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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Southeast Queensland's Gathering and Event Restrictions Will Relax Again From August 20

Caps on having people over to your house, gathering outdoors and event capacities are being rolled back earlier than expected.
By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2021
  shares

Over the past few months, residents of southeast Queensland have weathered quite the rollercoaster ride when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions. The area has been through two separate lockdowns, and seen strict rules put in place after each stay-at-home stint, with requirements tightening and loosening — and then tightening and loosening once more — again and again. But, in some welcome good news, current restrictions will start to relax earlier than originally expected. And, these new changes will come into effect just in time for the weekend.

From 4pm on Friday, August 20, southeast Queensland will ease some of its limits and caps even further, including rolling back existing restrictions regarding gatherings and events. So, get ready for bigger parties, more folks hanging out in the great outdoors, and busier shows, gigs and sporting matches.

That's able to become a reality thanks to low local COVID-19 case numbers over the past few days, including zero new cases on Wednesday, August 18. At this stage, the new rules will apply until 4pm on Friday, August 27.

Wondering what's changing in the Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Lockyer, Somerset, Logan, Redland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa and Scenic Rim Local Government Areas? There'll be a 30-person limit on gatherings in homes or outdoors — and a 100-person cap on weddings and funerals. At weddings, 20 people will also be able to hit the dance floor.

Another big shift that'll hit at the same time: amending 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.

Also, community sport can return, albeit with the 75-percent ticketed and allocating seating capacity requirement for spectators — or the one person per-four-square-metres indoors and one person per-four-square-metres outdoors rules in effect.

And, folks in the 11 LGAs that've been under tighter rules are no longer asked not to travel to regional Queensland — so yes, venturing further afield is back as well.

Mask rules are changing, too, with covering your face only required in indoor spaces, while waiting for or using public transport or ride share services, at schools, and if you're outdoors and can't socially distance. Queensland has a standing mask mandate for flights, airports and stadiums, though, so you'll always need to mask up there. And, you'll still always need to carry a mask with you.

Announcing the changes — and the fact that the rules are relaxing earlier than the originally advised date of Sunday, August 22 — Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said "we faced a very tough test in the past month with the Indooroopilly cluster and two cases in Cairns. But once again, Queenslanders proved they were up to the challenge."

"I have no doubt that the restrictions put in place saved lives," the Premier continued. "But we are now in the fortunate position of being able to wind back these restrictions so people can resume a life as normal as possible."

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 relax further from 4pm on Friday, August 20. 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 August 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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