While most Australian states and territories are easing coronavirus lockdown travel restrictions, Tasmania — normally the most motorcycle-friendly state — remains locked down for riders.
Victoria is the latest to ease its travel restrictions from 13 May, says the Health Department:
- You are able to go for a ride. Carrying pillion passengers should be avoided, unless they live in your household.
- You are encouraged to stay local, and only go to places where you can ride there and back in one day.
- Victorians are being asked to use consideration and common sense when it comes to travelling. If you can stay home, you must stay home.
Since some of this information is not published on any government website, we have included the Health department email at the end of this article which you may like to print out for your records.
State travel restrictions
Travel restrictions are also being eased throughout the country:
- In NSW riding is considered exercise and from June 1 regional travel throughout the state will be allowed for any reason, including holidays and road trips.
- In South Australia, riders can go for a recreational ride within their region from today (11 May 2020).
- WA is broken up into nine regions and riders must stay within their region. From 18 May, regions will be enlarged to: Perth + Peel + Wheatbelt + Southwest + Great Southern; Goldfields + Esperance; Mid-West + Gascoyne + Pilbara regions; and Kimberley which is still in isolation due the high-risk Aboriginal communities there.
- The Northern Territory has designated areas which exclude non-essential travel.
- There are no restrictions in the ACT, but Canberrans should only travel outside the region to visit family and friends for care and support. Canberra residents who are travelling interstate will need to abide by the rules of the jurisdiction in which they are travelling.
- Queensland riders can travel up to a 150km radius from home from this Saturday and 250km from June 12.
Riders can ride in groups of up to 10 but must practise social distancing when they stop for fuel, a meal or coffee. WA will increase that to 20 from next Monday.
Overnight accommodation (and camping) for tourism is expected to be allowed in most states from June 12.
Cafes are opening soon for more than takeaway while state/territory borders are expected to open between states from July 12.
Meanwhile, in Tasmania, normally the most motorcycle-friendly state of all and certainly open of our favourites to ride, motorcyclists are locked down to essential travel only.
That means only riding for work, medical visits, education, essential shopping or legitimate care reasons.
Riders hassled by police for not obeying a health directive under the current restrictions should surely be able to claim ignorance as a defence.
After all, the rules change a quickly and frequently it is near impossible to keep abreast of the latest developments.
Motorbike Writer has been attempting for several weeks to collate and update the travel restrictions as they apply to riders across six stages and two territories.
I have lost count of the number of phones calls and emails I have made to various departments, media contacts and hotlines.
The information provided has been vague, conflicting and confusing. And references to motorcycles are sadly lacking in any of the descriptions of how the rules apply.
Do bureaucrats and politicians think motorcycles do not exist?
Health Department email
The bureaucrat who issued this email below certainly acknowledges riders do exist.
Since it was first published with their name for verification, they have received abuse from riders, despite the fact that the email’s attitude is favourable to them.
We have obscured their name and details and apologise on behalf of those readers who have misconstrued the information.