Can I have friends over? What you can and can't do around Australia this weekend.

By now, social distancing and isolation feels like the new normal.

We’re closing in on two months since COVID-19 lockdowns began in some way, and as Australia succeeds in flattening the curve, officials in each state have made decisions to either ease some measures or hold firm on the rules for a while longer.

As different states and territories enforce and lift different rules, it can be confusing to decipher what you can legally do right now – and where.

We’ve broken it down state-by-state to explain what the current social distancing measures mean for you.

Can I visit have my partner, family or a friend or have social guests?

All states allow you to leave home for the purpose of exercise with one other person, which means you can meet your partner or friend in public to exercise together.

The federal government is recommending those over 70, those with chronic illness over 60 and Indigenous people over 50, self-isolate as much as possible.

NSW: As of Friday 1 May up to two adults and the children in their care will be allowed to visit another person’s home in NSW. These visits must be for “care” reasons, however this definition has been broadened, so visiting friends would be considered beneficial for mental health and would fall under “care”.

Victoria: You may visit your partner under an exemption to the no social visits rule, the Victorian health officer confirmed on Twitter. Generally, you cannot visit family unless for care or compassionate reasons.

Queensland: Yes, households may have up to two guests at a time, but distancing between people should be observed.

Tasmania: Visiting partners or family falls under Tasmania’s “social support” essential reason for leaving home and is allowed for up to two guests at a time, but you must continue to social distance. You are unable to stay overnight unless you have elected their home to be your primary residence from March 31.

Western Australia: Yes, if they are in the same region as you. WA has relaxed gathering limits from two to 10 people, but you are not allowed to travel between the state’s nine regions.

South Australia: Yes, there is a 10 person limit on gatherings. However, unnecessary socialising is discouraged.

Northern Territory: Yes, there is a 10 person limit on gatherings. However, unnecessary socialising is discouraged.

ACT: Yes, households are allowed two additional guests at a time as long as there are at least four square metres person indoors.

Can I sit in a park?

NSW: No, sitting in a park for recreational purposes is not allowed and doing so risks being moved along by police, or fined.

Victoria: No, you cannot sit idly in a park.

Queensland: Yes, you can sit in a park alone, with one other person or with the members of your household.

Tasmania: No, Tasmanians can only leave their homes for essential reasons.

Western Australia: Yes, as long as you are not travelling between WA’s regions to do so.


South Australia: Yes, however unnecessary socialising is discouraged.

Northern Territory: Yes, however unnecessary socialising is discouraged.

Can I meet a friend for coffee?

NSW, Victoria and Tasmania: Yes, if it is a takeaway coffee and you are meeting for the purpose of exercising.

Queensland, ACT, WA, SA and NT: Yes, as long as it is a takeaway coffee.

How far can I travel for exercise?

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Image: Getty.

Unnecessary travel is discouraged in all states and territories.

NSW: You are allowed to travel across town, but anything further is not allowed.

Victoria: Exercise must be local.

Queensland: You must stay within 50 kilometres of your home.

Tasmania: Tasmania does not specify distances, but residents are urged to use common sense.

Western Australia: You are not allowed to travel between the nine regions of WA without good cause.

SA, NT and ACT: There are no restrictions, however you are urged not to travel unless necessary.

Can I take part in recreational activities?

when will lockdown end in australia
Photo: Brook Mitchell

NSW: Most recreational activities are still banned, although exercise at some of Sydney's most popular beaches, including Bondi, is now allowed during daylight hours. Some retail stores have reopened, and it is up to residents to decide what is essential to them while shopping.

Victoria: No, Premier Daniel Andrews has not lifted any restrictions in Victoria.

Queensland: Laws on recreational activities will be eased from Saturday, May 2, so going for a drive, sitting at the beach, getting out on the water, having a picnic, visiting national parks and shopping for non-essential items will be allowed, within 50km from your residence.

Tasmania: Tasmanians can take part in recreational activities like fishing, hunting and cycling as long as no more than two people were involved, but are encouraged to think whether it is essential and if exercise can be obtained in other ways.

Western Australia: Non-contact recreational activities such as picnics, fishing, boating, hiking and camping are allowed in groups up to 10 people.

South Australia: Activities like golf and tennis are allowed, as long as social distancing measures are adhered to.

Northern Territory: State owned national parks and reserves will open from noon on Friday, May 1 (this excludes Commonwealth-owned parks like Uluru or Kakadu). Territorians will be able to camp, swim and hike, but must follow social distancing.

Read more:

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, remain in your home unless strictly necessary, 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 images: Getty.