Australians have a lot of questions regarding social and travel restrictions. People are getting stir crazy and they want to know exactly what they can do and where, and, if they can’t do something, when they will be allowed to again. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy answer to any of these questions. The federal government’s guidelines are continuously in flux, and each state has its own set of guidelines as well.
The Guardian published a helpful article breaking down current restrictions by state and territory.
For example, how many people are you allowed to have inside your house at one time? If you live in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory or the ACT, there is no limit (though social distancing is still required). Meanwhile Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria and NSW put the cap at 20 people.
What about restaurants and cafes and pubs? The answer for all states is yes, though of course the details vary. So, for example, in NSW as many as 50 people may dine in at a restaurant or cafe at one time, provided there is sufficient social distancing.
In Victoria, the limit is 20 customers at a time, though that is scheduled to be bumped up to 50 on 12 July. Queensland also allows 20 diners, unless it’s the outback, in which case 50 local residents are permitted.
Restaurants in Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT are all open for business, and their patron limits (if they have any) are quite liberal: 250 max in Tasmania, and 100 max in the ACT, for example.
As for travel restrictions, ABC breaks them down in a recent article.
Australians may enter and leave the following states/territories without much if any ado, meaning that, generally speaking, there are currently no restrictions: Victoria, NSW, and the ACT.
On the other hand, you need an official exemption to get into Queensland (though that restriction is due to be relaxed 10 July). Western Australia’s borders are also closed—and there is no word on when that might change.
If you’re headed to the Northern Territory, prepare to quarantine for 14 days, unless you’ve got an exemption. However, the quarantine policy is set to end 17 July, with a few exceptions.
Tasmania has a similar quarantine policy—two weeks for all non-essential travelers—and that will continue through at least 24 July.
South Australia’s borders, meanwhile, are open to people from Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. People traveling from elsewhere, however, are required to quarantine for a fortnight. That is, unless you’re an essential traveler, for instance someone working with children.
Now my head is swimming. I think I’ll have a gimlet.