Queenslanders will be able to stand while they eat and drink from Friday afternoon and the NSW border is likely to open on November 1 under a new COVID-safe roadmap.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk released the plan on Friday morning, outlining further restrictions to be eased in three phases.
It comes as two men working on a ship off the coast near Brisbane were confirmed as new COVID-19 cases.
The new roadmap will give more certainty to the community and businesses through to the end of the year, which Ms Palaszczuk said was a credit to the hard work of Queenslanders.
“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,” she said.
“We’ve had to make hard decisions, but it is because of these and the hard work of Queenslanders that we are in the position to continue easing restrictions.”
Under the road map, stage 4 commenced at 1am on October 1, 2020, adding five extra local government areas included in the declared border zone across northern NSW.
And patrons at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID-safe plan will be able to stand while eating and drinking from 4pm Friday, October 2. Outdoor restrictions will be eased to one person per 2 sqm from 4sqm. Outdoor events will also double capacity from 500 people to 1000.
“This seated restriction has been one of the hardest for the hospitality workers to enforce,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
“This will make their job easier, and make going out a lot more fun.
“I want to thank the hard work of the community and our health heroes that made this possible.”
Stage 5 would commence at 1am on November 1 with opening of the NSW border — allowing visitors and returned travellers to enter the state without having to complete mandatory quarantine — on the proviso of no community transmission cases in NSW for the preceding 28 days.
“We have made it very clear that our borders have kept us safe … We’re watching NSW very closely,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Under stage 5, gatherings of up to 40 people will be permitted in homes and public spaces across the state, and up to 40 people can dance at weddings with a COVID-safe plan.
Ms Palaszczuk said the easing of restrictions would be jeopardised with any community transmission of coronavirus with the possibility of people being made to wear masks.
“It does depend too that we don’t have any community transmission … gatherings would be reduced, increased testing and wearing of masks,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Stage 6 would commence at 1am on December 1, allowing 50 people to gather in homes and public spaces.
Outdoor events would increase from 1000 to 1500, and unlimited dancing will be permitted at weddings with a COVID-safe plan.
Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the relaxing of restrictions showed the state had a well-managed plan to combat any spread of coronavirus.
“All of these things are signs that we have this virus under control in Queensland,” Dr Young said.
“So that we can keep easing restrictions, it is vital that we maintain physical distance, wear a face mask in public when that is not possible, and wash your hands.”
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said she welcomed the easing of restrictions as a reward for Queenslanders who have “done the right thing.”
“But this can’t be set-and-forget,” she said.
“And this is no substitute for an economic plan. The government has no plan for the future, no plans for jobs.”
Queensland will remain closed to Victoria until community transmission is under control.