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Southeast Queensland Has Implemented Strict New Limits Capping Group Gatherings to Ten People

The new rules are in effect immediately, and apply to everyone in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay and Redlands local government areas.
By Sarah Ward
August 22, 2020
By Sarah Ward
August 22, 2020

In response to a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in Brisbane's west and the Ipswich area, as linked to an employee at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre in Wacol, the Queensland Government has implemented changes to current gathering caps in parts of the Sunshine State. For residents in some areas in Queensland's southeast corner, limits have tightened for both groups inside the home and meetups outside of the house — with the new rules coming into effect immediately.

Announced today, Saturday, August 22, by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the restrictions apply to folks living in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay and Redlands local government areas. In these regions, you can now only have ten visitors over to your home, while outdoor gatherings — in parks, for example — have also been capped at ten people.

Yes, that means that house parties and mass hangouts both indoors and outside are off the cards again, and your weekend plans might now change. Revealing the new limits, Premier Palaszczuk advised that the government is "concerned about the now total of seven cases linked to the youth detention cluster. We're concerned about this cluster because people have been out and about in the community".

For gatherings at home, you can have a maximum of ten people in your house — which spans people who don't normally live with you and residents. Visitors can come from different households, too.

For gatherings in public, the maximum number of people that can be in one group is ten. That cap includes you, plus any other members of your household.

As explained by Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles in today's press conference, the new public caps also apply to venues — but only those without COVIDSafe plans in place. "That is a limit of ten people at any venue without a COVIDSafe plan in those regions... Of course, community sport, pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants have COVIDSafe plans, so they can continue to have gatherings greater than those numbers. But it is important that they strictly apply the plans particularly social distancing and the collection of contacts and contact details across this weekend".

Also, hospitals in affected areas have been asked to restrict visitors, and all emergency departments, aged care facilities and disability accommodation facilities will use Personal Protective Equipment including face masks and gloves to treat all patients and residents.

Across the rest of Queensland — so, everywhere outside of the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay and Redlands local government areas — new gathering caps have also been introduced. Residents in these areas will only be permitted to have 30 visitors over to their homes, and to gather in groups of 30 in public areas.

The widespread changes come as Queensland announced nine new COVID-19 cases today, including six linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

As always, even with increased restrictions on gatherings, the usual advice applies. Queenslanders should maintain social distancing and hygiene measures, stay home where possible, and get tested at the first sign of even the most minor of coronavirus symptoms.

For more information about southeast Queensland's new COVID-19 gathering restrictions — which have already come into effect, and apply in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, the Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Moreton Bay and Redlands local government areas — visit Queensland Health's latest COVID-19 update.

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 22, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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