Queenslanders now have more freedom to participate in more activities and gatherings as an update to Stage 5 restrictions came into effect from 4pm Tuesday, 17 November.
It has been 64 days since a locally-acquired case of COVID-19 has occurred in Queensland.
As a result a string of restrictions have been wound back which is great news particularly for Ipswich’s biggest entertainment facilities.
The Ipswich Civic Centre has returned to 100 per cent capacity for performances.
Performers can reduce distance from audience from 4 metres to 2 metres, except choirs which remain at 4 metres from the audience.
This also brings more certainty around bookings for residents and for performers.
The Ipswich Art Gallery can also have more visitors with bookings no longer required for general admission.
Gatherings in homes and public spaces have increased from 40 to 50 people across Queensland.
Café, restaurants, pubs, clubs, museums, art galleries, places of worship, convention centres, Parliament House all increase from one person per 4 metres squared to one person per 2 metres squared along with indoor play areas within a premise allowed to reopen also.
Up to 200 people can attend a wedding and all guests can dance (both indoors and outdoors).
Up to 200 people can attend a funeral.
Outdoor events increase from 1000 to 1500 with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
An increased seated capacity from 75 per cent to 100 per cent (with a COVID Safe Plan) in open air stadiums is now allowed.
Outdoor dancing is allowed for example an outdoor music festival or beer garden.
In addition to these boarding school students can sleep over at friends’ houses on weekends and holidays and visitors are allowed at residential care at a mental health or drug and alcohol service.
The easing of restrictions was welcome news for the Christmas in Ipswich program with more visitors now allowed into Christmas Wonderland, which is being held again this year at Nerima Gardens, Queens Park. Tickets will be on sale soon.
Ipswich City Council is continuing to protect employees by adopting cashless payments with refuse and recycling centres at Riverview and Rosewood accepting card payments only.
The popular parkrun (free weekly 5km timed run) will also start up again on 28 November in Ipswich, White Rock and Augustine Heights.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared Adelaide a coronavirus hotspot as of midnight Monday, alongside Victoria and Greater Sydney.
That means the Queensland borders have closed to Adelaide and anyone from Queensland who has been to Adelaide in the past seven days is being asked to immediately get tested and self-quarantine, even if not symptomatic.
On 10 November 2020 other changes to border restrictions took effect including an improved Queensland Border Declaration Pass system to streamline processing at border checkpoints.
Border closures to Victoria are expected to remain in place until at least 1 December 2020.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said the pandemic isn’t over so we have to stay vigilant.
“We can’t forget the basics,” the Minister said.
“That means keep up social distancing, stay home if you’re sick and maintain basic hygiene.”
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the good work of businesses and venues under COVID-19 Safe Plans, such as collecting contact details, complying with occupant density numbers, and providing hand sanitiser, had helped move Queensland to further ease restrictions early.
“Queensland’s COVID Safe plans have worked well to keep our community safe and help keep life as normal as possible,” Dr Young said.
“COVID Safe Plans will be reviewed and updated in line with the further easing of restrictions, and government departments will work with their stakeholders to do this.”
Council’s Small Business Funding Program is open to assist businesses through the pandemic.
To claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment access information here.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, Queensland Health is advising to come forward, get tested for COVID-19 and then stay at home until the results have been communicated.
The full list of symptoms click here.
Testing is still an important tool in the fight against coronavirus as it assists Queensland Health to be able to find cases in the community as quickly as possible.
West Moreton Health also want to remind residents to stay 1.5m apart from other people in public and practise good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, and to wash hands thoroughly and regularly.
For West Moreton COVID testing clinic details click here.