With a long weekend coming up, but COVID-19 hanging over us all, you're probably wondering what you can and can't do. Can I go for a drive? Can I visit my family? Can I go camping? Unfortunately, our weekends are going to look a whole lot different for a while, but if you're wondering what is and isn't allowed under lockdown, we've got some answers for you.
Under Stage 3 Lockdown rules, Queensland has been warned that these are the only reasons you can leave your house. Fortunately for us, getting food is still one of them, so you can stock up on the Gold Coast's best takeaway without a worry. But if you're thinking about leaving the house for other reasons this Labour Day weekend on the Gold Coast, here's what you can and can't do.
Can I visit my friends and family?
Under current Queensland COVID-19 rules, you can visit another person’s house, as long as there are no more than two people who are not ordinarily members of that household visiting. So, if you're planning to visit your parents, you can do so with your partner, or one other member of the family who doesn't ordinarily live there, though you should still maintain social distancing practices and wash your hands thoroughly. It's also strongly recommended that you do not visit elderly relatives or those most at risk of suffering severe symptoms of COVID-19. You're also only allowed to travel a maximum of 50kms, so make sure you don't go too far.
Can I go away for the weekend?
Nope. There's no leeway here. Hotels and such are now closed to all but those who need accomodation for work or self-isolation purposes, and 'going camping' is not on the list of reasons to leave your house, even if it's within your own state. Most camping facilities are closed anyway, so you're better off just camping in your own backyard.
Can I have a picnic?
Yes, you can, as long as it's with the members of your own household, or yourself and one other person not in your household, so get those blankets ready to take to one of our favourite picnic spots. Keep in mind that you will be sharing the green spaces with plenty of other cooped up people, so please maintain social distancing, consider that parking is probably going to be an issue if you're planning to drive and for goodness sake, just BE KIND. You can also now get takeaway and eat it in the park or on a park bench, so no more letting your fish and chips to get cold on the drive home—whoop!
Can I go for a drive?
Yes. For those who desperately need to get out of the house, going for a leisurely drive is allowed as of midnight, Friday 1 May, so fill up your tanks and plan a route. You can only travel up to 50kms however, and if you plan on making any stops on your drive, make sure they fit in with these rules.
Can I go hiking?
Yes. Similarly to above, visiting a national park for a hike is on the approved list as of this weekend (Saturday 2 May). While you can head outdoors for fresh air and excercise, you should be doing so within 50kms of home, not driving for hours to find the perfect hiking spot. Live within that distance of a great hike? Go for it. But make sure you check that the national park isn't still closed first, and also consider the fact that a lot of others might have the same idea as you, so it might not be the solitary walk you were hoping for.
Can I go to the beach?
As long as it's within 50kms of your home, yes. Aren't we lucky we live where we do?!
Can I go shopping?
Yes. Whereas previously Queenslanders were only permitted to shop for essential goods and services, heading out to buy non-essentials is now also on the list, so as long as you follow social distancing guidelines, you can pop to the shops. Whether all retail shops will re-open is another question, so check with the stores you're planning to visit before you go. Most will also have to make in-store changes to limit the number of people inside and keep a 1.5m distance between customers, so be patient, and consider if you really need retail therapy or if you can just shop online.
Ready to make the most of the eased restrictions? Check out the Gold Coast's best bushwalks.
Image credit: Kaitlin Maree Photography for Urban List