Millions of Queenslanders have this morning woken up to a snap lockdown that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says will last at least three days, in response to an outbreak of new cases in the Greater Brisbane area.
The hard lockdown will affect those in the Brisbane City, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands and Moreton Bay Council areas, who will only be allowed to leave home for essential reasons.
The lockdown comes after the state recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19, four of which were locally acquired. Considering infected persons were active in the community in the days leading up to their diagnosis, Premier Palaszczuk says she expects the cluster to balloon further.
Under the hard lockdown, masks will be mandatory in any indoor location. The mask mandate applies to the entire state of Queensland, not just the Greater Brisbane area.
All non-essential businesses in the affected areas must also close during this period. Cafes, pubs and restaurants can remain open for takeaway and home delivery service, but no dine-in service will be allowed.
Food markets and farmers’ markets are able to operate as usual.
Meanwhile, all but a small handful of restrictions lifted in New South Wales at 12.01am yesterday morning. For the first time in 12 months, there are no restrictions on dancing, singing in any setting, or drinking while standing.
The only remaining restriction in place is the 2sqm rule per person in any venue once there are more than 25 patrons.
A number of Sydney venues celebrated the relaxed rules in the early hours of yesterday morning, including Kings Cross Hotel, which re-opened its dancefloor at exactly 12.01am for a late-night DJ-hosted dance party.
Other venues including Solotel’s The Golden Sheaf, The Bank Hotel, The Clock Hotel, Goros and Barangaroo House will also be welcoming back dancing this week.
Image credit: Queensland.com