I have been living under a rock – what is going on?
In a press conference this morning, Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced the snap Queensland lockdown will be extended until 4:00 pm on Sunday August 8, for the local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Somerset.
What is the biggest message here?
We are dealing with the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus here, which is different to last year’s lockdown. So to stop the spread, it is super important that you limit your movement as much as possible – only leave home if it is essential and ideally only one household member leaves. If you do leave home, wear a mask and social distance.
So, for what reasons can I leave my house?
Residents must stay at home except for the following essential reasons:
- picking up essentials such as groceries, medications or takeaway food within 10 km from your home
- attending essential work – this means work that cannot be done from home
- attending essential school or childcare – only for children of essential workers
- exercise within your local area, no more than 10 km from your home
- healthcare services – this includes getting a COVID-19 test or vaccination
- to provide help, care or support to a vulnerable person
- for an end-of-life visit to a hospital or aged-care facility
What is essential work?
Queensland Health defines essential work as work that cannot be done from your home if your business is allowed to be open during lockdown. A specialist or essential worker is defined on the Queensland Government website as “someone who is required to provide time-critical services”. This includes but is not limited to:
- healthcare workers
- childcare workers
- supermarket staff
- hospitality staff for venues operating in a takeaway capacity
- home delivery services
What are the rules if I do leave my house?
First and foremost – wear your mask. A mask must be worn at all times when outside of your home, including on public transport and when doing non-vigorous exercise. Masks also need to be worn in all indoor settings, including work, even when social distancing is possible (unless you have an exemption). Remember to check in using the Check In Qld app wherever you go and wash/sanitise your hands.
Can I have any visitors?
Nope. No visitors are permitted to your home unless it is to provide care or support to a vulnerable person.
Can I see my friends/family/partner/lover at all?
Yes, kind of. You can catch up with one person outside of your household for exercise within your local area, no more than 10 km from your respective homes. No hugs or kisses though – you must wear your masks at all times and socially distance.
So you’re saying I can do some outdoor exercise with a friend?
Yes, you can exercise outdoors with one other person from outside of your household, within a 10-km radius of each of your homes.
How do I know what lies within my 10-km radius?
You can use handy online tool KM From Home to drop a pin on your address and see what lies within your 10-km limit. If you have somewhere specific you want to go, you can also punch the address into Google Maps, ask for directions and it will tell you the distance.
Do I need to wear a mask while going for a walk outside?
For most people, yes, you do. If you are fit and healthy (and don’t have a mask-wearing exemption) then a walk is not considered strenuous exercise.
Do I need to wear a mask while driving?
No, you don’t, as long as you are alone in the car or with members of your household.
What happens if I don’t wear my mask?
If you refuse to wear a mask without a lawful reason or excuse, you may cop a $206 on-the-spot fine.
What businesses are closed?
All non-essential business. That includes:
- restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs for dine in (takeaway or home delivery services only)
- cinemas, entertainment and recreation venues
- beauty and personal care services
- places of worship
Can I go to my local to grab a takeaway coffee/feed?
Yes, if they are opening and offering it. Just remember to mask up, check in and socially distance. You may remove your mask to eat or drink, but ideally do it away from others or back at home. Check our running list to see who is open.
Can I still get my haircut?
Nope, see above.
Can I still go to the gym?
Also no, see above. But you can exercise outdoors with one other person, provided you social distance.
Can my kids still go to school or childcare?
Only if you are an essential worker or volunteer. See above.
Do I need a referral to get a COVID-19 test?
Currently, no. Due to increased demand at this time, private testing and respiratory clinics do not require a GP referral. This includes the likes of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, QML Pathology, 4Cyte Pathology, Medlab Pathology, Mater Pathology and Genomics for Life. Remember, please, if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested. You can find your nearest COVID-19 testing centre here.
Are weddings or funerals on?
Ten people can still attend funerals and weddings, which includes those officiating.
Can I get food delivered to me from outside of a 10-km radius?
Mmm, we highly doubt they would even offer it. Also your food will likely be cold – do you even want that?
Is Bunnings open?
According to the Bunnings website – “Our stores located in the local government areas of Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim are classified as essential and remain open to ensure customers and tradespeople have access to the products they need to complete emergency repairs and maintenance around homes or to supply essential infrastructure and services, in line with government guidance.”
In other words, don’t go to Bunnings because you decided you need a fiddle-leaf fig to get you through lockdown. It’s only for essential workers and essential supplies. We’ve seen what’s happened in Sydney, don’t make silly choices. The more we stay home, the quicker we get out of this.
My work has been affected by this lockdown. Am I eligible for financial support?
Yes, possibly! The Australian Government has declared Southeast Queensland a COVID-19 hotspot and has announced extra support for those who have lost work due to the current lockdown restrictions. To find out more, head here.
I am feeling very overwhelmed and struggling with my emotional and physical wellbeing. What should I do?
It is perfectly normal to feel that way in a crisis. People deal with their emotions in a number of ways – the most important thing is to make time for yourself and do what is best for you. Stay connected to your friends and loved ones as best you can. As a start, the Queensland Government have a list of tips and resources to assist with your mental wellbeing in this time – you can see it here. If you feel like you need further support, there is a new dedicated 24/7 BeyondBlue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.