Masks come off from 4 March

Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk has announced the easing of COVID restrictions, including mask-wearing, to be implemented on March 4 at 6 pm.

Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has announced that masks will no longer be needed in pubs and shops after 6 pm on 4 March.
 
The Government’s medical advice indicates the omicron wave has peaked in Queensland, and this marks the first step in moving toward a new ‘COVID-normal’.
 
The decision means staff and patrons in shops, clubs, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and bars will not be required to wear masks. From 4 March, capacity limits on venues will be removed.
 
It comes as a further five people, one in aged care, lost their lives to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, and the State recorded 5358 new cases of the virus.
 
Speaking in Parliament, Ms Palaszczuk said that from 6 pm on 4 March, the requirement to wear masks in the vast majority of circumstances would be scrapped.
 
“You won’t need them at work or school or the shops,” Ms Palaszczuk said, “Smiles are back. We can put our masks away.”
 
Masks will still be required in public transport, airports, hospitals and disability and aged care, prisons and other vulnerable places.
 
Also scrapped are density limits at weddings and funerals, food courts, hairdressers, gymnasiums and other venues, and school assemblies and functions.
 
From 6 pm, Friday 4 March, the following changes will come into effect:
  • Masks will no longer be required indoors, except in hospitals, residential aged care, disability accommodation, prisons, public transport, airports, and planes.
  • Masks will no longer be required in schools, including for staff, students and visitors.
  • Masks are still recommended whenever social distancing is not possible.
  • There will be no limit on the number of visitors you can have in your home at one time.
  • Venues and events will no longer have capacity limits.
 
“This is all about getting our lives back to a new normal,” Ms Palaszczuk said, “The story of this pandemic is not yet over, but we hope a brighter chapter awaits.”
 
Ms Palaszczuk said the pandemic narrative would show that whilst no one escaped Covid-19, some places had fared better than others.
Queensland was one such place.
 
She credited Queensland’s success at overcoming the virus to the State’s high vaccination rate. “The vast majority of our state was vaccinated before COVID arrived,” she said.
 
Hospitalisation rates have now stabilised, and the thousands anticipated in hospitals during the Omicron wave did not eventuate.
 
As of Tuesday, 90.61 per cent of Queenslanders were fully vaccinated and 92.54 per cent had received one dose of the vaccine.
 
In addition, 63.11 per cent had now received a booster shot, but only 42.11 per cent of children, aged five to 11 years, were vaccinated.

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Catherine Duffy is a budding writer with a background in creative writing, English literature and journalism. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines both locally and internationally. She has a particular interest in regional and community-based news stories. ... more