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School holidays with lockdown easing: what’s on and what’s not
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By MyBudget Editor

School holidays are upon us! What does the easing of lockdown restrictions mean for keeping the kids busy during the break? We’ve put together a state by state list of what’s on (and what’s not) and important information you need to know.

Restrictions easing, but you need to plan ahead

Aside from the hotspots in Melbourne, the rest of the country is inching closer to post-pandemic ‘normal’ just in time for the school holidays. But it’s not business as usual just yet. There are still restrictions on attendee numbers, especially in indoor venues.

It means that these school holidays are still not ideal for the parent or carer who likes to set off with a packed lunch and a blank slate. Before you hit the road, it’s important to pick up the phone or jump on the web to make a booking. 

Think: cinemas, restaurants, clubs, museums, play centres, gyms and so on. Bookings are an effective way for businesses and other organisations to manage the number of people using their facilities and make sure they comply with occupancy restrictions.

What about travelling during the school holidays?

Except for Victoria, there are no restrictions on travelling within your state. A number of camping grounds and caravan parks have now reopened and would love to see you. Do check before you leave, however. Some states have designated remote communities where visitors are restricted.

Interstate travel is not quite as easy:

New South Wales: Residents are allowed to leave NSW, and visitors don’t need to quarantine. Residents cannot travel to Victoria, though, from 7 July due to the outbreaks in Melbourne. Since 1 June, anyone in Australia has been able to travel to regional NSW for a holiday.

Victoria: Since 1 June, overnight stays at tourist accommodation, caravan parks and camping grounds without communal facilities, have been permitted. However, from 7 July, the Vic-NSW border will be closed and patrolled by NSW Police. Some state premiers are also recommending you don’t travel to Victoria though, given the current outbreaks.

Queensland: Entry into Queensland is prohibited unless you have applied for and been granted an exemption. But Queensland is set to open its borders from 10 July, as long as case numbers remain low.

Tasmania: All non-essential travellers to Tasmania, including returning residents, must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Non-Tasmanian residents must carry out their quarantine in government-provided accommodation.

Western Australia: You cannot enter Western Australia unless you are granted an exemption on application. There is no date for when the interstate border will reopen.

South Australia: People from Queensland, WA, the NT and Tasmania can enter South Australia without having to quarantine for 14 days. But people from NSW and Victoria will have to self-isolate until 20 July, when the quarantine requirement will be lifted for all domestic travellers.

Northern Territory:  Unless you have been granted an exemption, anyone entering the Northern Territory must complete 14 days of mandatory self-quarantine. International arrivals still have to undertake a Government-mandated and supervised quarantine, and are required to pay $2,500 per person, or $5,000 for a family of two or more, to cover the cost. The NT will open its borders to domestic travellers on 17 July.

Australian Capital Territory: There are no border restrictions.

Source: The Guardian

What’s new in the zoo?

We noticed that many zoos, farms and aquariums are not providing zoo keeper talks or guided tours. At museums, group experiences and theatre shows are also closed. It’s definitely worth checking in advance with individual operators about how their services may have changed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Likewise, a lot of businesses are required to keep a register of customers so that tracing can occur, if necessary. If you’re asked for your name and phone number at a restaurant or trampolining centre, for example, they aren’t being nosy—they’re probably complying with the law.

If you prefer spontaneity, no bookings are needed for the great outdoors. National and state parks have lifted restrictions, botanic gardens in major centres are open, as are beaches, playgrounds and skate parks. Victorians should check with their local council for up to date restrictions.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in your state:

New South Wales (NSW)

Most activities and services have reopened in NSW.  There’s a limit of 20 visitors in your home, as well as for group activities, such as classes and tour groups. Venues are required to limit visitor numbers to allow no less than four square metres for each person.

Cinemas: Online bookings are recommended and tickets are limited to ensure the four square metre rule is met and to allow for potential contract tracing. 

Sporting events: Professional sports events are opening to spectators, but need to be ticketed. Tickets will be limited to ensure physical distancing and density limits are adhered to. Stadiums with less than 40,000 seat capacity are allowed up to 10,000 spectators.  Larger stadiums are not opening at this point. 

Kids’ and community sport: Back on but with limits to individual group sizes of 20 people in most situations. From 1 July, the Public Health Act says organisers must ensure that venues do not exceed the four square metre per person rule, up to a limit of 500 participants.

Zoos and farms: Bookings may be required to ensure that the four square metre rule is met.

Museums and galleries: Mostly open.  Contact individual venues to check if bookings are required. Be prepared for your time and path to be managed during your visit. For instance, you may have to wait for areas to empty or be cleaned before you can access them.

Libraries: Open for browse and borrow sessions, but other library services, such as storytime, computer hire and book clubs, are not available.

Theme Parks: Generally open. Contact individual operators to check if bookings are required.

Indoor play centres: Open.  Book ahead as operators must comply with the four square metre rule.

Gyms: Limited to 20 people per class and must comply with the four square metre rule.  Many extras, such as creche, showers, steam room and communal hair dryers, are not being offered. 

Shopping centres: Individual retailers and eateries will have their own COVID safety plans explaining how many people are allowed in their area. 

Queensland (QLD)

To the relief of parents and carers, Queensland has eased a lot of lockdown restrictions in time for the school holidays. You can host up to 20 visitors in your home and up to 20 people can gather outside. From 10 July, up to 100 people will be allowed to gather inside and out.

Cinemas: Online bookings are recommended and tickets are limited to ensure the four square metre rule is met and to allow for potential contract tracing.

Sporting events: Open to spectators. Events are ticketed with allocated seating to ensure social distancing requirements are met. Sports stadiums and arenas can be filled to 50% capacity. 

Kids’ and community sport: Back on but with COVID safety plans to be followed by organisers and participants.

Zoos and farms: Bookings may be required to ensure that the four square metre rule is met.

Museums and galleries: Mostly open.  Contact individual venues to check if bookings are required. Be prepared for your time and path to be managed during your visit. For instance, you may have to wait for areas to empty or be cleaned before you can access them. 

Libraries: Open in some council areas.  Check with your local council about how they are making their library services available.  Most have limited services, with reduced numbers of people being allowed to browse and borrow.

Theme parks: Mostly open.  Village Roadshow theme parks (Warner Brothers Movie World, Seaworld, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Australian Outback Spectacular, Paradise Country, Top Golf) on the Gold Coast are open with reduced capacity.  Visitors are required to download an app when visiting for contact tracing purposes. The reopening of Dreamworld is yet to be announced.  Other theme parks are allowed to reopen with measures in place to ensure the four square metre rule is met, so bookings may be required. 

Indoor play centres: Allowed to reopen with the four square metre restriction in place.  Check with individual operators about their opening dates and booking policies.

Gyms: Limited to 20 people per class and must comply with the four square metre rule.  Many extras, such as creche, showers, steam room and communal hair dryers, are not being offered. 

Shopping centres: Limits exist on the number of people in individual shops. Eating venues must comply with the four square metre rule.

Victoria (VIC)

A number of Melbourne postcodes have reverted to stay-at-home restrictions due to a spike in COVID cases. More widely, Victorians are limited to no more than five visitors in their home—keep this in mind when organising playdates. Up to 10 people can gather outside for recreational purposes, or to engage in activities like hiking, jogging and other non-contact sport.

Cinemas: Open. Four square metre per person rule applies or a maximum of 20 people. Closed in Melbourne hot zones.

Sporting events: Open to spectators. 

Kids’ and community sport: A limit of 20 people per space applies to indoor sport centres.

Zoos and farms: Bookings may be required to ensure that the four square metre rule is met.

Museums and galleries: Limited to 20 people per separate indoor space. Timed entry tickets can be booked for some institutions.  We recommend checking with individual operators about bookings.

Libraries: Limited to 20 people per indoor space.  Check with local councils to see if your library has reopened and how their services may be affected.

Theme parks: Open with social distancing restrictions.  Bookings are recommended.

Indoor play centres: Up to 20 people per indoor space at a time, subject to the four square metres per person rule.  Bookings recommended.  Closed in hot zones.

Gyms: Up to 20 people per indoor space at a time, subject to the four square metres per person rule. Group classes are limited to 10 people. Gyms in hot zones are closed.

Shopping centres: Individual retailers and eateries will have their own COVID safety plans outlining how many customers are allowed in their space at a time.

South Australia (SA) 

South Australia’s latest easing of restrictions means most businesses can operate on a two square metres per person rule. There is no longer a limit on the number of people who can privately gather together, however, continued social distancing is strongly recommended.

Cinemas: Limited tickets to ensure two square metres per person. Online bookings recommended.

Sporting events: Open to spectators with the two square metre per person rule in place.

Kids’ and community sport: The two square metre per person rule must be followed for indoor venues.

Museums and galleries: We recommend checking if online bookings are required before attending.

Libraries: Open subject to the two square metres per person rule. Services such as story time and computer hire may not be available. Check with your local council.

Theme parks: Visitor limits based on the 2 square metres rule. Check online about bookings.

Indoor play centres:  Visitor numbers are limited by the two square metres rule.  We recommend contacting individual providers to check if a booking is necessary.

Gyms: Open subject to the two square metres per person rule.

Shopping centres: Individual shops and eateries will have restrictions on the number of customers allowed,  based on the two square metres rule.

Western Australia (WA)

West Australians are enjoying a greater freedom from lockdown restrictions compared to the eastern states. Like South Australia, the main limit on business and other activities is the two square metres per person rule. There is no limit to the number of visitors in your home.

Cinemas: Limited tickets to ensure two square metres per person. Online bookings recommended. Some cinemas are not reopening until 23 July.

Sporting events: Stadiums are open at up to 50% capacity, with events ticketed and spectators seated.

Kids’ and community sport: The two square metre per person rule must be followed for indoor venues.

Museums and galleries: We recommend checking if online bookings are required before attending.

Libraries: Open subject to the two square metres per person rule. Services such as story time and computer hire may not be available. Check with your local council.

Theme parks: Allowed to open. Limits may apply to the number of visitors based on the two square metre rule and some operators, such as Adventure World, are choosing to remain closed until further notice.

Indoor play centres: Visitor numbers are limited by the two square metres rule.  We recommend contacting individual providers to check if a booking is necessary.

Gyms: Open subject to the two square metres per person rule.

Shopping centres: Individual shops and eateries will have restrictions on the number of customers allowed,  based on the two square metres rule.

Tasmania (TAS), Northern Territory (NT) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Tassie is working with a two square metres per person rule to determine how most businesses and activities can operate and household visitors are limited to 20 people. The ACT is applying the four square metres per person and has some lower limits on the number of people allowed to gather outside the home. The ACT and NT have no limits on the number of visitors allowed in your home and most activities have reopened, with some social distancing restrictions.

Take control of your school holiday budget and beyond. Call MyBudget on 1300 300 922 to speak with a free money coach or enquire online.


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