“That’s not work. That’s not care-giving. That’s not medical care. That’s not shopping for the things you need when you need them,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement. “It does not comply with the rules, so people should not do that.”
Fortunately, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton, did a backflip on the ban earlier this week. In a tweet, he clarified that couples can leave the house to see each other.
“Regarding ‘Stay at Home’ rules: We have no desire to penalise individuals who are staying with or meeting their partners if they don’t usually reside together,” he said. “We’ll be making an exemption. Hope that helps.”
But what about the other states and territories, you ask? Here, we break it down:
- New South Wales –Although the legislation would suggest the answer is no, police commissioner Mike Fuller said on Wednesday that yes, you are allowed. This is considered to come under the “care” exemption.
- Victoria – Yes, while originally it appeared that you would not be allowed to see your partner, on Wednesday afternoon the Victorian chief health officer tweeted that an exemption to the no social visits rule would be made for partners.
- Queensland – Yes, on Thursday Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said households are allowed to have two additional guests at a time, but physical distancing should still be observed when possible. Outdoor gatherings are limited to two, or members of the same household.
- Tasmania –Tasmania has a broad definition of “social support” which is considered an essential reason for leaving the home. This allows for romantic partners and family members to still visit one another, however social distancing must still be observed and you are not permitted to stay overnight unless you have elected their home to be your primary residence from 31 March on.
- Australian Capital Territory – Yes, households are allowed to have two additional guests at a time, however, there must be at least four square metres per person indoors. Outdoor gatherings are limited to two, or members of the same household.
- Western Australia – The way WA is enforcing the two-person law means households are allowed to have one guest at a time. You will not be permitted to travel between the nine WA regions unless it is on “compassionate grounds”.
- South Australia and Northern Territory– Yes, there are currently no fines for leaving the house for non-essential reasons, however unnecessary socialisation is discouraged. Gatherings are limited to 10.