QLD on the verge of lifting mask mandate, Darwin lockout to end at midnight

QLD on the verge of lifting mask mandate, Darwin lockout to end at midnight

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced today that face masks can be put away once 80 per cent of the state has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and that more freedoms will be available when people are fully vaccinated. 

Exceptions would remain in airports and planes, where a federal mask mandate is in place.

With 79.6 per cent of the state's population having received one jab as of yesterday afternoon, the Premier said it would be safe for schools, cafes, pubs, clubs, hairdressers and workplaces to go mask-free soon.

"This is another small step back towards life as normal,” the Premier said.

“Queenslanders have done an incredible job all through the pandemic and this is their reward.

“The more of us who are vaccinated, the faster we return to life the way it used to be.”

Masks are strongly recommended on public transport and other areas where social distancing cannot occur across Queensland. 

“We have no community cases and therefore no need to wear masks in most settings,” said Health Minister Yvette D’Ath.

“But we shouldn’t throw them away.”

“Masks have been an excellent defence against the spread of COVID and it’s more than likely we will need them again.”

Vaccinated Queenslanders to be rewarded before Christmas

Vaccinated Queenslanders aged 16 or older will be rewarded with a return to normal life on December 17 or once the State hits 80 per cent of eligible citizens being fully vaccinated.

From that date stadiums, venues and festivals will only be open to attendees that are fully vaccinated, with police enforcing the requirements.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said these measures are a reward for vaccinated Queenslanders.

“This pandemic has been a long, hard road,” Palaszczuk said.

“Soon our borders will open and COVID will be in our communities.”

“This is about keeping our freedoms.”

Visitors to aged care, hospitals, prisons and disability services will be required to be vaccinated except in end-of-life cases, childbirth or emergencies.

The first fully vaccinated event will be the Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder Big Bash League match at the Gabba on 19 December.

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said making sure spectators were fully vaccinated was critical to keeping all Queenslanders safe from COVID-19.

“If you want to see sporting spectacles like the BBL or State of Origin, you need to be vaccinated,” Hinchliffe said.

“Without double vaccination you won’t make it past the Gabba turnstiles from 17 December onwards.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said COVID-safe quarantine plans have already been developed with Queensland Health for the England and Australian cricket teams for the first test on 8 December.

“Then the game changes again for all sports and concerts from 17 December,” said D’Ath.

“Together as Queenslanders we are facing down the virus and building towards a brighter future.”

Greater Darwin to lift lockout from midnight 

The lockout for Greater Darwin will lift at 11:59pm tonight after it was extended by 24 hours due to a new public exposure site being identified at Noonamah Tavern.

Katherine, which was lifted from lockdown yesterday at 5pm, has put a mask mandate in place until 5pm on 12 November.  

The below areas remain in lockout until midnight:

  • City of Darwin
  • City of Palmerston
  • Litchfield Council
  • Wagait Shire
  • Belyuen Shire
  • Dundee
  • Bynoe
  • Charlotte
  • Cox Peninsula

Updated at 9:06am AEST on 9 November 2021.

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