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Changes coming for millions of Australians as a host of hated coronavirus restrictions are scrapped

Millions of Australians will no longer be forced to wear masks and they will be able to have more visitors at home as a host of coronavirus restrictions are pared back.

Residents in Greater Brisbane subjected to mandatory face coverings and limits on gathering sizes will see a return to pre-lockdown life come Friday. 

But families hoping to be reunited with loved ones in parts of New South Wales will have to wait with no immediate changes made to border rules.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the three-day lockdown imposed earlier this month helped prevent an explosion in cases numbers. 

Millions of residents in Greater Brisbane will no longer be required to wear masks under a major easing of coronavirus restrictions from 1am on Friday

More people will be allowed in places such as restaurants, cafes and bars with the one person per 4sqm rule slashed to 2sqm 


- 50 people allowed to gather in homes; 100 people outdoors

- One person per 2sqm in indoor spaces such as restaurants, cafes and museums

- Up to 200 people at funerals and weddings (all guests can dance at weddings)

- 500 people at indoor events; 1500 people at outdoor events

- 100 per cent capacity at seated, ticketed indoor events and at open air stadiums

- Dancing is allowed at all indoor and outdoor venues

- Masks not mandatory in indoor spaces, only in airports and on airplanes

'A short, sharp lockdown was successful in keeping the movement of people and the virus to a minimum,' Ms Palaszczuk said on Thursday. 

'We've been able to ease restrictions faster because we've had a strong response to tackling Covid.' 

Friday has been set as the date for restrictions to be stripped back following 14 days of no community transmission. 

Greater Brisbane will be brought back into line with the rest of the state after having restrictions imposed following the snap three-day lockdown earlier this month when a Covid cluster emerged at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Four returned travellers staying on level seven of the hotel while in mandatory quarantine tested positive to the highly-infectious UK strain of coronavirus, along with a cleaner working at the facility and their partner.  

The number of people at weddings and funerals will be doubled to 200, while 50 people will be allowed in a home and gatherings of 100 people in outdoor spaces will be permitted.

Indoor premises such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, places of worship and museums currently subjected to the 4sqm capacity rule will be able to have more people through their doors.

Capacity will be boosted with the one person per 2sqm rule coming into effect.

Standing hospitality will once again be allowed. 

There can be 500 people at indoor events under the eased restrictions, with 1500 people at events held outdoors.  

Residents in Greater Brisbane are in for an easing of coronavirus restrictions on Friday as the city continues its run of no locally acquired cases of the virus. Pictured, Brisbane residents

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) said authorities were able to ease restrictions from 1am on Friday because of its snap three-day lockdown 

Ticketed events and open air stadiums will be back to 100 per cent capacity but those attending are still encouraged to wear masks. 

Masks will only be required in airports and on airplanes, in line with national guidelines. They are recommended on public transport and where social distancing is not possible.  

Dancing will be allowed in all indoor and outdoor venues, subject to the one person per 2sqm rule.

The changes will come into effect from 1am on Friday, with confirmation made on Thursday morning. 

Residents are still being urged to come forward for testing after the virus was detected in sewage on the Gold Coast and in Cairns North.

'It's really important that if anyone is sick to just come forward and get tested,' Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said. 

There will be no immediate changes to border restrictions, however. Pictured, a border checkpoint at Coolangatta 

Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate.

New South Wales has recorded three consecutive days of zero locally acquired cases of coronavirus.  

The Sunshine State is set to review their border closure rules for Greater Sydney residents at the end of January - giving New South Wales authorities just over a week to link each case to a known source.

Under the Queensland rules, the border restrictions will only be removed once there has been 28 days of zero unlinked cases. 

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called on other state premiers to open their borders, accusing them of 'inflicting pain and suffering' on millions of Australians. 

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