Last week Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the gradual easing of lockdown measures across the state.
The premier also announced that some government areas that are classed as ‘outback’ will be allowed greater freedoms than major coastal towns and cities.
From this Saturday, May 15, up to 20 people in outback areas will be able to dine-in at cafes, restaurants and pubs, and they can drive up to 500km in their region for recreational purposes.
Whereas in the coastal zone, dining in at restaurants, pubs and clubs will only be allowed to a maximum of 10 people and coastal zone residents will only be allowed to travel up to 150km for day trips.
The areas which constitute ‘outback’ has caused some confusion amongst residents of rural areas of Queensland.
There are 23 local government areas classed as the outback (see map for more information) the new restrictions do not usurp previous travel restrictions to the cape.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the outback classification was about keeping people in remote areas safe.
“The boundary for outback Queensland was drawn to try to protect those people who live in remote Queensland. They do not have the same ready access to healthcare and their population tends to have a higher proportion of vulnerable people.”
“People in these adjacent areas can travel up to 150km from May 15 which may take them to areas with cases,” Dr Young said.
Dr Young said people should not be travelling into or leaving, outback areas except for essential or compassionate reasons.
“Although it means people in outback Queensland have more freedom to move around that part of Queensland they can’t leave the outback except for essential reasons such as work, education or healthcare.”