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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Brisbane's COVID-19 Restrictions Are Relaxing Again After a Week of Low Cases

At-home gatherings are going back up to 100 people, there's no limit on numbers outdoors and venue density caps are easing — again.
By Sarah Ward
October 08, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
October 08, 2021
  shares

A week after new COVID-19 cases were identified, new exposure sites were named and new restrictions came into effect, Brisbane's COVID-19 rules are changing. Yes, again. Following a run of days with low case numbers, including zero new cases today, Friday, October 8 — and after completely avoiding a lockdown in response to the latest outbreak — Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has just announced that Brisbane's restrictions will ease again effective at 4pm this afternoon.

As tends to happen every time that the rules either tighten or relax, the new settings will be familiar. We've been cycling back and forth between different sets of rules for a few months now, in fact. Indeed, the restrictions coming into effect today are the same conditions that were in place before last Thursday. And, these eased restrictions will apply not only in the Brisbane Local Government Area, but also in the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island LGAs.

Accordingly, there'll no longer be any limits on how many people can gather outdoors in public spaces. And, at home, the 100-person cap will be back.

For indoor premises — including hospitality businesses such as clubs, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as galleries, museums, convention centres and places of worship — the one person per two-square-metres density limit is in effect once more. Where these types of venues are ticketed and have allocated seating, they can fill those areas to 100 percent, too, as can cinemas, theatres and live music venues.

Also, eating and drinking standing is allowed — hello, vertical consumption — so there's something else to say cheers to. And, you always know things are getting loose when dancing is allowed (goodbye, Footloose), as it is under the new rules.

Stadiums are back to 100-percent capacity for ticketed events with allocated seating. Indoor events can also either fill to 100-percent if seated and ticketed, or stick to the one person per two-square-metres rule if not.

Masks are still staying for now, but the rules are easing there, too.  So, you can now take off your mask while sitting down indoors in public, reverting back to the status quo before the rules tightened last week. At hospitality venues, you'll actually only need to mask up when you're entering and exiting, in another relaxation of the restrictions.

You will still need to always carry a mask with you, of course. Queensland's standing mask mandate for flights, airports and stadiums remains in place as well, so you'll always need to mask up there. And, they remain mandatory on public transport, in ride shares and while waiting for both; outdoors if you can't remain 1.5 metres away from people who aren't part of your household; and indoors in public if you're not sitting or you're not inside a hospo venue.

As always, Queenslanders are asked to keep social distancing, maintaining the hygiene practices that have been in place since March 2020, and checking the state's list of exposure sites — and to get tested if you're feeling even the slightest possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Exactly how long the new relaxed restrictions will remain in place hasn't been announced, but when case numbers are low or at zero, the state reviews the rules every fortnight.

Southeast Queensland's COVID-19 restrictions will ease again at 4pm on Friday, October 8. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Queensland, head to the QLD COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website.

Published on October 08, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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