As Australians start to adapt to the new normal and embrace the restrictions there is still confusion in some aspects of their lives. Between health advice, social distancing quarantine and isolation, the advice is changing all the time. States and Territories having different rules, which change from day to day, add to people being unsure of what the government rules apply to where they live.
So far here are the most asked coronavirus questions. But remember – restrictions can change.
1. Can I visit my parents?
You should not be leaving your house unless it is for an essential trip.
Social visits to parents are not allowed except if the visit is counted as “care”. If you are caring for them by delivering them food, assisting with medication or taking them to the shops or supporting a need, then visiting is allowed.
Families that are split across two houses can meet for essential reasons with a physical distancing rule of 1.5metres kept.
2. Can I take my dog for a walk?
You can leave your home for exercise which includes dog walking. You can even be joined with one other person or those in your household.
Social distance measures need to be observed while out.
3. How far are you allowed to travel for exercise?
You are allowed to drive across town; however, you are not allowed to travel hours out of the city. You can also be joined by one other person to exercise if you keep the social distancing measures.
Federal governments want people to limit time spent out of the home so common sense must be used. Now is not the time for a road trip.
4. What counts as exercise?
Fishing – can continue but with a reason for passive exercise. Fishermen must not congregate and apply social distancing guidelines.
Hiking – again limiting the time spent out of the home, but with so many high traffic areas within national parks and other sites closed, driving an hour to get fresh air and exercise might be frowned upon. If there are others in the park keep your distance and head for quieter tracks nearby.
Golf – if the local club you belong to has decided to reopen and they are confident that players will comply with the restrictions as substantial fines will be given. Guidelines recommend that a group of 2 may not start or move on until the previous group is off the green and no tournaments or competitions must not take place.
Tennis –if the club has decided to reopen then singles tennis with physical distancing rules is advised.
Surfing – can continue provided you keep your distance to others as the virus is unlikely to survive for long periods in salt water. However, with closure of beaches in some parts, surfing may be difficult.
5. Can I have social guests if I live alone?
No social visits are allowed but you can meet a friend for the purpose of exercising or to get a takeaway.
6. Can a tradesperson still come into my house to do work?
Employers are required by law to take care of the health and safety of their workers and others. If the business has been determined to be an essential service by the government and the job in your home cannot wait, then the tradesman can enter with social distancing rules observed. Most are handing out a form before they enter for you to sign to say that you are not ill and no one in your household has returned from abroad in the last 14 days.
7. Can I go to the Dentist?
Emergency dental treatment can continue where possible with the right precautions, to ensure patient care. If it is not urgent then best not to seek treatment right now. Routine dental arrangements and treatments should be deferred. If unsure, speak to the dentist on the phone for advice and reassurance.
8. Can I take my pet to the vet?
There are no Federal Government restrictions on vets providing strict social distancing and hygiene measures are taken. People with sick animals that need consultations can wait outside the building where possible. There will be certain circumstances where a pet owner can come inside but will need to stand 1.5 metres away while the nurse or vet attends to the sick or injured animal.
Some vets can care for the patients remotely using modern technology which allows the consultation by video-conferencing tools or telemedicine.
9. Can I send my child to school?
Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home if possible. However, no child will be turned away from school. Some people may not be able to provide supervision of their children at home especially those who are delivering frontline services to the community, so for those children the school is staying open to provide support and for the continued function of society.
Teachers are delivering help online for students to learn at home and students on or off campus will continue to learn and will be provided with the same tasks to complete.
10. Can I buy items in bulk at supermarkets?
The Federal Government has advised that there is no need to bulk-buy at supermarkets including toilet paper, paracetamol and canned food. Most supermarkets and chemists have introduced rules for certain products to be limited to one or two or the items purchased.
It is advised that it will be prudent for households to have a small stock of non-perishable groceries to cover the event that in the coming months the household has to self-isolate for 14 days. Online grocery delivery services are available in most areas of NSW.