Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (Photo: Twitter)

October 2, 2020

Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions will ease further during November and December … provided there are no cases of “unlinked” community transmission of the disease.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk released a new “roadmap” on Friday detailing monthly changes in the lead up to Christmas.

She said the roadmap would provide more certainty to the community and businesses.

The first major change – Stage 4 – affects hotels, restaurants, outdoor events and sports stadiums.

From 1:00am on Thursday (October 1) outdoor density restrictions for businesses have been relaxed for businesses with a COVID Safe plan or checklist to one person per 2sq m (formerly one per 4sq m).

The maximum number of attendees at outdoor events with a COVID Safe checklist increased from 500 to 1000 and the seating capacity of outdoor stadiums and amphitheatres increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.

From 4:00pm on Friday (October 2), standing eating and drinking will be allowed at venues with a COVID Safe plan.

If there is no unlinked community transmission in NSW for 28 days, Stage 5 could start from 1:00am on November 1.

This would mean the Queensland border would open to NSW visitors and return travellers without having to complete mandatory quarantine (although a Border Declaration Pass would still be required).

Gatherings of up to 40 people would be allowed in homes and public spaces and up to 40 people would be able to dance at a wedding with a COVID Safe Plan.

Stage 6, planned from 1:00am on December 1, would allow public gatherings of 50 people in homes and public spaces, increased attendances at outdoor events with a COVID Safe plan from 1000 to 1500, and unlimited dancing at weddings.

However, the Queensland border will remain closed to Victoria until community transmission is under control.

Health Minister Steven Miles said checks would be undertaken at the end of each month before the State moved into the next stage.

“We’ve based our decisions about COVID-19 restrictions on the best health advice available and we will continue to do so to make sure we keep Queensland’s future safe,” Dr Miles said.

“Our Chief Health Officer and public health team will analyse intrastate, interstate and international data before any decision to move to the next stage.

“We have proved that our methods work to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19 and, if the health advice changes at any stage, we can act quickly to increase measures to keep Queenslanders safe and save lives.”

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A “bubble” will open for New Zealand visitors to Australia from midnight on October 16 – but it is only one way, and only applies to NSW and the Northern Territory.

Announcing the change on Friday, Deputy Prime Michael McCormack said the move would make it easier for New Zealanders who wanted to work on farms, fruit picking or shearing.

The change follows extensive negotiations with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

While the NZ visitors will not have to quarantine after they arrive in Australia, they will when they return home.

Discussions about extending the “bubble”, including travel by Australians to New Zealand, are continuing.

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