With just one known active coronavirus case left in Canberra, the ACT is set to take its first tentative steps down the path of easing restrictions.
From midnight on Friday, rules on gatherings are set to be eased, allowing up to 10 people to get together, indoors or outdoors.
The announcement from ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr doesn’t quite follow the “three-stage” approach set out by Prime Minister Scott Morrison — looking more like a half-step down from the first stage of easing restrictions.
But, while the gathering rule is changing, plenty of other things are not.
There are no changes to rules for cafes and restaurants, though they are likely next week.
And playgrounds across the city are set to stay closed.
Mr Barr said the changes being introduced ahead of the weekend were really just to allow people to catch up with close friends and family.
“This is about being able to visit your mum on Mother’s Day,” he said.
When will restrictions be relaxed even further?
Three or four weeks with no (or very few) new cases would go a long way to making the case to health officials to move to stage two of restrictions easing.
But, for now, here is what is changing, and what is not.
Fire up the barbecue, some mates are coming over (but no house parties)
From Saturday, you can gather in groups of up to 10 people indoors.
To be clear, that includes the residents of a home — so if six people live together, four others can visit at a time.
And while Canberra will not shake to the noise of pumping house parties just yet, close friends can come visit.
In fact, Mr Barr was quite explicit when it came to house parties.
“No house parties. If people do that, they will undermine all that we have achieved as a community over the last several months.”
Picnic by Lake Burley Griffin?
Outdoor gathering limits are set to be relaxed as well, with up to 10 people now allowed to get together outside.
So if you are keen to soak up some sunshine with friends and family, or kick a football in a park, get around the late-Autumn sunshine.
And if you need to shake off some of the iso-kilos, you can now sign up to a boot camp.
Boot camps will be allowed once more in groups of no more than 10, but gym equipment should not be shared.
The re-opening of indoor gyms, however, is still some way off.
Canberra’s playgrounds will also remain closed for now, but it is understood their re-opening is being actively considered.
While any of this is happening, the advice around social distancing remains the same — keep 1.5m away from others.
Getting married? Buying a home? Remember the number 10
Anyone still planning a wedding can bump up the guest list — the limit has gone from five people at a wedding, up to 10.
That does not include the celebrant, or others required to run the ceremony (but does include those tying the knot).
Looking to buy a home? Open house inspections and auctions can also now go ahead with a little more ease.
Both can run, but with that 10-person rule in place — no more than 10 in an open home, and no more than 10 at an auction.
Cafes, restaurants still a few days away
There are still no changes to operating arrangements for Canberra’s cafes and restaurants, but it has been pretty heavily flagged that they are on the way.
The re-opening of both cafes and restaurants to guests was included in the “stage one” easing guidelines flagged by the Prime Minister.
But Mr Barr said, while that change was not being made immediately, an announcement was likely next week, after some consultation with the hospitality industry.
It is also likely any easing in that area would still require a one-person-per-four-square-metres rule, so it would not be back to business as normal straight away.
Meanwhile, a night out at a pub or a club still seems to be some way off yet.
Still confused? The ACT Government has released a list of FAQs.