Queenslanders will be able to enjoy a drink standing up from 4pm today and celebrate the news that the state's border to New South Wales may open from November as part of a new restriction easing roadmap.
Announced this morning, the roadmap will see the state's border to all of NSW open from 1am on 1 November 2020, on the condition that no unlinked community transmission of COVID-19 is detected in NSW for 28 days prior.
"Our Chief Health Officer and public health team will analyse intrastate, interstate and international data before any decision to move to the next stage," said Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
"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.
"But right now, case numbers are low, we can contain potential outbreaks - our quarantine and contact tracing procedures work, and we have not had a COVID-19 fatality in almost six months."
'Stage 4' of QLD's new easing roadmap commenced on 1 October, adding local government areas in Northern NSW to the state's border zone.
However, from 4pm today, standing eating and drinking will be permitted at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID Safe Plan.
NEW ROADMAP: Today we're releasing a new roadmap to easing restrictions for October, November and December pic.twitter.com/JkeHmXyDduAnnastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) October 1, 2020
"Queenslanders deserve the credit for this," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured).
"And from 4pm today, Queenslanders will be able to celebrate this achievement by getting a drink or a meal out without having to be seated.
"We have always said that we would continue to ease restrictions where we could in a staged and balanced way to keep Queenslanders safe and this plan does just that."
In addition to the potential border reopening, from 1am on 1 November public gatherings will be allowed to increase to 40 people, and up to 40 people will be allowed to dance at weddings with COVID Safe plans implemented.
Stage 6, anticipated from 1am on 1 December, will see public gatherings increase to 50 people, increased attendances at outdoor events and no restrictions on people dancing at weddings.
The Queensland border will remain closed to Victoria until community transmission is under control.
If community transmission of COVID-19 is detected in QLD the state says it will reintroduce restrictions, including reducing gathering limits back down to 10 people in homes and public spaces, while further restrictions on aged care, disability accommodation, hospitals and corrections facilities will come back.
"We've had to make hard decisions, but it is because of these decisions and the hard work of Queenslanders that we are in the position to continue easing restrictions," said Palaszczuk.
"It's because of our strong health response to the COVID-19 pandemic that we can get on with Queensland's economic recovery plan."
The news comes as QLD records two new cases of COVID-19 today, both in hotel quarantine.
Updated at 10.33am AEST on 2 October 2020.
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