Restrictions Eased, Border Plan in Place
Earlier this week, the Queensland Government announced a further and faster easing of restrictions across Queensland from midday, Friday July 3, including a clear plan to manage our borders going forward. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said anyone who had travelled from Victoria – including Queenslanders – would be prevented from entering Queensland from this Friday unless they quarantined at a hotel at their own expense for two weeks. The State’s borders would be opened to visitors from other states from July 10.
Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders’ continued efforts in uniting against COVID-19 had also paved the way for a further easing of restrictions, allowing more people in more places and more events, a week earlier than expected. “We have seen more than 250 cases of COVID-19 in Victoria over the past week and there is sustained community transmission there,” the Premier said. “We cannot risk removing our border restrictions for those people coming from areas in Victoria right now. To do so would jeopardise everything we have all sacrificed so much to achieve and could be catastrophic to our entire economy.
The Government will open the borders to other states from Friday 10 July, provided travellers complete a border declaration stating they have not been to local government areas in Victoria in the previous 14 days. Anyone travelling from Victoria will not be permitted to cross the Queensland border and if they do they will have to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense. “The risk to Queensland from travellers from New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory will be limited, given the low levels of community transmission in these places,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “We committed to open the borders on 10 July. We are doing that – but in a responsible way. These changes we’re announcing are about supporting our State’s economic recovery while protecting Queenslanders.
“We have said all along that we would take sensible, measured steps to easing restrictions for Queenslanders and that’s exactly what we’re doing. If there is an outbreak in any State, we reserve the right to review the border again. We have come such a long way together, but now is not the time to become complacent. We must all keep up the efforts to protect ourselves, our families and our community.”
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said the accelerated relaxation of restrictions in Stage 3 will collectively mean a greater return to normality for all Queenslanders. “For small businesses like restaurants and cafes, for couples getting married, for young people wanting to celebrate their 21st at home, for community sporting teams and their spectators, for sports fans, museum goers and event managers, life has gotten easier,” he said.
Stage 3 measures include allowing:
- Private gatherings of up from 20 to 100 people in homes – great for special birthdays and celebrations of milestones;
- Wedding attendance increases from 20 to 100 (and the reception size increases too);
- Contact indoor and outdoor community sport starts with an approved plan;
- More events, with events of more than 10,000 people requiring a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Chief Health Officer; and
- Additional venues such as casinos and food courts to reopen.
For auction houses and real estate auctions and open house inspections, there will no longer be any ‘additional’ restrictions (as per paragraph 6(a) of the health direction) in place beyond the general restrictions that apply under the Stage 3 directive. As a result, auction houses and real estate auctions and open house inspections will be permitted to have up to 50 people in attendance while continuing to adhere to all social distancing (2m2 for spaces less than 200m2 and 4m2 for spaces more than 200m2) and strict hygiene requirements. The collection of personal information from each person in attendance is still a mandatory requirement with no change at this time. The REIQ has also updated all relevant posters for open house inspections, which can be found here.
The direction, ‘Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings’ states that a person who owns, controls or operates a restricted business, activity or undertaking in the State of Queensland, including operating at a private residence, or in a public space, may operate the business, activity or undertaking:
- in accordance with any restrictions listed in column 2 of paragraph 16 (in which auction houses and real estate auctions and open house inspections have no special restrictions applied under Stage 3).
on the basis that occupant density is:
- no more than one person per 2 square metres (up to a total of 50 people) for venues or spaces of 200 square metres or less; or
- no more than one person per 4 square metres for venues or spaces of 200 square metres or more; and
- in accordance with the COVID SAFE Framework; and
- public health controls.
Note: People should observe physical distancing to the extent possible. If a business, activity or undertaking is required to maintain a 2 or 4 square metre requirement, this applies to areas of the business that are open to or used by the public (for example, for a cafe or restaurant, the dining area, but not the kitchen).
“The four square metre rule per customer applies across the board with no ceiling, and no need to divide customers into smaller groups,” the Deputy Premier said. “For small businesses, we will relax the four square metre rule, allowing up to 50 customers for a venue below 200 square metres in size, provided they keep a register of customers. For example, a 100 square metre café can currently have 25 patrons, with five of them in a separate area; now they can have up to 50 patrons. And patrons will be able to go to the bar to collect your food and drink – meaning faster service at many locations.”
The Government has committed to reviewing transmission levels and flagged moving from four square metres to two square metres more widely, when circumstances allow. “Queenslanders have done such a fantastic job of flattening the curve and our message to locals is as restrictions ease further make sure you keep up the social distancing and hygiene practises such as washing your hands and stay at home and get tested if you are sick.
For more information and a full list of measures under the Roadmap to Easing Queensland’s restrictions visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au