Queensland’s coronavirus restrictions are easing – here’s what the new roadmap means for you
Today, Wednesday August 18, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Southeast Queensland’s coronavirus restrictions will be easing from Friday August 20. A new roadmap has been established with measures to remain in place for the 13 local government areas of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Cairns and Yarrabah. Updated regulations can be confusing, so we’re here again to break down the government’s roadmap to easing coronavirus restrictions in a more digestible format.
I missed the update – what is going on?
Earlier today, Wednesday August 18, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled a new three-stage roadmap to easing restrictions, with the second stage set to kick from 4:00 pm Friday August 20.
Are there still active cases in Queensland?
Yes, there are 97 active cases as of today, and they are the highly contagious Delta variant, but the they are all in quarantine and the government was comfortable enough with the sources of infection and possibility of community transmission to ease restrictions. Today, Queensland recorded 0 new locally acquired cases, and four new overseas acquired cases (one was detected in hotel quarantine and three were detected on a marine vessel).
So, do I have to keep wearing a mask?
From 4:00 pm Friday, in the 11 impacted LGAs in South East Queensland you no longer have to wear a mask at all times, but you are still required to carry a mask with you when you leave home. The updated mask rules are – you no longer need to wear a mask when you are outside, unless you can’t socially distance, you need to wear a mask if you are indoors in shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets, hospitals and aged care facilities, and mask-wearing remains mandatory for all teachers and school staff and for high school students in the classroom for another week.
How many visitors am I allowed to have?
Up to 30 people are now allowed in homes, including those who live there. Before you ask, yes this includes children and infants. Obviously there are still no visitors permitted to those in home quarantine.
What about in public spaces? How many people can gather?
Again, no more than 30.
With all these new restrictions – does this mean we can travel again?
Welllll yes, kind of. Our border is still firmly closed to New South Wales and residents can only cross the border for a permitted purpose. If you do leave Queensland, you’re required to complete a Queensland entry pass upon re-entry. With travel restrictions changing quicker than you can say “where the bloody hell are you?”, we suggest hopping over here to see a map of current travel restrictions.
So can businesses and venues operate at normal capacity?
Well, no, not quite yet. Restrictions are still in place for dining venues, gyms, hairdressers, beauty and personal care services, convention centres etc. The restrictions are:
- Indoor venues – one person per 4 sqm or 75-percent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating
- Smaller venues (up to 200 sqm) – one person per 2 sqm, up to a maximum of 50 people
- Outdoor venues – one person per 2 sqm
- You must be seated when eating or drinking
- No dancing except at weddings
Are theatre and sport back to normal?
They are definitely back in the swing of things but with, you guessed it, restrictions. A 75-percent allocated seating and ticketed capacity is allowed for indoor events with a COVID Safe Checklist and outdoor events (including amphitheatres and large convention centres) with a COVID Safe Site Specific Plan. Otherwise it is one person per 4 sqm indoors and 1 person per 2 sqm outdoors. Patrons must wear a mask at all times, including when seated, and they must be seated to eat or drink. Masks may only be removed when eating or drinking.
What about my local netball team?
Rejoice, Wing Defence! Community sport is back on the cards. From 4:00 pm Friday, community sport can recommence in full in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Lockyer, Somerset, Logan, Redland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa and Scenic Rim. This includes training, competition and school sport. Spectator limits will apply in line with stadiums and indoor and outdoor events requirements.
Do I need to continue wearing my mask in the office?
As stated before, you are still required to carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home. You still need to wear a mask inside your workplace, unless it is unsafe or you are able to socially distance 1.5 m from other people.
What about weddings and funerals?
Weddings can have a maximum of 100 people, including those officiating, and a maximum of 20 people can dance at one time. Funerals can also have a maximum of 100 people, including those officiating.
I am feeling very overwhelmed and struggling with my emotional and physical wellbeing. What should I do?
It is perfectly normal to feel that way in a crisis. People deal with their emotions in a number of ways – the most important thing is to make time for yourself and do what is best for you. Stay connected to your friends and loved ones as best you can. As a start, the Queensland Government has a list of tips and resources to assist with your mental wellbeing at this time – you can see it here. If you feel like you need further support, there is a new dedicated 24/7 BeyondBlue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.