At their harshest our lockdown laws prevented us from visiting anyone, travelling more than five kilometres and then only for medical, personal care, food or exercise. Otherwise, we must stay at home. This has now changed to 25 km and you can leave home for any reason.
All retail shops were closed aside from essential shops. Supermarkets, liquour outlets, newsagents, pharmacies and some food outlets were pretty well all that were open.
All cafe food was takeaway or home delivery.
Delivery people could not enter our building.
Only two people were allowed in the lift at one time unless from the same apartment.
Outside your front door you had to wear a mask, unless you had a medical exemption or were jogging or cycling. This is still the case.
Almost all office buildings were closed and if people could work from home, they must work from home. Also still in force.
If you had any symptoms at all of a cold, you must get COVID tested and self isolate at home until you received your test result. If you were a household or close contact of someone with COVID, you must get tested and isolate until you receive a result. Hundreds of thousands did, maybe even over one million. This was very harsh on some people and there were government payments to those who needed it. To encourage people who may have had symptoms but thought they couldn't afford to take time off work, there were also payments for them.
For the mental sanity of those who lived alone, they could form a bubble with someone who they could visit, as long as they were within the five kilometre limit.
Federal social security for those without jobs or who couldn't work was increased substantially from an absurdly low payment for the unemployed. Almost everyone agreed even before COVID, the unemployment benefit was very much too low.
There are probably other rules that don't jump to my mind. These were harsh rules and very hard on many people's mental health. Fines for rule breaches varied from $1500 to $5000 and although only something like 5% of those fined have paid, the normal government fine process will proceed.
Less than two weeks ago our hairdressers reopened.
But after a slight delay because of an outbreak, this Wednesday retail fully opened and we could once again sit down at a cafe to have a meal and you could go to a pub for drink or food. There are still strict distance and number of patron rules in place but how good is that.
I think in June, midwinter for us, we had an explosion of COVID cases in my state to over 700 new cases on one day at least and that was when we were harshly locked down. After a week of single digit new infections, on Sunday for the first time since March, we had zero new cases and again Monday zero cases. Sadly Tuesday was two cases but it is fairly clear it is well under control and contact tracing is now first class.
We've been wanting to catch up with our Hairdresser Friend for outdoor takeaway coffee for more than a week but the weather wasn't great last week. Yesterday I asked if she wanted to meet for coffee at Sandbar on the beach front, expecting to just buy take away coffee and find someone public to sit, but there were a few vacant tables on the beach deck and it was such a beautiful warm and sunny day. R and I decided to have poached eggs on toast and we drank two cups of coffee. Hmmm, maybe too much caffeine is not good for the heart. Hair Dresser friend just had one cup of coffee and no food.
You have no idea how nice it was to sit outside at the beach and have food on a plate at a table, sitting on a chair and drink proper coffee from a china cup.
There are still many restrictions in place and we won't be unmasked until at the earliest, 2021.