Keeping Queensland’s Future COVID Safe
From 4pm today, Queenslanders will be able to enjoy a drink (albeit standing) and celebrate the news that our State’s border to New South Wales may open from 1 November 2020 as part of a new restriction easing roadmap.
The Palaszczuk Government has launched a clear plan to ease Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions from today through to December 2020. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new roadmap gives more certainty to the community and businesses through to the end of this year by outlining monthly easing of restrictions – including increasing gatherings in public spaces, unseated drinking and eating, dancing at weddings and removing some border restrictions.
“Queenslanders deserve the credit for this,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “And from 4pm today, Queenslanders will be able to celebrate this achievement by getting a drink or a meal out without having to be seated. We have always said that we would continue to ease restrictions where we could in a staged and balanced way to keep Queenslanders safe – and this plan does just that.
“We’ve had to make hard decisions, but it’s because of these decisions and the hard work of Queenslanders that we are in the position to continue easing restrictions. It’s because of our strong health response to the COVID-19 pandemic that we can get on with Queensland’s economic recovery plan.”
Stage 4 commenced at 1am on October 1, 2020, adding five extra local government areas in the declared border zone across northern New South Wales. And from 4pm this afternoon (Friday, 2 October, 2020), patrons at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID-safe plan will be able to stand while eating and drinking, with outdoor restrictions eased to one person per 2sqm (from 4sqm) and outdoor events doubling capacity from 500 people to 1,000.
Stage 5 will commence at 1am on 1 November, 2020 with opening of the New South Wales border, permitting visitors and returned travellers to enter Queensland without having to complete mandatory quarantine. This is subject to no community transmission cases in New South Wales being recorded for the preceding 28 days. Gatherings of up to 40 people will also be permitted in homes and public spaces across the State, and up to 40 people can dance at weddings with a COVID-safe plan.
Stage 6 is earmarked to commence at 1am on 1 December, 2020 and will allow 50 people to gather in homes and public spaces, while outdoor events will boost from 1,000 to 1,500, and unlimited dancing will be permitted at weddings with a COVID-safe plan. Meanwhile, Queensland will remain closed to Victoria until community transmissions are under control.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles said COVID safe checks would be undertaken at the end of each month before the State moves into further stages. “We’ve based our decisions about [Queensland’s] COVID-19 restrictions on the best health advice available and we will continue to do so to make sure we keep Queensland’s future safe,” Mr Miles said. “Our Chief Health Officer and public health team will analyse intrastate, interstate and international data before any decision to move to the next stage. We have proved that our methods work to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19 and, if the health advice changes at any stage, we can act quickly to increase measures to keep Queenslanders safe and save lives. Right now, case numbers are low, we can contain potential outbreaks – our quarantine and contact tracing procedures work, and we haven’t had a COVID-19 fatality in almost six months.”
Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young thanked Queenslanders for being so cooperative with public health directions and restrictions. “The hard work of Queenslanders has helped us to the strong position our State is in today – it’s been a fantastic result,” Dr. Young said. “So that we can keep easing restrictions, it’s vital we maintain physical distance (think two big steps), wear a facemask in public when physical distancing isn’t possible and wash your hands. But most importantly, if you are sick, get tested and stay at home.”