’s three-step “road out” plan to revive the crippled economy.

Watch: Prime Minister Scott Morrison explains step one of his plan.

Video by 9 News

State and territory leaders can pick and choose which elements they implement and when, but the aim is that the entire country is as close to business-as-usual as possible come July.


Many of the new Phase One rules came into effect over the last few days, and in some cases, even Phase Two.

Here’s where the rules stand in your state this weekend.

How many people can I have over to my house?

QLD: You can have a maximum of five visitors to your home at once. The visitors can be from different households.

NSW and VIC:  Up to five at once. The visitors can be from different households and there’s no daily limit. In NSW, an overnight stay while visiting someone’s home is allowed.

ACT: A maximum of 10 at a time. There is an exception: if two households, totalling more than 10 people, come together. (ie. one household of six visits a household of five.)

TAS: Currently, two at once. But as of Monday, May 18, that increases to five.

SA: Ten at once.

NT: There isn’t a limit, but authorities are advising people to keep gatherings small and maintain physical distancing.

WA: Currently, 10 at a time. But that increases to 20 as of Monday, May 18.

Can I go to cafes, pubs and restaurants?

QLD: Yes. Up to 10 people at a time are permitted to dine in at restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and RSLs. Venues in Outback Queensland are allowed a maximum of 20 locals at once. In both cases, alcohol can only be provided to seated diners. Patrons who are not members of the same household must exercise 1.5m in physical distancing.

NSW, ACT: Yes. Cafes, bistros, restaurants, pubs, clubs and RSLs can have up to 10 patrons seated at any one time. Patrons who are not members of the same household must exercise 1.5m in physical distancing. Alcohol service is only available for customers eating at the venue.

VIC: No. Restaurants and cafes are only allowed to open for takeaway and delivery.

TAS: Not until Monday, May 18. This weekend is still takeaway and delivery only. But the rules are changing on Monday to allow restaurants and cafes in all settings (including restaurants in pubs, clubs, hotels and RSLs) to seat up to 10 people at a time.

SA: Outdoor dining is permitted at cafes and restaurants for up to 10 people at once. Pubs, clubs and bars remain closed.

WA: Not this weekend — it’s still takeaway and delivery only. But, as of Monday, May 18, cafés and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casinos, can have a maximum of 20 seated dine-in patrons.


NT: Yes. Restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs, bars and food courts are all open, with no caps on the number of patrons. However, gatherings are limited to two hours and alcohol can only be served with food.

Can I access beauty services and go shopping?

Beauty services have reopened in some states. Image: Getty.

In all states, hairdressers and barbers remain open, but otherwise, the rules vary.

QLD: Yes, up to 10 people are allowed in beauty salons and nail salons as of Saturday, May 16. Although tanning services are not allowed, either as a standalone business or at a beauty salon. Shops are open, too, but you can only access those within 150km of your home.

NSW, ACT, TAS, SA and WA: It's a no for beauty. Spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons and tanning salons cannot provide services. But shops and retailers are open.

VIC: No, beauty services are not permitted. And shopping is still only allowed for necessary goods and services at supermarkets, pharmacies and other service providers.

NT: Non-facial beauty services are allowed, for example, tanning, waxing and nails. Shops and retailers are open.

What are the rules for beaches and parks?

QLD: As of May 16, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed. So you can meet friends at a park or beach, as long as it's within 150km of your home. National Parks are also now open.


NSW, ACT, VIC, WA, SA: You can gather outdoors in groups of up to 10 people in total, including at beaches, parks and playgrounds. National Parks are also open in each state for day visitors.

TAS: As of Monday, May 18, the 10-person rule will also apply to outdoor gatherings in Tasmania, including parks and playgrounds. National Parks are already open to people who live within 30 km.

NT: There aren't many, really. Gatherings of any size are allowed, although should be limited to two hours. Also, keep a minimum of 1.5 metres between you and other people who aren’t known to you.

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What about sport and exercise?

QLD: As of May 16, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed. So Queenslanders can play outdoor, non-contact sports (e.g. golf), use council outdoor gym equipment and participate in personal training or boot camps. Public pools are also open for 10 swimmers at a time. Indoor gyms and fitness centres remain closed.

NSW and SA: You can gather in public places in groups of up to 10 people. Bootcamps and personal training, use of outdoor gym and fitness equipment and outdoor pools are all allowed under that cap.

ACT: Outdoor bootcamps and other non-contact personal fitness training can be held with a maximum of 10 people, excluding the trainer. There is to be no sharing of equipment. Outdoor gym equipment, playgrounds and commercial pools are also able to reopen for up to 10 people.

VIC: You can participate in outdoor non-contact sports (e.g. golf) and in personal training or boot camps in groups of up to 10 people. However, public swimming pools and ocean baths are closed, as are outdoor communal gym equipment and playgrounds.

TAS: When the 10-person rule kicks in on Monday, May 18, you will be able to use outdoor fitness equipment, participate in non-contact sports, bootcamps and personal training. Pools will also be open for a maximum of 10 swimmers at a time.

WA: This weekend, there's still a 10-person limit on outdoor gatherings, including for training and exercise, and outdoor fitness equipment remains closed. But that changes on Monday, May 18. Groups of up to 20 people will be able to participate in outdoor or indoor fitness classes with minimal shared equipment, non-contact community sport and public pools will be open for up to 20 swimmers.

NT: There are no limits on the number of people you can exercise or train with, and contact sports are now allowed. Indoor gyms and fitness studios are also open, but visits are restricted to two hours.


Can I go for a drive or day trip?

QLD: Yes, as long as you remain within 150km of home and do not enter the Outback. Concessions have been made for people who live in the Outback. In that case, recreational travel is allowed up to 500km within Outback Queensland and, because of the distance involved, you may stay for multiple nights away from your place of residence.

NSW: Only for exercise or to visit family and friends.

ACT: Yes, there are no restrictions on travel within the ACT. While the border with NSW remains open, Canberrans should only travel outside of the region to provide care and support to family and friends.

VIC and TAS: No. Victorians and Tasmanians are discouraged from unnecessary local or regional travel.

SA: Yes. In fact, regional travel is being encouraged. South Australia is the first state to have opened campgrounds and caravan parks.

WA: Not until Monday. Then travel will be allowed between the South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Perth-Peel regions; the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions; the Goldfields-Esperance region; and within Kimberley Local Government areas. But travel exemptions will be required to move between these zones.

NT: Yes. And some campgrounds and caravan parks are open for overnight stays.


While the rules may be relaxing, it's important that we don't become complacent. Physical distancing and hand hygiene is still just as important. And if you feel at all unwell, avoid heading out or having people over, and phone your doctor immediately.

For more details on the rules in your state, visit the Federal Government's Health Direct website.

Read more about COVID-19:

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, remain in your home as much as possible, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

Feature image: Getty.