People swarmed to Sydney beaches on Anzac Day. Picture: MatrixNews
People swarmed to Sydney beaches on Anzac Day. Picture: MatrixNews

When will lockdowns end in my state?

Queensland and Western Australia will begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions, but what about other states?

Here is the current situation across the country.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Picnics, boating, hiking, camping and group exercise are back for Western Australians, and couples can now have a few more people at their wedding after the state relaxed its coronavirus restrictions.

But other restrictions related to restaurants, play equipment and travel bans remain in place.

The State Government announced on Sunday that it was increasing its two-person limit on non-work activities to 10, providing people adhere to social distancing and good hygiene.

 

Premier Mark McGowan said while WA was still in a state of emergency, low numbers of confirmed cases meant a "cautious relaxation" of restrictions was possible.

"Our numbers may be low but we need to keep it that way," he told reporters.

WA recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

The state has confirmed 549 coronavirus cases, but only 55 remain active.

There are 16 people in Perth hospitals, including four in intensive care.

The State War Memorial in Perth’s Kings Park. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
The State War Memorial in Perth’s Kings Park. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

 

QUEENSLAND

Stay-at-home COVID-19 restrictions will be eased from next weekend, but Queensland's borders will remain closed.

Family picnics and weekend drives will be permitted, and national parks will reopen next Saturday with residents directed to travel no further than 50km from their homes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the easing of stay-at-home restrictions would start at midnight on Friday.

It means from Saturday, people can travel 50km from home to visit parks, have a picnic and jet ski, while shopping for non-essential items is also permitted.

However, the Premier has warned that movement was "limited to members of your own household".

"We will be able to lift some of the stay-at-home restrictions and … we really need the public to 100 per cent co-operate," she told reporters on Sunday.

"If we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down."

The Premier said the 50km limit was to avoid large-scale movements of people between places like "Cairns to Townsville", and borders would remain closed.

Despite the easing of restrictions, there will be no cross-border travel for those living near the NSW border.

Ms Palszczuk said border closures were the reason both Queensland and the nation had been able to stymie the spread of COVID-19.

"There's still large community transmission in NSW and Victoria … and one of the two key measures taken was to close our international borders and close our state borders," she said.

The Premier said people from Victoria and Sydney had come to Queensland and tested positive, so the borders would not be opened in the immediate future.

Health Minister Steven Miles said there were just 98 active cases across the state, with Queensland's infection total sitting at 1030.

Three new cases were recorded on Saturday, while another was added from previous testing.

There are 18 people in hospital, of which six are in intensive care with five on ventilators.

Of concern was that of the two cases announced on Saturday, authorities had yet to determine where one person contracted COVID-19 on Brisbane's north side.

Swimmers at Sydney’s McKenzies Beach. Picture: MatrixNews
Swimmers at Sydney’s McKenzies Beach. Picture: MatrixNews

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week said her government was exploring options for lifting restrictions but did not make any firm commitments.

"We have used this time during restrictions when we have seen a drop in the number of new cases to prepare the health system, to prepare the community for what would occur if we did raise those restrictions," she said, the ABC reports.

NSW has recorded more than 3000 COVID-19 cases but fewer than 800 of those are active.

Nineteen people are in intensive care.

The state's death toll stands at 36 after a sixth resident of Newmarch House in Caddens died on Saturday.

The Anglicare aged care facility is the state's largest ongoing cluster, with some 31 of the almost 100 residents having been infected as well as 17 staff members.

Eight new coronavirus cases were confirmed in NSW on Sunday, taking the state total to 3002.

Among the new cases was a medical worker at Nepean Hospital who had not been in contact with patients for 48 hours before showing symptoms.

Two staff members were in isolation as were eight staff members at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.

On Saturday, an aged care worker at Catholic Healthcare Bodington in the Blue Mountains also tested positive for coronavirus but had not contacted residents within 48 hours of showing symptoms.

Some 20 residents have tested negative to the virus.

"Whilst this is a particularly difficult and challenging virus, we also know it still hasn't managed to get through the community in NSW, indeed Australia, to the extent it certainly has in other jurisdictions," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Sunday.

"We're keeping in fairly low numbers."

Mr Hazzard reiterated that NSW residents should continue following social-distancing measures and frequently wash their hands.

A tree with a face mask and eyes in Melbourne. Picture: Scott Barbour/AAP
A tree with a face mask and eyes in Melbourne. Picture: Scott Barbour/AAP

 

VICTORIA

Victoria will not follow in the footsteps of other states in easing some social-distancing measures despite a falling infection count.

The state's coronavirus death toll has risen to 17, with Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirming a man in his 90s who contracted COVID-19 died in hospital, while three more people tested positive to the virus on Sunday.

Of the three new cases, one was a patient at the private psychiatric facility the Albert Road Clinic, which has been the centre of an outbreak.

At least 16 staff, patients and known contacts have contracted the virus at the facility.

The state's total number of COVID-19 cases sits at 1349, though 1265 people have recovered.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said the low case numbers were encouraging.

"They prove that our physical-distancing measures are working, but this is not a time to relax our strong approach - this disease can get away from you very quickly as we have seen in cities overseas," Professor Sutton told reporters on Sunday.

He said he had no intention of altering Victoria's stay-at-home measures until the state of emergency ended on May 11 despite moves by Queensland and Western Australia to ease some restrictions this week.

"I don't know what transmission will look like this week or next week, but I think the state of emergency going to May 11 is a nice line-up with the National Cabinet process for a real look at changing the restrictions," Prof Sutton said.

He also rebuffed calls from the state opposition and Federal Government to return to face-to-face learning before the end of term two.

The Victorian Government has encouraged parents to keep their children at home for all of term two.

Schools are open for students who cannot learn from home and the children of essential workers.

"My advice hasn't changed," Prof Sutton said.

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australia recorded no new cases of coronavirus for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday.

The state has recorded 438 cases of COVID-19 to date, with 23 of those active.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the Government was not looking at easing restrictions "any time soon" despite other states such as Western Australia relaxing their rules.

"Our restrictions are actually not as severe in some respects as other states and territories," he told reporters.

South Australia's existing restrictions are more in line with Western Australia's relaxed version.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said going forward the state would be "even more cautious" because while "a lot has been learned about the virus, there is still a lot we do not know".

"This is an ultra-marathon and this pandemic is going to be with us for a long time," she said.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Government is urging people with serious medical issues to not let the coronavirus pandemic deter them from seeking help.

Mr Wade said there had been a significant reduction in emergency department presentations, ambulance call-outs and GP visits.

He warned that people should not delay seeking treatment for an acute illness or chronic health condition out of fear of contracting COVID-19.

In the first two weeks of April, South Australia's major metropolitan hospitals had about 8000 emergency department presentations - a 32 per cent decrease compared with the same time last year.

There were about 8400 hospital inpatient admissions, which represented a 25 per cent decrease.

Deputy chief public health officer Michael Cusack said delaying treatment could have serious long-lasting effects.

"We want to ensure that members of the public seek help immediately if they think they may be experiencing a heart attack, stroke or other medical emergency," he said.

"Please do not let concerns about COVID-19 cost you your health."

An Australian Defence Force member in Burnie, Tasmania. Picture: Department of Defence via AAP
An Australian Defence Force member in Burnie, Tasmania. Picture: Department of Defence via AAP

 

TASMANIA

Tasmania has two sets of restrictions - statewide rules and a second set of harsher restrictions for the northwest region where there has been an outbreak that started among healthcare workers.

The region has been responsible for 10 of the state's 11 COVID-19-related deaths and more than half of the state's 212 cases.

Premier Peter Gutwein said the northwest restrictions would be in place until at least May 3, and the statewide restrictions would be revisited on May 15, but people should not expect things to go back to normal.

"Social distancing will need to occur, businesses will have to change their operating models (until there is a vaccine)," he said, the ABC reports. "It simply won't be business as usual and I think people understand that."

 

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The Australian Capital Territory continues to report very low numbers of COVID-19 infections, with no new cases on Sunday.

There are only seven active cases out of 106 confirmed tests so far and only one person in hospital.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said some restrictions could be eased soon but wanted to stay in line with NSW as much as possible.

"Smaller family gatherings and smaller gatherings outdoors … are relatively low-risk in an environment where there are no active cases in the ACT for a two-week period," Mr Barr said, the ABC reports.

"Were we to reopen bars and restaurants, but they remained closed in NSW, then we would get quite an influx of people into the territory and that would lead to an increased risk. The biggest challenge is if we significantly loosen restrictions and then cases take off again, we may find ourselves having to lock back down and maybe even more severely."

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Northern Territory remains in the best position overall, with just 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases and only five of those still active.

Harsh border control measures, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travellers, have helped squash the spread of the virus.

Those measures will remain in place for some time and will only be adjusted "when clinical advice indicates it is in the best interest of the Northern Territory community to do so", a government spokesman told the ABC last week.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said that would "happen not a moment later than it needs to and not a moment sooner".

Originally published as When will lockdowns be lifted?