Tough coronavirus travel restrictions placed on Fraser, Stradbroke and Moreton islands off South East Queensland will be eased today (May 15 at 11:59pm) for day trips, however people cannot go camping there just yet.
Fraser Island, North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island have been off-limits during the coronavirus pandemic to anyone but people who live there or those delivering supplies. day trips
The islands were restricted by a special order from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young labelled a Restricted Access to Designated Areas Direction.
The islands are still subject to the broader restrictions, including a restriction on travel and social distancing.
However. from Saturday, people can travel up to 150km in their region for day trips but there are still no camping holidays permitted.
Camping and accommodation like caravan parks, plus broader travel up to 250km from people’s houses are scheduled in stage 2 from June 12.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the disaster management group met yesterday and decide on easing the restrictions for the three islands.
She said they would only be reopened for day trips at this stage.
“With the view of course that they will open for camping, and residential accommodation for the school holidays,” she said.
“I really want to thank the mayors and the local members who have been raising these issues, that is really good news.”
Kingfisher Bay Resort general manager David Hay said people would not be allowed to camp or stay on Fraser Island overnight.
“People will be looking for something to do, to get out of their homes and get out and about,” he said.
“We can’t offer accommodation or overnight stays, but what we can do is offer day trips.”
“It’s quite strict with 10 people per venue, social distancing, and changes to entry and exits,” Mr Hay said.
“There will be no menus on tables, which is a strange one, so having to deal with those procedures, we’re taking the appropriate steps to make sure everything’s clean.”
There has been some criticism by tour operators and businesses about the lack of communication from the State Government about when restrictions would be eased and by how much.
“Fraser Island or the national park is obviously managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, but they are not the ones that put the restrictions in; it was Queensland Health,” Mr Hay said.
“It has been difficult to get clarity about what was going to happen… and what extent the island will be open tomorrow in terms of where you can visit.”
In outback areas, Queenslanders would also be able to travel 500km for recreation from Saturday.
Ms Palaszczuk said Dr Young had decided that people travelling those long distances could stay with family and friends or at accommodation in the outback areas, but they must stay in those outback areas,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Originally published at abc.net.au