Coronavirus restrictions to ease further across Queensland from this weekend



Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced several coronavirus restrictions will be eased across the state from this weekend.

Ms Palaszczuk said gathering limits at homes would be increase from 50 to 100 people and the number of people who could gather outside would increase from 100 to 500 from 1:00am on Saturday.

The number of people at camping sites will increase from one person per 2 square metres to no limit.

Lift capacity will also increase from four people to six.

Ms Palaszczuk said the easing was in time for upcoming school holidays.

“It means Easter camping holidays with more friends, more business for our tourism operators and more money in tourism towns,” she said.

“It also makes the return to workplaces and greater numbers of workers in our CBD more likely, pumping more money into sandwich bars and coffee shops who’ve been missing their customers.”

Close-up of COVID-19 social distancing sign at Daisy Hill Conservation Park.
The number of people at camping sites will increase from one person per 2 square metres to no limit.(ABC News: Elaine Ford)

Ms Palaszczuk said it was more evidence of Queenslanders lives and economy returning to normal.

“Anzac Day is back to normal … weddings and funerals can be attended by greater numbers,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This is not the case in every state.

“Our excellent health response is making our economic recovery that much faster and stronger.”

Queensland has recorded five new cases of coronavirus overnight, acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, 13,989 frontline health and hotel quarantine workers have been vaccinated, including 1,993 in the past 24 hours.

‘Code Yellow’ declared in some public hospitals

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said unprecedented demand for hospital emergency departments had led to a number of public hospitals in Queensland to declare a code yellow.

“When a code yellow is put in place it allows hospitals to distribute resources to meet the high demand they’re experiencing,” she said.

“The declaration of a code yellow is not something the community need to be alarmed about.”

Ms D’Ath said in the last week a number of Metro North hospitals experienced brief periods on code yellow.

“Cairns Hospital was placed on code yellow yesterday amid unprecedented demand — 263 people were treated in the Cairns Hospital ED on Wednesday, just short of the record daily total of 286,” she said.

“A spike in trauma injury presentations along with increased category 5 presentations — which is the lowest category — are among the drivers of this near record number of presentations.

“Many of these category 5 presentations are avoidable … too often, we are finding that people are turning to their local emergency department for medical care that could be provided by our excellent local general practitioners.”

She said as of this morning, Cairns was the only hospital to have a code yellow due to bed capacity in place across the state.

Mobile testing van in Far North Queensland

Health authorities will start operating a mobile coronavirus testing van across Far North Queensland from today to protect Indigenous communities.

Ms D’Ath said the team in the van would be able to test symptomatic people and provide health information.

“The mobile testing van is staffed by three nurses, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison officer and an administration officer,” she said.

“They will be supported by a senior medical officer, a public health nurse and a senior public health officer.”

The van will start in Mooroobool today before heading to communities in Yarrabah and Mossman Gorge.

Queensland currently has 17 vaccination hubs delivering AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs with more to come online from next week.

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