BREAKING: Outback Queensland to re-open quicker than cities
RURAL and regional Queensland is set to re-open ahead of their metropolitan counterparts, a welcome relief to struggling bush economies.
Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk made the announcement less than one hour after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced National Cabinet would enact a three-step plan to develop a COVID-safe Australia.
The premier said most parts of regional Queensland had escaped a coronavirus outbreak, and deserved to be recognised for their hard work in partaking in shut downs in line with the rest of the state.
The two special conditions for Outback Queensland residents reflects the importance of long-distance travel and of dining venues in the communities.
From next Saturday, pubs and restaurants in rural parts of the state will be open to seat twenty customers at a time. Those residents will also be able to travel up to 500 kilometres.
From 11.59pm, Friday May 15, the following will be allowed throughout the state:
- Gatherings of a maximum of 10 people together in a public space
- Dining at restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSLs and cafes for a maximum of ten patrons at one time as part of a gradual reopening (no bars or gaming)
- Recreational travel of a radius of up to 150km from your home for day trips
- Some beauty therapies and nail salons for up to ten people at one time
- Re-opening of libraries, playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms (maximum ten people at a time)
- Wedding guests of ten people and funeral attendees of 20
- Open homes and auctions with a maximum of ten people at one time
- Re-opening public pools and lagoons, with a maximum of ten people at a time.
In addition, for Outback Queensland, whether there have been no COVID cases, two special concessions have been made:
- Dining in at pubs and cafes will be up to 20 for locals only, reflecting the important role these venues play in connecting small outback communities; and
- Recreational travel of a radius of up to 500mk reflecting the long distances in the Outback