Dummy’s guide to new home isolation rules
A DUMMY'S guide to who can visit your home has been issued after three days of coronavirus confusion and another change that relaxes rules for housebound Queenslanders.
As picnic areas, swimming holes, walking trails, look outs and four-wheel drive beaches become off-limits in escalating closures, a new directive will today be issued allowing households to invite over two visitors - so long as they're close family or friends.
The backflip came after the Queensland Disaster Management Committee meeting to clarify confusion over strict measures that had largely forbidden visitors, and as the state's COVID-19 cases surged by 57 to 835.
The death of a fourth Queenslander - an 85-year-old Toowoomba man - was also announced.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk emerged from yesterday's meeting to announce the visitor reversal that replaces Monday's directive that families and share houses could not invite over visitors - except for in specific circumstances - and that only people who lived alone could invite a friend over.
Days of confusion prompted the Premier's Office to last night issue an explainer answering questions around babysitting arrangements, whether people's adult children could visit and whether blended families could continue normal living arrangements.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD
It followed Wednesday's press conference at which Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski conceded there was confusion in the community, despite Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young laying out the new rules at a press conference he attended on Monday.
While insisting there should be no house parties and no large dinner parties and that people should exercise common sense, Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders could invite two additional people into their homes.
"A close friend or a relative but they should be known to you," she said.
Queenslanders are still not allowed outside with more than two people, unless they live together.
"This is really complex because no family is exactly the same, we all have different family living arrangements and we also know that we don't want people to be totally socially isolated," the Premier said.
"If there is one or two extra people that come into your house, that is not going to be breaching the law.
"If your son wants to bring his girlfriend over, and you know that girlfriend, that's fine but (it's not fine) if then that girlfriend wants to bring another friend over that you don't know, that's a stranger to your house. We need to be shrinking our world."
Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander criticised the mixed messages.
"Queenslanders need considered and calm leadership to get through this health crisis but what they are hearing from Annastacia Palaszczuk is inconsistency and confusion," he said. "Most Queenslanders want to do the right thing and are, but it needs to be clearly communicated to them."
Meanwhile a raft of popular daytrip locations will close from today after crowds of continued to make daytrips.
The Laguna Lookout, Noosa day use area and the Noosa Coastal Walking Track at the Noosa National Park, the Mt Coolum summit track, and the Cedar Creek Falls section of the Mt Tamborine National Park are among the areas closed.
Southport mum-of-three Severine Crespin-Lorio, 42, yesterday rushed to go on a walk at Purlingbrook Falls with her 11-year-old daughter Stella before it was closed to the public from today.
"The risk is quite low, it's really something I think should have stayed open," she said.
Around 470 campgrounds had already been closed.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said it was not a decision the State Government made lightly.
"We have carefully considered the number of people currently accessing National Parks and recreation areas and have taken the decision to close these specific areas which are still attracting a high number of people," she said.
Ms Enoch said that while the government was trusting Queenslanders to do the right thing, some people continued to ignore the public health advice and were visiting national parks in large groups.
Four-wheel-drive beaches to be closed include Rainbow Beach and Bribie Island.
Meanwhile anyone who now flies from interstate into Queensland, who is not a resident or who does not have a permit, will be turned around at the gate at their expense.
GOVERNMENT'S NEW GUIDE TO HOME ISOLATION
Q: My sister usually looks after my children. Can she come into my house?
A: Yes she can.
Q: Can she bring her child?
A: Yes. Close family and friends are OK. But keep it to two.
Q: A friend is a victim of domestic and family violence. Can she come to my house?
Q: We have a blended family. Children have to travel between houses.
Is that OK?
A: Yes, but crucially nobody should be travelling or visiting if they are sick.
Q: We have a custody arrangement in which my children spend time between two houses. Is this still OK?
A: Yes it is but again nobody should be travelling or visiting if they are sick.
Q: Can my two adult children visit?
A: Yes they can.
Q: Can my son or daughter bring their girlfriend or boyfriend who I know over to my house?
A: Yes they can. Those people are known to you.
Q: Can they bring a friend I don't know?
A: No. Only family and close friends should come into your home.
Q: I live alone. A friend often visits. Is that OK?
A: Yes it is. If one or two extra people come into your home - people who are close friends or family - it won't breach the law. We think we should be flexible.
■ No parties
■ No dinner parties
■ No big barbecues
■ Have a family conversation to ensure you understand the directions and use common sense
Originally published as Dummy's guide to new home isolation rules