Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has thanked residents in Greater Brisbane for their sacrifice during the pre-emptive long weekend lockdown, with encouraging results allowing stay-at-home directives to be lifted as planned at 6pm this evening.
A positive case of the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19 led the state to take what Palaszczuk described as a "world-first" course of action on Friday, in a bid to nip a potential spread in the bud through a three-day lockdown in Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan.
For the first time millions of Queenslanders were required to wear masks outside the home, and most were compliant after seeing the devastating effects of outbreaks and extended lockdowns in Melbourne and more recently in Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Premier Palaszczuk reported the "wonderful news" of zero new cases of community transmission overnight, with four new cases in hotel quarantine - two being Emirates flight staff - taking the state's total number of active cases to 25.
"Can I thank people in the Greater Brisbane region for responding the way that they did. It has been absolutely, truly remarkable," she said.
"So I can announced that the reward for this sacrifice is that we are able to end our lockdown after three days."
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However, if the virus has seeded there is still a timeframe where continued abatement measures are needed, leading Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young to advise the continued use of masks until 1am on 22 January.
Requirements apply to anyone who has been in Greater Brisbane since 2 January, regardless of where they might be now.
The new rules in Greater Brisbane from 6pm will be more relaxed, but the Premier's message is "when in doubt, wear a mask".
"You'll have to carry a face mask with you at all times. It is not dissimilar to what has happened in other jurisdictions," Premier Palaszczuk said.
She confirmed mask wearing would be required in the following locations:
- Shopping centres
- Retail outlets
- Indoor markets
- Hospitals and aged care facilities
- Churches and places of worship
- Indoor recreational facilities such as cinemas and art galleries
- Indoor workplaces where social distancing is not possible
- Public transport, taxis and ridesharing services
- Airports and on planes
People will not need to wear masks when driving alone in their own cars, or with family members in their own cars.
The State Government also set the following gathering and social distancing rules that will be in place until 1am, 22 January.
Businesses and venues
- Indoors: 1 person per 4 sqm
- Outdoors: 1 person per 2 sqm
- Seated eating and drinking only
- Smaller venues up to 200 sqm: 1 person per 2sqm up to a maximum of 50
- No dancing except for weddings
- Up to 20 in homes and public spaces
- Weddings: up to 100. No restriction on dancing
- Funerals: up to 100
- Indoor concert venues or theatres: 50 per cent capacity or 1 person per 4 sqm whichever is greater
- Outdoor stadiums: 50 per cent capacity with COVID-safe plans
Updated at 9:26am AEST on 11 January 2021.