House parties, packed restaurants and trips to Queensland: All the changes coming to Australia TOMORROW as borders open and more coronavirus restrictions are scrapped
- State borders will reopen December 1 as raft of coronavirus restrictions eased
- Queensland to welcome Sydneysiders and Victorians for first time since August
- South Australia will also finally reopen its borders with Victoria the same day
- Public and private gatherings will be increased in NSW in time for festive season
Christmas will come early for thousands of Australians on Tuesday as state borders reopen for the first time in months and a raft of coronavirus restrictions are eased in time for the festive season.
Sydneysiders and Victorians are among those to benefit most from the changes which will come into affect from midnight December 1.
Queensland will welcome back Sydneysiders for the first time in almost four months as New South Wales approaches a 23rd consecutive day of zero community transmissions.
The Sunshine State will reopen its borders to borders to Victorians on the same day after the state recorded its 30th consecutive day of zero new cases or deaths.
Restaurants and bars will be able to accommodate more patrons from Tuesday. Pictured are a group of friends enjoying a drink at Sydney’s Coogee Bay Hotel on Melbourne Cup Day
South Australia will also reopen its borders to Victorians, three months after they were slammed shut in the wake of a horror second wave of the virus in Melbourne.
NSW became the first state or territory to reopen all its domestic borders last week.
Residents of the state will soon enjoy more freedom as a string of restrictions imposing their daily lives are lifted.
The cap on public outdoor gatherings will be increased from 30 to 50 on December 1.
Residents can also have large gatherings of up to 30 in their homes or 50 for outdoors, including private gardens.
Capacity at restaurants, bars and cafes will also be increased, where venues with up to 200 square metres of floor space can apply the 2-square-metre rule indoors.
Public outdoor gatherings of up to 50 will be allowed in NSW from December 1. Pictured are Sydneysiders catching up at Coogee Beach
Ticketed outdoor events such as Christmas carols have the green light to go ahead with attendances of up to 3,000.
One person per two square metres will apply at events with allocated seating, while a four-square-metre rule will apply to those sitting on picnic rugs.
Up to 300 will also be allowed at funerals to bring them in line with the capacity at weddings and corporate functions.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged residents not to become complacent.
‘Given we have gone a certain number of days without community transmission it does reduce our concern in that regard,’ she said on Monday.
‘[But] my strong message to the people of New South Wales is please let us not let our guard down. We have come too far to let complacency get the better of us.’
Queensland will finally reopen its borders to Sydneysiders and Victorians. Pictured is motorist driving through a border control checkpoint at Coolangatta near the Queensland/NSW border
Pubs and clubs will be allowed more patrons through their doors in the lead up to Christmas. Pictured are large crowds celebrating Melbourne Cup Day at the Coogee Bay Hotel
More restrictions will be eased in NSW on December 14, when the public health order requiring employers to allow employees to work from home will be abolished.
‘Hopefully businesses and other organisations can consider having more people in the workplace in a COVID-safe way,’ Ms Berejiklian said
Queensland confirmed last week it would reopen the borders to Greater Sydney after the city recorded no mystery cases of Covid-19 for 28 days in a row.
‘We know how tough this has been on families. This is a great day. It’s exciting news,’ the state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
South Australia will reopen to Victoria on Tuesday, despite a recent outbreak in Adelaide which sparked a three day statewide lockdown earlier this month.
‘So from December 1, we will completely normalise our border arrangements with Victoria and this will be a huge relief for many people who have been adversely affected by these border restrictions,’ the state’s health minister Stephen Wade told reporters last week.
South Australians will still need a permit will still required to enter Victoria unless an exemption applies.
There will more long-awaited family reunions when Queensland and South Australia reopens more borders on Tuesday. Pictured is a happy family reunion at Sydney Airport after NSW reopened to Victoria on November 23
Some parts of South Australia continue to be COVID-19 hotspots for Queensland.
‘You must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass three days before you come to Queensland if you have been in a currently declared hotspot or overseas,’ the South Australian government website states.
‘You must fly into Queensland if you are permitted to enter from a hotspot. You will need to be granted an exemption to enter by road from a hotspot unless you are a truck driver, worker related to the transport of freight and logistics or performing selected essential activities.’
South Australians must undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine in Queensland.
CHANGES COMING DECEMBER 1
*Queensland will reopen its borders to Sydneysiders and Victorians
* South Australia will reopen its borders to Victoria but will need a permit if heading across the border in the wake of the recent outbreak in Adelaide
*South Australians flying into Queensland from COVID hotspots will have to undergo 14 days hotel quarantine
Coronavirus restrictions being eased in NSW
*Outdoor public gatherings increase from 30 up to 50
*Residents can have gatherings at home of up to 30 indoors and 50 outdoors
* Ticketed outdoor events can have up to 3,000 attendees
*Capacity at restaurants, bars and cafes will be increased. Venues with up to 200 square metres of floor space can apply the 2-square-metre rule indoors
* Up to 300 people now allowed at funerals
* Work from home public health order will be abolished on December 14