EXPLAINED: What you are allowed to do outside within rules

Queensland households are being encouraged to exercise outside, run on the beach and go mountain biking - but they must stick to the strict regulations brought in to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation executive officer Dom Courtney has clarified the rules and regulations for families doing the right thing by self isolating during the pandemic.

A man on a paddle board at Currumbin Alley on the Gold Coast. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
A man on a paddle board at Currumbin Alley on the Gold Coast. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

The peak body for outdoor activities has published a statement on its website, calling on everyone people to follow social distancing directives and good hygiene while exercising outdoors - and report any breaches in public places to the appropriate authorities.

"People are currently allowed to exercise outside in household groups, solo or in a group of two with one person from another household," Mr Courtney said.

"There has been confusion about this because the directives are changing rapidly, and people are struggling to keep up.

"Outdoor activities are a key part of the Gold Coast character. Access to beautiful beaches for a walk or run, walks along coastal pathways, around neighbourhoods and in the hinterland, and cycling and mountain biking are central to life on the Gold Coast.

"If everyone doesn't follow the rules and do these activities in the proper manner, then all outdoor places and spaces could be closed to everyone due to the poor behaviour of some people."

A skateboarder looks on from a skate park as a Virgin commercial aircraft from Sydney lands at the Gold Coast Airport. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
A skateboarder looks on from a skate park as a Virgin commercial aircraft from Sydney lands at the Gold Coast Airport. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

The QORF listed the following current reasons stated by the Federal Government for people to leave their homes:

* Going to work/education (if unable to do so at home)

* Shopping for essential supplies such as groceries - returning home without delay

* Going outside for personal exercise in the neighbourhood, on your own or with one other

* Attending medical appointments or compassionate visits

"The message regarding outdoor activities is clear -people should only be going outside their homes for personal exercise in local neighbourhoods in household groups, on their own or with one other person from another household. Everyone must practice good physical distancing and hygiene," Mr Courtney said.

"We are confident that the majority of people in Queensland who are exercising outdoors are complying with the Public Health Directions.

"However, there is a minority of people who are not complying, whether through ignorance, complacency, wilful rebellion, or perhaps a combination of these factors. That non-compliant behaviour is placing the ability of all of us to exercise outdoors at risk."

Social distancing at Currumbin Creek. (Photo/Steve Holland)
Social distancing at Currumbin Creek. (Photo/Steve Holland)

The Bulletin has published photographs showing youths ignoring bans and attending skateparks, and families gathering too close on Gold Coast beaches.

"If people continue to ignore the directions of authorities regarding this, the exception regarding outdoor activities may be revoked," Mr Courtney said.

"It is no exaggeration to say that all outdoor places and spaces could be closed to everyone due to poor behaviour by some. Public swimming pools, playgrounds and skate bowls are already closed, among other places.

"We are calling on all people in the QORF and Nature Play QLD networks to comply with government directives regarding outdoor activities.

"You are wrong if you think these directives do not apply to you because you have more experience than the general public or you have specific ways to ensure that a group of more than two people is safe in the outdoors.

Currumbin Creek on the Gold Coast. (Photo/Steve Holland)
Currumbin Creek on the Gold Coast. (Photo/Steve Holland)

"If you breach the directives, you put the community at risk, you put outdoor activities at risk, and you are breaking the law.

"We call on each of you to not only comply, but also actively stand up for outdoor activities by reporting breaches. Our communities need up-standers, not by-standers. If we don't stand up, then we may not be able to go outside."

Residents can contact 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) with the service to take the appropriate action, which may include police response.



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