It’s been a tough time for Queenslanders eager to tie the knot with their beloved or say goodbye to a loved one who has died.
Coronavirus restrictions and snap lockdowns have wreaked havoc on weddings and funerals, with many planned events cancelled at the last minute, costing people millions.
But all that is set to change, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing restrictions on weddings and funerals will further ease to allow more guests at venues.
The changes come as the state marks more than 60 days without a case of community transmission.
What restrictions change from today?
From today, more people can attend a wedding or funeral in Queensland.
Weddings and funerals can now have 200 guests, regardless of the size of the venue.
For larger venues, an unlimited number of guests are allowed to attend, as long as the one person per two square metre rule is adhered to.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she hoped the changes would make a huge difference.
“I know that’s going to mean a lot, especially to our regional communities where there might be someone special from their community who has passed away,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Friday.
“We know many people who have large weddings as well and this is wonderful news.
“Those easing of restrictions mean basically they’re almost back to normal.”
What other restrictions remain in place?
- 50 people can gather in a home or 100 in a public space
- 500 people are permitted at indoor events with a COVID-safe event checklist. Larger events require a COVID-safe plan
- Ticketed venues and open-air stadiums can operate at 100 per cent capacity
- Dancing is allowed in all venues — but don’t dance too close together. It’s two square metres per person
- People are encouraged to carry a mask and wear it on public transport and when social distancing is not possible
At the weekend, Queensland Health renewed calls for people to wear their masks in airports and on flights, after three recently positive cases travelled through Brisbane Airport.
“It is absolutely critical everyone follows the rules and wears a mask if they’ve got plans to travel,” Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said.
“Not only can you be fined $200 on the spot [if you do not follow the rules], it is a safety precaution for you and for the people around you.
“It could be the difference between catching COVID-19 or not.”
Will there be any more changes soon?
The government usually provides updates on a monthly basis, on or around the end of the month.
Basted on that pattern, you can expect an update in three to four weeks.
Ms Palaszczuk told a press conference on Sunday there was only one new case of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine in Queensland, 24 active cases, and 4,110 tests had been carried out.
Meanwhile, the AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived in Queensland, with vaccine hubs to open today in Bundaberg and Logan. Frontline health care workers, quarantine workers and residents in care facilities will be at the front of the queue.