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Queensland Will Further Ease Gathering, Venue and Event Limits From November 17

You'll be able to have 50 people over to your home — and cinemas, seated gigs and stadiums can increase their capacity to 100 percent.
By Sarah Ward
November 14, 2020
By Sarah Ward
November 14, 2020

Nothing about 2020 has played out as anyone expected at this time last year. But with summer, the festive season and the end of this tumultuous 12 months fast approaching, life in Queensland is slowly easing back to pre-COVID-19 normality — with the state revealing that it will further relax a number of its restrictions from 4pm on Tuesday, November 17.

As announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday, Friday, November 13, Queensland will change a heap of caps and limits on everyday activities mid-month. The eased restrictions cover everything from gathering at home and grabbing a beer at the pub to going to the movies and to watch live sport — and dancing as well.

With almost 11 months of 2020 almost behind us, Queenslanders have cycled through quite a number of different at-home gathering restrictions this year — including lockdowns, a roadmap outlined in May that slowly started easing limits, the reintroduction of strict caps in August when cases started rising again and the unveiling of a second roadmap earlier in October.  At present, Queenslanders can gather at home in groups of 40, which has been the case for the past month. That's increasing to groups of 50 — which was due to happen on Tuesday, December 1, but has been brought forward to Tuesday, November 17.

Gatherings in public spaces will also increase to 50 on the same date, and a bunch of rules about specific places are also easing. Outdoor events with COVID-Safe checklists will be able to host 1500 attendees, up from 1000, which was also previously flagged. Openair stadiums will now be able to fill to 100-percent capacity, up from 75 percent, just in time for the third State of Origin match. And dancing will be permitted outdoors at music festivals and in beer gardens, and at weddings (but otherwise, the state will still resemble Footloose, just without Kevin Bacon).

In the hospitality industry, big changes are coming, too — with all indoor premises able to move to one-person-per-two-square-metres capacity limits. That applies to restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs, as well as to entertainment venues such as museums, art galleries and convention centres.

At seated and ticketed events within indoor entertainment venues, capacity limits will fall in line with openair stadiums — so cinemas, theatres and seated live music gigs be able to sell 100-percent of tickets. Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young recommends that folks wear masks on their way to and from the venues, and to and from their seats, however.

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 "this is the result of the hard work of Queenslanders. Other countries are experiencing third waves with increasing numbers of daily cases. Queenslanders are able to enjoy our Queensland way of life and we have to keep up the good work".

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 November 14, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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