Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has today (Thur Jan 21) announced the lifting of the mandatory wearing of face masks in public spaces two weeks after the detection of a highly contagious strain of COVID-19 in Brisbane.
Ms Palaszczuk, in a just released statement (Jan 21), thanked the people of Greater Brisbane for their success in stopping the spread of a new, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 allowing businesses to get back to normal.
It came as restrictions including the mandatory use of masks were lifted 14 days after a hotel cleaner tested positive.
“Brisbane was Australia’s first battleground for this new strain,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“A short, sharp shutdown was successful in keeping the movement of people and the virus to a minimum.
“We followed that with the mandatory use of masks in crowded places for the 14 day incubation period.
“The care Queenslanders have for each other is as plain as the masks we saw on thousands of faces.”
The State Government has recommended people continue to wear masks on public transport and places where social distancing could not be achieved but not mandated.
As of 1am tomorrow (Fri Jan 22) businesses including cafes and restaurants can return to having 1 customer for every two square metres;
- Weddings can have 200 guests
- People can stand and drink in licensed premises; and
- Dancing can return
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath paid tribute to health staff, police and, especially contact tracers.
“In the 14 days since we learned a person had been in our community with the UK strain:
- 103,549 people in Queenslander came forward for testing;
- 743 close contacts were identified and managed, with 700 tested so far; and
- 38 overseas acquired cases of COVID-19 were detected among returned travellers in hotel quarantine
“I want to thank all Queenslanders for rising to the challenge this latest strain has posed.
“As always, we’re continuing to encourage anyone with symptoms to come forward for testing.”