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Southeast Queensland's Mask Rules Are Changing to Let You Take Off Your Mask While Sitting Down

If you’re seated at a pub, bar, restaurant, cinema or theatre, you can start flashing your smile again.
By Sarah Ward
September 24, 2021
By Sarah Ward
September 24, 2021

Brisbanites, next time you head out for a bite to eat, to have drinks, see a movie or watch a footy match, you won't need to keep your mask on while you're seated. Today, Friday, September 24, marks a fortnight since Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last announced a change to Queensland's COVID-19 restrictions, and also confirmed that the rules around masks were remaining in place in many situations. These requirements are reviewed every two weeks, so they've just been assessed again — and the rules around masks have been given a slight tweak.

At the state's daily COVID-19 press conference, Queensland's Deputy Premier Steven Miles advised that "while we will be extending the restrictions related to masks, the Chief Health Officer has recommended some small changes. What that means is that once you are seated, you will be able to remove your mask. You don't need to wait until you're eating or drinking."

The Deputy Premier continued: "that means when you go to the stadium and you are making your way through, you will need a mask through the gates, all the way through the concourse until you're seated. But once you're seated, you can remove the mask even if you're not eating and drinking."

Miles also explained that the change will apply in all setting, including schools, hospitality and other venues. "When you go to a cafe, restaurant or licensed club, you won't have to wait until you have a drink at the table to remove your mask, you can take it off as soon as you are seated," the Deputy Premier said.

If you live in the Brisbane City Council, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim Local Government Areas, it has been some time since you've been able to flash your smile at people outside of your own home. Since the end of June, in an effort to stop the region's recent COVID-19 cases from spreading, wearing masks has been compulsory across the region, although that mandate relaxed slightly in mid-August. The rules that've been in place since then aren't going anywhere for now, though, other than this slight amendment to the requirements when you're sitting down — and that'll be the case for the next fortnight.

Need a refresher on the rules? Queensland has a standing mask mandate for flights, airports and stadiums, so you'll always need to mask up there — and, for the next two weeks, they'll remain mandatory in plenty of other spots. That includes on public transport, in ride shares and while waiting for both; in all indoor spaces other than your own home, including hospitality businesses, unless you're sitting down; in schools; and outdoors if you can't remain 1.5 metres away from people who aren't part of your household.

Also, you will still need to always carry a mask with you.

Queensland currently has 20 active COVID-19 cases, with zero new locally acquired case reported in the past 24 hours.

And, as always, the usual requests regarding social distancing, hygiene and getting tested if you're feeling even the slightest possible COVID-19 symptoms also still apply — as they have since March last year.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Queensland, head to the QLD COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website.

Top image: Atlanta Bell.

Published on September 24, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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