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QLD_GCB_NEWS_BEACHESPACKED_26APRIL20_TOXWARDE

When Coast’s beachside carparks will reopen

ACCESS to The Spit and beachside carparks could be restored as early as today as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk takes the first steps to wind back COVID-19 restrictions.

From Saturday, some of the restrictions introduced last month will be relaxed thanks to several days of low infection rates.

Under the changes, Gold Coasters will be able to:

- Go for a drive (within 50km of home).

- Ride a motorbike, jetski or boat for recreation.

- Have a picnic.

- Visit a national park.

- Shop for non-essential items.

People on the beach at Miami on the Gold Coast yesterday. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
People on the beach at Miami on the Gold Coast yesterday. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

These measures will be reviewed again in two weeks.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the changes were not a licence to resume normal life.

 

"Before you couldn't leave home unless it was for essential reasons like getting groceries or exercising or going to work and you had to stay in your suburb where possible," Dr Young said.

"Now we are saying you can have more flexibility but remember we are still having to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Restrictions are starting to be eased. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
Restrictions are starting to be eased. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

As of last night there were 19 active coronavirus cases on the Gold Coast.

Queensland has confirmed three new cases, bringing the state to 98 active cases.

Across the state there has been a total of 1030 cases, with 926 recoveries and six deaths.

While many national parks will be opened, Springbrook in the Gold Coast Hinterland will remain closed to the public.

But further relief is expected to be felt for Gold Coasters today when a decision will be made about the Gold Coast's beaches.

Mayor Tom Tate will meet with the council's disaster management team this morning to review the status of the city's beaches a week after reopening Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta beaches.

It is expected that generally good behaviour from locals and Ms Palaszczuk's announcement yesterday will mean Cr Tate will move to relax restrictions imposed before Easter to enforce social distancing and prevent the potential spread of infection.

"People have been doing the right thing so it's pretty likely you will see The Spit open up again," a council insider told the Bulletin yesterday

But the behaviour of locals will be monitored closely and restrictions will be reinstated if the number people who have contracted coronavirus increases.

"The first sign of a spike we will not hesitate to clamp back," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"This is a test run to see what effect easing restrictions has on the containment of COVID-19.

 

 

"I encourage all Queenslanders to back this first step so that we can keep the virus away and help everyone start to get their lives back."

Police can still issue on-the-spot fines for breaches.

However, Ms Palaszczuk remained tight-lipped about when further restrictions on gatherings such as open house inspections would be relaxed.

A spokeswoman for Ms Palaszczuk said the Premier "wasn't interested in talking about that at this time".

Originally published as When Coast's beachside carparks will reopen


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