It’s the time of year when many Australians are usually packing their bags and getting excited about upcoming trips to warmer destinations overseas. Yet this year – becoming known as the year the earth stood still – we’re simply excited to travel to the next town over and enjoy a meal in our favourite restaurants, and finally we can.
From Monday 1 June, New South Wales and Victoria, the two states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, will join the rest of Australia by allowing regional travel. As well as this, June will mark the beginning of the end for coronavirus closures as bars, restaurants, salons and even zoos and museums across the country are allowed to open and operate at decent capacity. However, this freedom is not without precautions of course. Rules still apply, as do social distancing and sanitising, so here’s everything you need to know for each state:
New South Wales
From Monday 1 June:
Regional travel across the state will be allowed for any reason, including holidays, so start booking those trips folks. A number of caravan parks and camping grounds will also reopen. We recommend heading towards the state’s rural towns that are still suffering from the bushfire season as well as coronavirus.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and pubs can increase patron numbers from 10 to 50 at a time so long as they can maintain the one person per four square metre rule. Bookings are also limited to 10 people who must be seated. Buffets and dancing in clubs are still out.
Beauty salons including, nail bars, tanning studios, hairdressers and more will be allowed to reopen. However, businesses must operate under stricter hygiene measures and continue social distancing where possible.
Parents will finally have new ways to entertain their children as NSW zoos, aquariums and animal parks open. As will, art galleries, museums and libraries, however, don’t be surprised if they ask for your contact details upon entry; this is simply a way to monitor the spread of the virus and alert you of any outbreaks. Many of these venues will be operating at limited capacity, so make sure to check their websites for details before you go – you might need to book in advance.
The rules about gatherings remain the same. Public gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed and five people from different households can visit your home.
From Monday 1 June:
Campgrounds and caravan parks are open except for communal facilities like kitchens or bathrooms. Overnight stays at accommodation and private residences are also allowed, meaning you can start booking those staycations. Check out our reviews of Hotel Chadstone Melbourne and Zagame’s House in Carlton for some inspiration.
Cafes, restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses like RSLs and bowling clubs will be able to seat 20 patrons in an enclosed space. However, customer contact details must be taken and there can only be one customer per four square metres with tables spaced at least 1.5m apart.
Galleries, museums, drive-in cinemas and other cultural spaces will reopen with limits on numbers. As well as, zoos, outdoor amusement parks, libraries, youth centres and community facilities. If you’re planning to head to the zoo or a similar attraction make sure to plan ahead as you may need to pre-book a ticket online.
Beauty and personal care services like nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours will also reopen, provided they maintain the four square metres of space per customer rule. It is also a requirement to keep the contact details of each customer.
Victorians will now be able to host 20 people under the roofs of their homes including those who live there. Outside gatherings are also allowed up to 20 people, which includes community sport and in swimming pools.
On Tuesday, state schools will welcome back the first wave of students to classrooms and public playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment will be open again.
From Monday 22 June:
Cinemas and theatres can reopen with the limit of gatherings raised to 50 people. Hospitality venues will also be allowed up to 50 people.
Indoor gyms and fitness centres will be able to open their doors with no more than 20 people per space and up to 10 people involved in a group activity at any one time.
Victoria’s ski slopes are also set to open on June 22.
From Monday 1 June:
Phase two of South Australia’s easing of coronavirus restrictions will now begin on Monday 1 June, earlier than initially planned.
All pubs, clubs and restaurants will be able to have up to 80 customers at a time as long as they can contain them in groups of 20 in separate rooms or areas and each person is allowed four square metres. Pubs will also be allowed to serve alcohol without food, but only to seated patrons.
Cinemas, theatres, galleries and museums across South Australia will be able to open and cater to up to 80 people. Rules allowing one person per four square metres, and 1.5-metre social distancing, will remain in place.
Beauty salons can reopen as can gyms and indoor fitness centres, provided there is no more than 10 people per class. Non-contact outdoor sport is also allowed for up to 20 people.
South Australians have already been enjoying some eased restrictions including the freedom to travel regionally. Non-essential travellers are still allowed into the state but are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
From 12pm Friday 5 June:
The Northern Territory has been ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to lifting restrictions and will move to its final stage on Friday 5 June. During this stage, all business will be allowed to reopen as long as they have a Covid-19 plan.
The two-hour limit on activities will be removed, both indoors and outdoors. Likewise, there will be no limit on how many people can gather so long as those who don’t live together keep a 1.5m distance between them.
Entertainment venues and cinemas are allowed to re-open in approved seating configuration. As is amusements parks, recreation centres, sporting arenas and stadiums. Places that have already opened include art galleries, museums, public memorials, public historic sites, zoos and wildlife facilities.
Bars and clubs will be allowed to operate and sell alcohol without food and licensed gaming activities, including TAB, will be allowed to resume. All restaurants, cafes, bars and RSL clubs are already open for people who purchase food.
Travel interstate is allowed with limits on remote communities (biosecurity zones) however state borders will remain closed indefinitely. Anyone who wants to enter the Northern Territory must complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
From Friday 29 May
Western Australia’s remaining regional travel boundaries will be lifted except for the Australian Government biosecurity zones, including the Kimberley region, parts of the Shire of East Pilbara and Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.
From mid-June (date TBC)
WA has not yet confirmed a date for phase three of the road map to ease restrictions, yet it is expected to begin in mid-June. The next steps will involve increasing the number of people allowed at gatherings, relaxing the restrictions for gyms, health clubs and indoor sport centres, allowing contact sport to resume with limitations, allowing beauty therapy and personal care services to open and allowing real estate auctions to go ahead. It will also see the reopening public playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, skate parks, zoos, cinemas, galleries, museums and concert venues, with gathering limits.
Currently, indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings allowed of up to 20 people; cafes and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casino allowed to serve up to 20 patrons; non-contact community sport is allowed and places of worship, community facilities and libraries are permitted with up to 20 people.
From Friday 1 June
While maintaining the four square metre rule and social distancing, restaurants, pubs and clubs will be able to accommodate 20 customers at a time; home gatherings can also number up to 20 people, and beauty salons and personal care studios including gyms, health clubs and yoga studios will be allowed to reopen. The plan is that from 10 July, up to 100 people will be allowed to gather inside and outside.
Recreational travel will be allowed with no limit on distance except for discrete First nations communities restricted under the Biosecurity Act. Overnight stays are also be allowed. Interstate travel borders remain closed and may stay closed until September, according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Outdoor amusement parks, tourism attractions, and zoos may also reopen, as well as museums, art galleries, historic sites, public spaces, and parks. This will be followed by concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, and stadiums.
From Monday 15 June:
On Monday 15 June, Tasmania will begin phase two of eased restrictions which will allow up to 20 people to gather in both indoor and outdoor areas including restaurants, cinemas museums, open homes and auctions, gyms and fitness classes, and beauty services.
People can travel freely around the state as restrictions on overnight stays at caravan parks and hotels will be lifted. Camping and use of cabins will be allowed. State border controls remain in place.
Outdoor community sports can resume with 20 people involved, as can indoor sports except without any spectators.
Australian Capital Territory
From Saturday 30 May:
Gyms, fitness centres, beauty salons and massage parlours will be permitted to reopen as the ACT moves into phase two of eased restrictions.
Gatherings of up to 20 people will be permitted per enclosed space, as long as social distancing is maintained with one person per four square metres. This applies to hospitality venues and both indoor and outdoor social sports groups.
Public spaces, including campgrounds, will also be able to reopen and as of 1 June, Canberrans will be allowed to visit NSW for a holiday.
Galleries, museums, and outdoor attractions such as the National Zoo and Aquarium will be permitted to reopen to groups of up to 20 people in a booked session.