Donna Perkins from Maryborough with daughters Ashleigh and Chloe, who was ready with the hand sanitiser after venturing out to shop for non-essentials. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Donna Perkins from Maryborough with daughters Ashleigh and Chloe, who was ready with the hand sanitiser after venturing out to shop for non-essentials. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Shops, parks bustling on first day of eased restrictions

THE FIRST day of relaxed COVID-19 regulations saw shopping centres and other public spaces on the Fraser Coast teaming with activity for the first time in weeks.

The Queensland Government relaxed some regulations aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus on Saturday.

 

Picnic at Gatakers Bay for Hervey Bay locals (L) Corina Atkins and her sister Veronica Mandaliti and their parents Angelica and Carmine Elefante and dog Molly and a batch of freshly baked muffins. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Picnic at Gatakers Bay for Hervey Bay locals (L) Corina Atkins and her sister Veronica Mandaliti and their parents Angelica and Carmine Elefante and dog Molly and a batch of freshly baked muffins. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Parking spaces at Stocklands in Hervey Bay were a hot commodity with people flocking to the centre for some non-essential shopping.

Queues formed outside department stores, while people observed social distancing regulations when waiting outside hairdressers to have their lockdown locks trimmed.

Maryborough resident Joanne Wilson said it was good to get out again.

"It means things are improving," she said.

Ms Wilson said the strict regulations put in place by the Chief Health Officer had been hard on kids.

"You don't want them to sit in front of the TV and play video games all day. People are mindful of social distancing which is good," she said.

 

Shopping for baby goods at Stocklands are Dale Richings with his aunt Joanne Wilson and her sons Corey,5, and Kallen,10, Houldsworth from Maryborough. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Shopping for baby goods at Stocklands are Dale Richings with his aunt Joanne Wilson and her sons Corey,5, and Kallen,10, Houldsworth from Maryborough. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Hervey Bay local Leah Phillips shared similar sentiments.

"We have a bit of freedom again, some breathing space," she laughed.

She said there were "heaps of people" at the shops but was happy they were still observing social distancing directions.

 

Shopping freedom for Hervey Bay's Leah Phillips and daughter Tahnee Lacey with baby supplies for 10 week old Maverick. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Shopping freedom for Hervey Bay's Leah Phillips and daughter Tahnee Lacey with baby supplies for 10 week old Maverick. Photo: Alistair Brightman

On the other hand, Sam Muller told the Chronicle she thought the shops would be fuller.

"I had to wait in a queue for 10 minutes to get into Kmart, but it was an easy process," she said.

 

Stocklands outing for Sam Muller from Maryborough. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Stocklands outing for Sam Muller from Maryborough. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Susan Wells, a Hervey Bay nurse, used relaxed regulations to get her children some fresh doughnuts.

"To be honest, I thought it would be a lot quieter. With the cold and flu seasons on their way, there is still a lot going on," she said.

Police were stationed at the centre to make sure people played by the rules.

Sergeant Aileen Taylor said shoppers behaved themselves appropriately.

"People have been respectful and observing social distancing regulations," Sgt Taylor said.

 

Susan Wells and children Lauryna,4, and Brial,10, from Hervey Bay have a chat with Sgt Aileen Taylor out on duty at Stockland Shopping Centre.Photo: Alistair Brightman
Susan Wells and children Lauryna,4, and Brial,10, from Hervey Bay have a chat with Sgt Aileen Taylor out on duty at Stockland Shopping Centre.Photo: Alistair Brightman

The Esplanade was also a hive of activity on Saturday.

People ran along the footpath and picnicked in the parks.

 

Picnic at Burrum Heads for three generations of Turners - Rodney, Patty, Robyn and Charlie,5, from Hervey Bay. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Picnic at Burrum Heads for three generations of Turners - Rodney, Patty, Robyn and Charlie,5, from Hervey Bay. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Dundowran couple, Pat and Judy Fearne made the most of Saturday's good weather by having lunch at Ron Beaton Memorial Park in Torquay.

"We've been coming here for years, so it was good to be back again," Mr Fearne said.

"The worst part is not being able to see our family," Mrs Fearne added.

They said the health crisis made them appreciate what is right on their doorstep.

"If you travel the whole of Australia you will battle to find beaches better than what we have here," Mr Fearne said.

 

 

Enjoying the relaxed isolation laws with breakfast on the Esplanade are Melissa Hanley and her boys Bo,8, and Cash,11, from Craignish. Normally at soccer on a Saturday morning, the boys first outing in four weeks started with a haircut and then a chance to get some fresh air at the beach. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Enjoying the relaxed isolation laws with breakfast on the Esplanade are Melissa Hanley and her boys Bo,8, and Cash,11, from Craignish. Normally at soccer on a Saturday morning, the boys first outing in four weeks started with a haircut and then a chance to get some fresh air at the beach. Photo: Alistair Brightman

 

The morning coffee tastes so much better when you can sit and enjoy it, instead of drinking and exercising at the same time - toasting their new found freedom near Urangan Pier are Gary and Sandi Trim from Urraween. Photo: Alistair Brightman
The morning coffee tastes so much better when you can sit and enjoy it, instead of drinking and exercising at the same time - toasting their new found freedom near Urangan Pier are Gary and Sandi Trim from Urraween. Photo: Alistair Brightman

 

Maryborough family Tim and Michelle Hadfield and daughter Gabriella with 16 week old Elliot who was enjoying his first trip to the beach at Scarness. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Maryborough family Tim and Michelle Hadfield and daughter Gabriella with 16 week old Elliot who was enjoying his first trip to the beach at Scarness. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Day trip to Maryborough for Sean and Angela Collins and children Imogen and Eli from Hervey Bay - pictured at Ululah Lagoon they were happy to get out of the house and go for a drive despite both having been off work for the past four weeks. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Day trip to Maryborough for Sean and Angela Collins and children Imogen and Eli from Hervey Bay - pictured at Ululah Lagoon they were happy to get out of the house and go for a drive despite both having been off work for the past four weeks. Photo: Alistair Brightman