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Brisbane's Gathering and Event Restrictions Are Tightening Again in Response to New COVID-19 Cases

Rules covering having people over to your house, gathering outdoors and event capacities are changing for the next two weeks.
By Sarah Ward
September 30, 2021
By Sarah Ward
September 30, 2021

New cases, new exposure sites, new restrictions: that's the familiar formula, and it's exactly the process that's underway in Brisbane right now. So, following the reporting of 13 new local COVID-19 cases since Tuesday, September 28 — including six in the past 24 hours — Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has just announced that a heap of rules will be tightened effective 4pm today, Thursday, September 30.

The new restrictions will inspire a feeling of deja vu, as they were previously in effect in mid-August. For two weeks, Brisbane is bringing back the rules that fall under Queensland's stage 2 in its COVID-19 roadmap. The same 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.

Wondering what's changing? Firstly, there'll be a 30-person limit on gatherings in homes and outdoors in public spaces. Also, density caps in hospitality and venues will return to one person per four-square-metres inside and one person per two-square-metres outside. And, you'll also need to sit down to eat and drink — and dancing is banned again, so it's Footloose time once more.

Also, there's a 100-person cap on weddings and funerals. At weddings, only 20 people will be able to hit the dance floor — which, in light of the dancing ban elsewhere, is the only place that making shapes will be allowed.

Plus, the new rules will amend the capacity at both indoor and outdoor stadiums and events. If they're ticketed and have allocated seating, they can fill to 75-percent capacity. Yes, that'll affect this weekend's NRL Grand Final.

Mask rules only tightened back on Tuesday, September 28, and those requirements for covering your face remain in effect. So, you still need to don a mask indoors at all times unless you're eating or drinking, or you're in your own home. You also need to mask up on public transport, in ride shares and while waiting for both — and outdoors if you can't remain 1.5 metres away from people who aren't part of your household. Queensland's standing mask mandate for flights, airports and stadiums remains, and you will also need to still always carry a mask with you no matter where you are.

Announcing the changes, the Premier said that "everyone realises that we've got to put these restrictions in place if we are to avoid a lockdown at this stage. So I want everyone to please take this very seriously and please do the right thing. I'm quite sure that we will be able to get through this like we have deviously if we all do the right thing."

That said, locking down if further cases pop up in the community obviously hasn't been ruled out. "It will depend each day how things progress in the state, whether Queenslanders wear their masks, whether they go and get tested... It will be very critical, the next 24–48 hours. about whether or not we see any seeding into the community," said the Premier. "As soon as Dr Young says we need to move into a lockdown, we will," Palaszczuk continued.

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.

Southeast Queensland's COVID-19 restrictions will tighten again from 4pm on Thursday, September 30. 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 September 30, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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