Southeast Queensland's Lockdown Is Ending But New Restrictions Will Apply Until August 22
The eight-day stay-at-home period is coming to an end, but a heap of familiar rules are being put in place.
Eight days after going into lockdown in the latest attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, 11 Local Government Areas in southeast Queensland will emerge from stay-at-home conditions at 4pm today, Sunday, August 8.
Since the same time on Saturday, July 31, residents in the Brisbane City Council, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim LGAs have only been permitted to leave their homes for the four reasons that were identified at the beginning of the pandemic. Initially, the lockdown was put in place for three days after new instances of the Delta variant were identified in Brisbane's western suburbs, but it was then extended for another five when new locally acquired COVID-19 case numbers remained high.
"It will end at 4pm, but we are not out of the woods. I just want everyone to have a really good understanding that we are dealing with the Delta strain. It is highly, highly infectious," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at Queensland's daily COVID-19 press conference. "I can tell you from my conversations in Tokyo, with people around the world, this strain is sweeping the world. So we need to make sure that we are making some extra precautions," the Premier continued.
While ending the latest lockdown across southeast Queensland is obviously welcome news, restrictions will obviously still apply — as also happened after Brisbane's January, March and June lockdowns — until Sunday, August 22.
So, Brisbanites will be able to leave their homes again once 4pm hits today — and for any reason. That said, new rules will limit what you can do, where and with how many people, as we've all become used to during the pandemic.
A ten-person limit on at-home gatherings will be put in place, which includes people who live there. That cap will also apply to public gatherings outside of the house as well. And, weddings and funerals will only be able to have 20 people in attendance.
Venues can reopen, including retail, gyms, convention centres, hairdressers, and beauty and personal care services; however, the one person per-four-square-metres rule will be in effect inside, and the one person per-two-square-metres outside — and dancing isn't allowed, except at weddings. Where there's ticketed and allocated seating, venues can fill to 50-percent capacity. Also, community sport isn't allowed to resume yet.
In hospitality, you'll need to remain seated to drink or eat in cafes and restaurants. The aforementioned density requirements will also apply, but smaller venues up to 200 square metres can have one person per-two-square-metres — up to a maximum of 50 people.
Masks remain mandatory whenever you're not at home — and you'll always have to have one with you as a result. So, they must be worn in all indoor spaces other than your own house, all indoor workplaces unless it is unsafe to do so, on public transport, in taxis and ride share vehicles, and outdoors, unless you're doing vigorous exercise.
Folks in the 11 LGAs are also asked to reconsider their need to travel outside of these areas, and are asked not to do so.
The usual requests regarding social distancing, hygiene and getting tested if you're feeling even the slightest possible COVID-19 symptoms all apply, too, as they have since March last year.
In the past 24 hours, Queensland reported nine new locally acquired cases, with 148 cases currently active in the Sunshine State at the time of writing. The state is also implementing a three-day lockdown in Cairns and Yarrabah due to a new case out in the community in that northern region, with stay-at-home conditions coming into effect there at 4pm today, Sunday, August 8.
Queensland Health is maintaining an active register of locations that have been visited by positive COVID-19 cases, which you can check out on its website. You can also check out this nifty map that uses Queensland Health's data.
Eleven LGAs in the Greater Brisbane area will come out of lockdown at 4pm on Sunday, August 8. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Queensland, head to the QLD COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website. More details about the lockdown and associated restrictions once it lifts can also be found on the Queensland Health website.
Top image: Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons.
Published on August 08, 2021 by Sarah Ward