Prime Minister announces three-step easing of COVID-19 restrictions


Karlie Brady


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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a three step map out of coronavirus.

Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to re-open under stage one of the National Cabinet’s road map out of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a three-step plan to ease restrictions following today’s National Cabinet meeting.

Mr Morrison said the goal is to move through all of the steps and achieve a COVID safe economy by July of this year.

However, each state and territory will decide how and when to implement the changes in their own jurisdiction.

"Step one will enable greater connection with friends and family, allowing gatherings up to 10 people, and five guests in your own home,” the Prime Minister said.

“It will see children back in classrooms and in playgrounds in their communities. Golfers back on the green. Lap swimmers back in the pool. Boot camps back in the parks. Retail and small cafes and restaurants reopening. Intrastate recreational travel, starting again.”

It will also see an easing of restrictions for funerals with up to 30 attendees, outdoors, and 10 at weddings.

Step two will allow larger size gatherings up to 20 people, including for venues such as cinemas and galleries, more retail openings on sector-based COVID safe plans, organised community sport, and beauty parlours.

"Step three, allowing gatherings up to 100 people. This will become clearer as we move through the first two steps. There will be more work to do on step three. But most workers, by then, will be back in the workplace. Interstate travel will likely resume. Pubs and clubs with some restrictions will be open. And also possibly gaming venues,” Mr Morrison said.

"In this plan, we walk before we run. We know we need to be careful to preserve our gains, if we wish to reclaim the ground we lost, we cannot be too timid.

"There will be risks, there will be challenges, there will be outbreaks, there will be more cases, there will be setbacks,” he said.

Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, said step one was cautious and gentle and strict distancing and hygiene is still extremely important.

“It’s essentially getting people in groups of 10 together, outdoors, particularly, staying working at home if it’s going alright for you and your employer,” he said.

“Allowing 10 people in a one-person per four square metre distance in small cafes and restaurants.

“That means many won’t be able to open, but many doing takeaway may want to put up enough tables to start gently serving 10 people at a time.”

It will now be up to the State government to announce how this plan will be implemented in Queensland.

Queensland has already announced that family groups of up to five can visit other homes from Sunday, while the 50km distance restriction will also be lifted if visiting another home.

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