Brisbane wakes to ‘Freedom Day’ as restrictions ease
Queensland has seemingly dodged a potentially catastrophic outbreak of COVID-19, and Brisbane residents are on Friday breathing easier as they wake to a massive wind back of restrictions.
As of 1am on Friday, masks are no longer mandatory, dancing is allowed once again, gathering restrictions have eased, and visitors are allowed back into hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability accommodation.
For the last 11 days, residents of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Redlands and Moreton Bay have been subject to strict restrictions following a three day lockdown.
It comes after a hotel quarantine worker from the Hotel Grand Chancellor tested positive for the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19, and was unknowingly infectious in the community for three days.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the state's chief health officer were so concerned about what an outbreak would do to Queensland they locked the city down, before implementing a mask mandate and other restrictions.
Thursday marked 14 days since the last case of COVID-19 was in the community, and Dr Jeannette Young said she felt "comfortable" that Brisbane had dodged a bullet.
Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland had fought hard and fought fast and deserved to be rewarded for their efforts.
"Brisbane was Australia's first battleground for this new strain," she said on Thursday.
"A short, sharp shutdown was successful in keeping the movement of people and the virus to a minimum."
"We have come through this together, we have come through it stronger, and we'll continue to do that every single day."
What Brisbane residents can do from today:
Face masks are no longer mandatory except when at an airport or on a flight departing or arriving in Queensland. However, the chief health officer advises Queenslanders to always carry a mask and use it where social distancing is not possible.
Gatherings: 50 people are now allowed to gather in homes and 100 in public spaces
Indoor premises: One person per two square metres at cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, museums, art galleries, and places of workshop
Dancing: Allowed in all indoor and outdoor venues including pubs, nightclubs and music festivals.
Weddings: Up to 200 people can attended a wedding and all guests can dance
Funerals: Up to 200 people can attend a funeral
Indoor events: 500 people permitted at indoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require COVID Safe Plan
Ticketed venues: 100 per cent capacity at seated, ticketed venues with patrons encouraged to wear masks on entry and exit
Outdoor events: 1500 people permitted at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
Open air stadiums: 100 per cent seated capacity. All patrons encouraged to wear masks on entry and exit.
Contact tracing: All hospitality industry businesses must comply with electronic contact information collection requirements.
Originally published as Brisbane unmasked as restrictions ease