Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street in Coolangatta. Picture: Steve Holland
Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street in Coolangatta. Picture: Steve Holland

The new COVID restriction changes you must know

THE easing of COVID-19 health restrictions will see life return to what Gladstone residents were used to being “normal” as the government winds back pandemic requirements.

The Queensland Government has launched a plan to wind-back restrictions during October, November and December.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the monthly easing of restrictions road map included increasing gatherings in public spaces, unseated drinking and eating, dancing at weddings and removing some border restrictions.

The new road map began at 1pm on October 1, with a COVID bubble opening up between Queensland and Northern NSW.

Today, unseated drinking and eating will come into effect from 4pm.

Ms Palaszczuk said the winding back of health restrictions was only possible due to the great work by Queenslanders in ensuring very limited community transmission of the virus.

“If there is no unlinked community transmission in NSW for 28 days, Stage 5 could start from 1am, 1 November,” she said.

“This will see the Queensland border open up to NSW visitors and return travellers, while also increasing public gatherings to 40 people.

Ms Palaszczuk said it would also permit unseated drinking and eating at venues with a COVID Safe Plan and allowing up to 40 people to dance at a wedding with a COVID Safe Plan.

“Stage 6, anticipated from 1am, 1 December, will see public gatherings increase to 50 people, increased attendances at outdoor events and no restrictions on people dancing at weddings,” she said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is encouraging people to wear face masks if they can’t social distance to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is encouraging people to wear face masks if they can’t social distance to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Ms Palaszczuk said the government had always said that it would continue to ease restrictions where it could, in a staged and balanced way to keep Queenslanders safe.

“This plan does just that,” she said.

“We’ve had to make hard decisions, but it is because of these decisions and the hard work of Queenslanders that we are in the position to continue easing restrictions.”

Deputy Premier and Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles said COVID safe checks would be undertaken at the end of each month before the state moved into further stages.

“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,” he said.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young thanked Queenslanders for being so cooperative with public health directions and restrictions.

“So that we can keep easing restrictions, it is vital that we maintain physical distance (think two big steps), wear a face mask in public when physical distancing is not possible and wash your hands,” she said.

The Queensland border will remain closed to Victoria until community transmission is under control.

Key changes:

October 1 – COVID bubble with Northern NSW opened.

October 2, 4pm – Unseated drinking and eating at public venues permitted.

November 1 – Queensland border opened to NSW visitors and return travellers, unseated drinking and eating at venues with a COVID Safe Plan, up to 40 people allowed to dance at a wedding with a COVID Safe Plan *if there are no unlinked community transmissions in NSW for 28 days.

December 1 – public gatherings increase to 50 people, increased attendances at outdoor events, no restrictions on people dancing at weddings.

  • The Queensland border will remain closed to Victoria until community transmission is under control.

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