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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Brisbanites Will Be Able to Gather in Groups of 40 At Home From This Weekend

The larger gathering cap was originally due to come into effect on November 1, but it has been brought forward "thanks to the strong health response of Queenslanders".
By Sarah Ward
October 16, 2020
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Brisbanites Will Be Able to Gather in Groups of 40 At Home From This Weekend

The larger gathering cap was originally due to come into effect on November 1, but it has been brought forward "thanks to the strong health response of Queenslanders".
By Sarah Ward
October 16, 2020
  shares

In 2020, home isn't just where the heart is, as the old cliché has always told us. It's also where we've all been spending even more of our time than usual thanks to lockdowns and restrictions to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. But hanging out within your own four walls hasn't been a straightforward task this year. In Queensland, like in much of the rest of the country, rules around just what you can do at home — and with who, and with how many others — have been constantly changing.

With almost ten months of 2020 behind us, Queenslanders have cycled through quite a number of different home gathering restrictions — including lockdowns, a roadmap outlined in May that slowly started easing limits, the reintroduction of strict caps in August when case numbers started rising again and the unveiling of a second roadmap earlier in October. In the latter document, a set of future steps were announced, spanning through until December; however, as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has just revealed, one big rule change initially due to come into effect on November 1 has now been fast-tracked.

At present, Queenslanders can gather at home in groups of 30. From 4pm today, Friday, October 16, that'll increase to groups of 40. The state has brought forward the change "thanks to the strong health response of Queenslanders". Originally set to kick in just as the festive season got underway — we all know that those Christmas shindigs start earlier and earlier each year — it's now starting in time for football finals across multiple codes and Halloween shenanigans.

Also changing: some rules around dancing, but only at 40-person weddings with a COVID-safe plan and at year 12 school formals. For the rest of Queensland's residents, the state still resembles Footloose — and just when you'll be able to dance at a gig or club hasn't yet been announced.

The next big batch of gathering restriction changes is still scheduled to come into effect on from 1am on Tuesday, December 1, when gatherings at home and in public spaces will increase to 50 people. Outdoor events with COVID-Safe checklists will then be able to host 1500 attendees, up from 1000, while unlimited dancing will be permitted at weddings.

As always, the usual rules regarding hygiene, social distancing and getting tested if you display any possible COVID-19 symptoms all still apply as restrictions keep easing.

Announcing the current changes, Premier Palaszczuk noted that Queensland has "successfully suppressed our most recent outbreak with barely a handful of COVID cases across the state". At present, Queensland has four active cases, and a total of 1164 across the entire pandemic.

For more information about southeast Queensland's COVID-19 gathering restrictions, or about the status of COVID-19 in the state, visit the Qld COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website.

Published on October 16, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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