Queensland has released a new roadmap for further easing of the state’s quarantine restrictions, including setting a date when people from Sydney can visit the state without undergoing a mandatory 14 days in quarantine.
Under the rules announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, travellers from NSW will be able to cross the border without a mandatory quarantine period from 1 November, provided community transmission in the state stays under control.
The news came as NSW reported that it had now gone an entire week without a single case of locally transmitted COVID-19.
All NSW cases for the past week have been in hotel quarantine, including four cases overnight, with three acquired overseas and one in Victoria.
“We are looking very closely at New South Wales and if they do not have any community transmission for 28 days … that would mean there may be a possibility of opening up to New South Wales if there is no community transmission,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “We said very clearly that at the end of the month we[would] review the plans.
“They’re about to go into school holidays. So, we’ll be watching that space very carefully.”
As part of Queensland’s roadmap, subtle dancing in groups will be allowed from 4pm today, as will being able to stand up and drink in a pub.
Also, from today in Queensland, outdoor density requirements will be relaxed for businesses to one person for every two square metres and the maximum number of attendees permitted at outdoor events has increased from 500 to 1000.
The capacity of outdoor stadium and amphitheatres in Queensland has also increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.
From 1 November, Queensland will allow gatherings of up to 40 people in homes and public spaces and up to 40 people will be able to dance at a wedding.
The Queensland roadmap also allows for gatherings of up to 50 people in homes and public spaces from 1 December as well as outdoor events increasing from 1000 to 1500 and unlimited dancing at weddings.
There is still no timeline for when Victorians will be able to visit the Sunshine State, with the border to remain closed until community transmission is under control (including whether there have been any unlinked cases in the previous 28 days).
In good news for Victorians, that date might not be far away after recording just 14 cases from an unknown source between 16–29 September.
Victoria also recorded just seven new cases on Friday and another two deaths, taking the state toll to 802 and the national figure to 890.
The seven new cases resulted in Melbourne’s 14-day average dropping to 12.8 and the regional figure to 0.2.
Despite the good numbers, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned about the risks of opening up too early and used the recent outbreak at shopping centre Chadstone to highlight his point.
“Imagine what a normal Chadstone would have looked like if that scene had played out when we could have … hundreds of thousands of people moving through that setting,” he said. “It is not safe to open up now. It will be soon when we have driven these numbers down further.
“We will get to the point where we can take those safe steps, but it is only when they are safe they will be taken because to do anything different is essentially to say to Victorians that we don’t value all of the sacrifice that you have made. We do. All of us do. That is why we have to stay the course.”
The ACT also released its latest roadmap update with a number of changes to come into effect from 9 October, including increasing all gatherings to 200 people and having 50 per cent capacity for cinemas, movie theatres and large indoor seated areas.
ACT workplaces may also commence a return to the workplace if it suits employers and employees from 9 October.
Are you happy about Queensland reopening its borders to all of NSW from 1 November? Do you still have concerns?
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