Queensland records zero new cases of COVID-19, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces easing of restrictions

 3 hrs agoLike|1China submits draft biodiversity declaration to UNUK, US vow to finish evacuationAnnastacia Palaszczuk et al. holding wine glasses: Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland now has some of the lightest restrictions in Australia. (ABC News: Emma Pollard)© Provided by ABC News Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland now has some of the lightest restrictions in Australia. (ABC News: Emma Pollard)

Queensland has recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced.

There are now 30 active cases in the state which includes one new case detected in hotel quarantine.

There have been 13,591 tests in the past 24 hours and Ms Palaszczuk said it had now been 20 days since there was an active case recorded in the Queensland community.

A string of COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in south-east Queensland as of 4:00pm today.

Ms Palaszczuk said that despite the lifting of restrictions, masks will still be compulsory when indoors.

“We will review these mask requirements every two weeks but this is an added protection for us,” she said.

“We do know what’s on our doorstep in New South Wales, that there are still flights that come in so we want to make sure that we are protecting everybody and doing the right thing.”

From this afternoon people will be allowed to have 100 people in their home, while 200 people can attend weddings and funerals.

Hospitality venues will be able to have one person per 2 square metres and dancing will be permitted once again.

The Premier said the state now has some of the least strict COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said while masks will not be required outdoors anymore, people attending sporting events at stadiums will still be required to wear them.

“The risk is far less outdoors unless you’re in very big numbers,” Dr Young said.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there were no cases reported out of Palm Island in Far North Queensland after positive traces of the virus were found in wastewater.

“We’re continuing that testing again today but all signs are very positive at this stage,” Ms D’Ath said.

“Everyone is getting rewarded at four o’clock this afternoon, and it’s just wonderful that we are back to having some of the lowest restrictions in the country right now because of everyone’s great work.”

Wellcamp facility will facilitate end of hotel quarantine: Premier

The Premier said she was confident that the federal government would allow international passenger flights to arrive to the Wellcamp Airport by the time a planned facility at the site was built next year.

“Like I said yesterday, if you build it they will come,” she said.

“We did all the detailed planning and if they [the federal government) agreed to it months ago it would have been built by now.

“It is a state-of-the-art international airport.”

She said the Wellcamp quarantine facility alongside the Pinkenba facility, which will be built by the federal government, will mean the state can eliminate hotel quarantine.

The federal government has awarded the contract to build a quarantine facility at Pinkenba, near Brisbane Airport, to Multiplex.

The facility is expected to have 500 beds available early next year.

Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said unlike the state’s quarantine facility at Wellcamp, the Pinkenba project is close to “all necessary medical facilities, including three major hospitals”.

“Whilst it will be used for any ongoing quarantine requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also be there in the years to come to support responses to natural disasters or other crises,” Senator Birmingham said.

Border hoppers ‘heavily’ fined

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said 12 people have been “heavily” fined for coming into the state from New South Wales without a border declaration.

She said having the Australian Defence Force on the border has assisted the police in keeping the border closed.

“That is a force multiplier. It enables us all to do more things,” Commissioner Carroll said.

She said police will be sending more resources to the border on the weekend in the event that there could be more protests.

Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles said his NSW counterpart John Barilaro now wanted to discuss changing arrangements for border communities.

NSW has previously rejected moving checkpoints at the border further south so communities like Tweed Heads can still move into Queensland.

But Mr Miles said NSW has had a change of heart and negotiations will begin.

Border communities like the Tweed rely heavily on the Gold Coast for jobs, shopping and health services and have been caught up in the NSW lockdown and Queensland border closure.

The Premier said the Queensland government appealed to the New South Wales government weeks ago to move the border for COVID-19 to the Tweed River, south of the CBD.

“We put it forward and it was rejected,” she said.

“I think there are people in the Tweed that don’t think we put that forward so I’m making it very clear today, we put that forward and it was rejected.”[ZENDESK Click through to send us your questions about COVID-19]

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