As Australia's coronavirus restrictions ease, here's what you can now do in your state

Restrictions are easing in some states and territories on Monday as the country moves towards recovery.

The hospitality industry is one sector to benefit from the easing restrictions.

The hospitality industry is one sector to benefit from the easing restrictions. Source: AAP

Australia’s states and territories are easing some coronavirus restrictions today to help kickstart the economy after a more than two-month hiatus for businesses.   

It marks stage two of the federal government’s three-stage framework towards a post-lockdown footing, unveiled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in early May.

Following a national cabinet meeting on Friday, Mr Morrison said Australia was in "good shape" and remained on track to move to stage three of the framework by July.

While a formal goal of eliminating all coronavirus cases from Australia has not been set, the government wants to ensure there are no major outbreaks before proceeding to stage three. That final stage would allow gatherings of up to 100 people and for most employees to return to workplaces.

Here is what is changing on Monday:

New South Wales

Major roads across the state are expected to see an increase in traffic as the state government lifts its intrastate travel ban on Monday.

Pubs and restaurants can have up to 50 customers, while up to 20 people will be allowed to attend weddings.

Museums, galleries, libraries and beauty salons will also reopen.

"We know how important these services are to individuals and families but as we ease restrictions further, we must remember to keep one another safe," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

Funerals and places of worship can have up to 50 people.

"It is crucial that worshippers remember to follow health advice," the premier said.

"This is particularly important for people with comorbidities aged over 50 and people aged over 70."

The state government had been wary about adjusting the restrictions on places of worship after observing outbreaks in churches and choirs overseas.

But state religious leaders pushed for the relaxation on service attendance after the government last week announced up to 50 people would be permitted to dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes from June 1.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Source: AAP


Cafes, restaurants and other spaces where people gather are preparing to re-open, although a 20-person limit will apply.

The requirements on eateries include: 1.5 metres between tables and the collection of customer contact details to assist in rapid contract tracing should a customer become unwell with the virus.

Libraries, galleries, museums, amusement parks, places of worship, beauty clinics, nail salons and massage parlours will also be allowed to reopen with no more than 20 people.

People will also be permitted to stay in holiday homes and attend tourist accommodation such as caravan parks and camping grounds.

Cafes in Melbourne are set to get busier.
Source: AAP

Despite the easing of restrictions, people are still required to work from home if they can.

"It's really important that Victorians understand this pandemic is not over," Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

"The virus is still with us. It is highly contagious. It's important that we take it seriously."

Individuals caught breaching the directions face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 while businesses could be fined $9,913.


Queensland has brought forward the next stage of easing COVID-19 restrictions by almost two weeks, but will not open borders until at least July.

Queenslanders will be able to travel statewide; and pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to seat up to 20 people from midday on Monday.

Gatherings in homes and gyms will also increase to 20 people, and up to 20 spectators will be allowed to attend community sporting fields.

These restrictions were originally listed to come into effect on June 12.

However, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stood firm and will not reopen the state's borders until at least July, despite just 5 active COVID-19 cases throughout Queensland.

"Let me make it very clear, the border will remain closed for the month of June."

She said they were working with the hospitality industry to further open their businesses by next Friday (June 5) with 20 people per area, providing it meets the one person per four square metre restriction.

However, all patrons must be seated, staff can only work in one assigned area, and only table service will be permitted.

"I know it's been difficult and you've continued your takeaway, but now you can go up to 20," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"If you have a COVID-19 safe plan in place and you have extra capacity as per the four square metre rule, you can have 20 people in each section.

"We will definitely review that (opening borders) at the end of June."

The stage has been brought forward after zero new positive tests overnight on Saturday for COVID-19.

Western Australia

Phase three of the Western Australian government’s four-phase roadmap will commence on June 6, with a range of eased restrictions.

The state will also move away from the one person per four square metre rule, replacing it with a one person per two square metre rule.

Premier Mark McGowan said non-work, indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed, an increase on the current 20-person limit.

"Phase three will allow Western Australians to enjoy more social and recreational activities and continue to get back to a more normal way of life," Mr McGowan said.

"Up to 300 people will be permitted in some settings, like for indoor and outdoor venues, with multiple divided spaces with up to 100 people in each space.

"This is being referred to as the 100-300 rule."

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan.
Source: AAP

Beauty services including nail, tanning and waxing salons can resume business, while saunas, bath houses, wellness centres, float centres, spa and massage will also reopen.

Travel will be permitted throughout the state, including into the Kimberley region once the area's Commonwealth Biosecurity zone status is removed. State authorities are hoping the Kimberley region restrictions will be lifted on June 5.

Access into the state's 274 remote Aboriginal communities will remain prohibited.

South Australia

South Australia moves to stage two of their recovery roadmap on Monday.

A number of establishments will be allowed to reopen for up to 80 people, provided they abide by the four-square-metre rule.

This includes restaurants, cafes, wineries, pubs, breweries, bars, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries and gyms.

Nail bars and beauty salons, tattoo and massage parlours will also be permitted to reopen, while gyms can run classes, but will be limited to 10 participants.

Up to 50 people will be allowed at funerals.

South Australia’s Premier Steve Marshall announced his state was making good progress in the fight against the virus.
Source: AAP


The second stage of Tasmania’s roadmap will kick into gear on June 15.

On that day, up to 20 people at a time will be able to gather indoors and outdoors, including at restaurants and cafes, cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and performance venues, religious gatherings and weddings, gyms, beauty salons, open homes and auctions.

Up to 50 people will be permitted to gather for funerals.

Border controls are expected to remain in place as part of this stage, and the 20-person rule will apply for camping and overnight boating.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory will move into stage three of their roadmap to ease restrictions at noon on June 5.

From that date, all businesses and services previously restricted can resume, as long as they adhere to a number of principles.

Residents will also be able to go to a bar without consuming food and go to nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, concert or music halls.

Amusement venues, community centres and play centres will be able to resume operation.

All previously restricted services at places that provide beauty therapy, cosmetic services and tattooing can also be accessed from June 5.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT moved into Step 2.1 of their recovery plan on Saturday, which saw the easing of several restrictions.

Up to 20 people are now allowed at restaurants, cafes and licensed venues, as well as beauty, tanning, waxing and nail salons, spas, massage, tattoo and body-modification parlours.

Museums, galleries, national institutions and outdoor attractions are now open while abiding by the 20-person rule people.

Weddings, religious ceremonies and places of worship can also resume with up to 20 people.

The four-square-metre rule still applies in the territory, and any businesses choosing to reopen need a COVID Safety plan.

Gyms and health clubs can also reopen for up to 20 people at a time, but restrictions apply for unsupervised free weight training.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at

Published 31 May 2020 at 4:47pm, updated 1 June 2020 at 8:34am
By Peter Theodosiou
Source: SBS News