With Queenslanders given a surprise reprieve on coronavirus restrictions this week, it’s time to look at what’s likely to come with stage three — touted as possible from July 10.
- Businesses allowed to reopen for up 20 patrons include indoor cinemas, outdoor amusement parks and zoos
- However, there must not be more than one person per 4 square metres
- A review of restrictions as part of Stage Three will be on July 10
With several industries including tourism operators, hotels and gyms given just 24 hours’ notice that the latest restrictions would be fast-tracked, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk quashed speculation the further easing of restriction could also come sooner than expected.
“National Cabinet will be considering more data in a couple of weeks’ time —we’ll be looking at that very closely — but our next review is at the end of June,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
What’s the next step?
From this Friday, June 5 at noon, Ms Palaszczuk said many businesses and services could accommodate more people, depending on the size of their business.
This includes indoor cinemas, outdoor amusement parks, zoos, even concert venues and theatres, that can now have additional patrons to the 20 maximum, as long as there is not more than one person per 4 square metres.
Roshan George, from Five Star Cinemas, said its complex at New Farm in inner-city Brisbane would reopen on Friday with a limit of 20 people per cinema.
However, Ms George said the company’s other complexes in Brisbane’s CBD and Red Hill would remain closed for another month or so.
“Not sure yet — likely to be mid-July, which makes more sense for us in terms of viability,” Ms George said.
According to Ms Palaszczuk, the next date to lock away in the diary is July 10 for stage three, where the magic number of 20 increases to 100.
This will apply to public gatherings and most businesses including restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs, food courts and hotels.
When venues such as stadiums will be unlimited still remains unclear.
But when will the state’s borders reopen?
The Queensland Government is currently spruiking intrastate travel, which became unrestricted on Monday at noon.
“I understand that people are hurting across the state, and that’s why we want to kickstart our economy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
But Ms Palaszczuk was not budging on the border debate, with Queensland to remain closed to the rest of the country for least another month yet.
“They [border] are definitely shut for the month of June, as I said — we will look at that at the end of June,” she said.
The decision will be reviewed as part of stage three in Queensland’s roadmap to recovery, commencing on July 10.
Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said Ms Palaszczuk needed to give Queenslanders — particularly those who lived on the New South Wales border — a set date.
“It just doesn’t make sense that if you live in the Tweed, you can travel to Melbourne but you can’t walk across the border to Coolangatta,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Give businesses and Queenslanders some certainty.”
Ms Frecklington said she feared Ms Palaszczuk could hold out on reopening borders until September.
The LNP predicts this was costing at least $20 million a day, shutting Queensland off to the southern states.
“We cannot afford to wait,” Ms Frecklington said.
For some, the rebuild has begun
Jeremy Hassell founded City Cave, which has several centres operating across Queensland offering services including float tanks and massage.
He said because they offered mostly one-on-one or private sessions, stage two marked a new beginning where his business could return to normal.
“This will be full-spectrum for us,” Mr Hassell said.
“For our business it stopped completely … we saw a 100 per cent decrease — we weren’t able to open the doors.”
Mr Hassell and his team said the months ahead would be a slow yet steady return to business as usual.
“For us, it’s just about rebuilding confidence with all our staff, our franchisees, our managers and again our customers,” he said.