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COVID-19 restrictions to be eased this weekend

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COVID-19 restrictions to be eased this weekend

Family picnics and weekend drives are back, and national parks will reopen from Saturday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says people can travel 50 kilometres from their residence to visit parks, have a picnic and jet ski.

Shopping for non-essential items will also be permitted.

However, the premier warned that movement is “limited to members of your own household”.

“We will be able to lift some of the stay-at-home restrictions and… we really need the public to 100 per cent co-operate,” she said.

“If we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down.”

She said the 50-kilometre limit was to avoid large-scale movements of people between various regions, and borders would remain closed.

As of Sunday, Health Minister Steven Miles said there were just 98 active cases across the state with Queensland’s toll sitting at 1030.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young asked people in vulnerable categories, such as those over 65 years of age with existing ailments, to consider weekdays, rather than weekends, to get out of the house.

Deputy LNP opposition leader Tim Mander said if the Labor Government wants to get the economy moving then, despite lifting stay-at-home restrictions, it should also reopen schools.

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) wants Year 11 and 12 students to return amid COVID-19 restrictions so they’re not disadvantaged compared with their interstate counterparts.

Schools are open only for students of essential workers and vulnerable children until May 22 in Queensland. A decision on when they fully reopen will be made by May 15.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has warned fellow leaders to consider any changes. He points to countries that too eased restrictions and ended up with a second wave of infections. “We don’t want that here,” he said. “We don’t want to have a situation where our frustration gets the better of us and we give back all the gains that we have made.”

State and federal leaders had agreed to revisit the level of restrictions across Australia in mid-May.

Meanwhile, politicians, business leaders and doctors are urging Australians to download the new COVIDSafe contact tracing app that will help health officials crack down on virus outbreaks. The federal government is aiming for more than 10 million people to use it.           -AAP

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