Greater Brisbane's Lockdown Is Ending But New Restrictions Will Be in Place Until January 22
Caps on gatherings both at home and in public are being tightened from 6pm on Monday, January 11 — and so are venue patron limits.
On the morning of Friday, January 8, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the entire Greater Brisbane region — spanning the Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas – would go into lockdown between 6pm that evening and 6pm today, Monday, January 11. That meant a sudden change of weekend plans for residents in the area, and also left the whole region waiting to see what would follow after those three days. This morning, at her daily press conference, the Premier has announced the next steps.
Firstly, the lockdown will indeed end as originally planned. "This is the best news we could've hoped for," the Premier said, announcing that there had been no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases overnight — and confirming that only one case of the new B117 variant has been reported in the community, in the hotel quarantine worker who picked it up at their job. So, once 6pm hits today, folks in Greater Brisbane can leave their homes for any reason they like.
That said, until 1am on Friday, January 22, a range of other restrictions will be in place. Accordingly, life isn't returning to pre-lockdown normality just yet. The big one: both venue and gathering limits are being tightened, so you'll be spending time with fewer people whether you're heading out of the house or staying at home.
Indoor businesses and venues are going back to the one person per four-square-metres rule, and outdoor businesses will once again adopt the one person per two-square-metres rule — and eating and drinking can only take place while patrons are seated. Smaller businesses, at venues of up to 200 square metres, will also be able to stick to the one person per two-square-metres rule; however, their capacity will be capped at 50 customers.
Dancing is banned again, except at weddings. Folks getting hitched can have up to 100 attendees, the same limit as funerals. Indoor concert venues and theatres can operate at either 50-percent capacity or under the one person per four-square-metres rule, whichever is greater. At outdoor stadiums, they'll be able to fill to 50-percent capacity.
Within Greater Brisbane homes, gathering limits are going up to 20 — so you'll be able to have your friends and family over. That cap includes whoever lives at the premises, though. And, only 20 people can gather together in public spaces as well.
"The evidence tells us the lockdown has done its job," the Premier said. "Dr Young has asked for these further ten days of measures in the Greater Brisbane area. It's better to be safe than sorry, and it's better to be sure," she continued.
Wearing masks will still be mandatory in some circumstances, and must be carried at all times. You'll have to wear one in indoor places (such as shopping centres, supermarkets, gyms, entertainment venues like cinemas, libraries, workplaces where people can't socially distance, places of worship, public transport, taxis and ride share vehicles) — but won't have to when outside at a safe distance from other people, and in your own cars.
Published on January 11, 2021 by Sarah Ward