Sydney Lockdown lifting – slight ease of restrictions as Covid-19 cases decline.
People in Sydney and New South Wales will be able to gather in groups of three from Friday as the government begins a process of slowly easing lockdown restrictions.
There are still 692 known active cases of Covid-19 in NSW right now.
The main change for Friday May 1 2020:
Gathering restrictions change to allow two adults and their children to visit others in their home.
Three adults can now gather together instead of two.
Primary and High School Students will return to classrooms by 11 May with face-to-face lessons, following a staged return during the first fortnight of term two.
“We know that for many people, they’ve been cooped up in their homes for a number of weeks, and with the exception of exercising, medical needs or buying what they need or going to work, many people have been isolated in their homes,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said earlier this week.
However, the NSW government says you must stay at home, unless you are going to:
- work (where you can’t work remotely)
- school or an educational institution
- shop for food or other goods and services
- medical reason or caring for others
So what do the new rules mean? Here’s some core Covid-19 NSW lockdown questions answered:
Can I visit my friends or family?
From Friday, May 1, two adults (and their children, if they have any) will be permitted to visit other households for the purposes of socialising.
Previously this was only allowed for visits that were critical.
People are still urged to socially distance and stay away from each other with 1.5 meters apart if possible.
Can you see your non live in partner?
Couples can still visit each other since the start of April.
When are the shops opening back up?
Certain shops will be allowed to open from May 1. Shops have to prove they’re selling essential supplies.
Essentially many retails including fashion outlets can open now and other retail shops that are likely to open as long as social distancing rules are adhered to.
Getting a haircut or visit a beauty therapist?
Despite the relaxing of restrictions for shops, hands-on services like beauty therapy and massages remain closed (with some exceptions for remedial and medicinal massage). Hairdressers and barbers are still trading under restrict rules.
When am I allowed to leave my house?
Reasons to leave the house are still draconian and down to ‘essential reasons’. However you can socialise in threes now. You could be fined up to $1000 for breaking rules so there is going to be an amgiguos time for people and authorities.
Can I go to the beach?
Last week Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches are open again for exercise – ‘swim and go’ and ‘surf and go’ rules. Sun tanning and sitting on the beach for extended periods are still not permitted.
Can I go for a drive?
You can still only go for a drive if it is for a specific reason. Recreational driving is still not allowed at the moment and you could be fined $1000.
Can I meet a friend for a coffee?
If it’s a takeaway coffee and you are physically distancing you can, however sitting down and chilling for a while may not be allowed.
Are dentists open?
Dental clinics are permitted to provide urgent dental care. But any non-urgent check ups or teeth whitenings are not happening right now.
Can I move house?
Moving house or moving between two places of residence is counted amongst the state government’s reasonable excuses for being outside.
What does the Australian government’s contact tracing app do?
CovidSafe is essential for winding back the lockdowns. About 4 in 10 Australians need to download the app.
Can I leave Sydney?
All travel deemed non-essential, including holidays and avoidable interstate trips is banned. All overseas travel, with very few exceptions, has been banned. You essentially cant go on holidays or leave the country. You will also have difficulty going to different states and some states require 2-weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine.
How long will this last?
While the state government has begun to roll out some lightening of restrictions, it is unclear when life will return to normal. More social regulations are likely to be relaxed in May, but certain protocols such as physical distancing may be in place for several more months to come. We shouldn’t expect to be hitting the pub or seeing a live show too soon. The World Health Organisation has warned that relaxing lockdown restrictions too quickly, could lead to a resurgence of the outbreak.
The national cabinet will meet on May 11 and its likely that these restrictions will be significantly lifted and timeline put in place for a gradual return to business as usual.
However, overseas travel and major gatherings like music concerts are likely to be disallowed until at least the end of 2020, maybe longer.
More Sydney News
The Sydney News Authors