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Queensland eases stage two COVID-19 restrictions

Qld govt eases stage two COVID-19 restrictions
Photo: Qld eases stage two COVID-19 restrictions
Hospital and aged care visits will be allowed and face mask rules relaxed in southeast Queensland as the risk from recent COVID-19 outbreaks falls.

Queensland's chief health officer is confident the state has averted another COVID-19 outbreak as the state records a double donut day.

It's been a week since the last locally acquired case linked to an aviation cluster in Brisbane, with all cases since then recorded in home or hotel quarantine.

"This is excellent news due to the tremendous work done by Queenslanders. We've had another outbreak that I believe this stage has been averted," Dr Jeanette Young said on Friday.

The government has announced it will ease restrictions on social distancing, hospital and aged care visits and mask-wearing in the southeast, as the risk of recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Brisbane and the Gold Coast dissipates.
The state administered 15,704 tests in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Friday and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says restrictions implemented in the southeast last week can be eased almost 10 days after an outbreak began in Brisbane.

"Because we've had such good news over the last week, the Chief Health Officer Dr Young has today advised that we can ease restrictions from 4pm today," she told reporters.

Under the new rules, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and other indoor venues can have double the density of patrons, with one person per two square meters.

Up to 100 guests will be permitted in homes, and visits will again be allowed in hospitals and residential aged and disability care providers.

Up to 200 people can attend weddings and funerals, and all wedding guests will be able to return to the dancefloor.

The mask mandate will also be eased, with masks required only in indoor settings where people cannot socially-distance, such as supermarkets.

The premier said students and school teachers would also have to wear masks indoors but teachers would be allowed to remove them while addressing classes from the front of the room.

Queensland Health administered another 18,776 vaccine doses in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Friday, with 50 per cent of eligible Queenslanders fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

The premier expects Queensland to hit 70 per cent fully vaccinated by the end of October or early November, but she will not say when the state borders will reopen.

"We will open when it's safe to do so," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"So what we're looking at now we're looking very closely at what's happening in NSW and Victoria, and then some easing of restrictions in NSW, their vaccination rates are going up quite steadily, which is great."

Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk said authorities would examine the success of the home quarantine trial after two weeks of operation.

If all goes well, the premier hopes to announce an extension about the time of the next national cabinet meeting.

The trial comes as the first concrete is poured at the state government's dedicated quarantine facility at the Wellcamp site near Toowoomba.

It's expected to be completed "months before" a second facility proposed by the Commonwealth at Pinkenba, near Brisbane.

Wellcamp's lease agreement commits the state to leasing over 1000 beds from the Wagner Corporation, 500 by late December 2021 and the remaining 500 in the first quarter of 2022.

"The initial lease term is of 12 months (from 1 April 2022), with an option to extend this for at least another year," Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.


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