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All rise: Stand-up drinking back in vogue, dancing at weddings could be next

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A roadmap for recovery from the COVID-19 restrictions will mean that from this afternoon Queenslanders will be able to stand at a hotel bar and have a drink, and if all goes well by December there will be unlimited dancing at weddings.

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The further easing of restrictions, including a likely reopening of the border to NSW on November 1 if there are no new issues of community transmission, came as two new COVID-19 cases, both maritime crew now in quarantine, were revealed.

“We are working through whether they had contact with anyone else,” Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said.

“Their protocols were very good. The risk there to the general community of Queensland is minimal.”

The Government’s roadmap for changes will allow for restrictions to ease on November 1 and December 1.

“We are going to trial dancing. We are keeping it at 40 maximum on the dancefloor (from November 1) and see how that works and see whether we can do that at other places.”

She said she could not commit to allowing dancing at bars by Christmas.

“Let’s wait and see how this goes, first,” Young said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queenslanders deserved the credit for the changes.

The first changes will occur from this afternoon when Queenslanders will be able to get a drink or a meal without having to be seated.

“We have always said that we would continue to ease restrictions where we could in a staged and balanced way to keep Queenslanders safe – and this plan does just that,” Palaszczuk said.

Health Minister Steven Miles said COVID safe checks would be undertaken at the end of each month before the state moves into further stages.

“We’ve based our decisions about COVID-19 restrictions on the best health advice available and we will continue to do so to make sure we keep Queensland’s future safe,” Miles said.

“Our Chief Health Officer and public health team will analyse intrastate, interstate and international data before any decision to move to the next stage.

“We have proved that our methods work to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19 and, if the health advice changes at any stage, we can act quickly to increase measures to keep Queenslanders safe and save lives.

“But right now, case numbers are low, we can contain potential outbreaks – our quarantine and contact tracing procedures work, and we have not had a COVID-19 fatality in almost six months.

“I want to thank the hard work of the community and our health heroes that made this possible.”

Stage 4 of the roadmap started at 1am on 1 October by extending the Northern NSW border zone and moving Queenslanders outside, where a Summertime Taskforce will also be established to identify more outdoor opportunities.

If there are no unlinked community transmissions in NSW for 28 days, Stage 5 could start from 1am on November 1 allowing the Queensland border to open up to NSW visitors and return travellers.

NSW has reached a major coronavirus milestone, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirming the state has gone a week without a locally acquired infection.

Four new cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8.00pm yesterday, all of which were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The Queensland border will remain closed to Victoria until community transmission is under control.

Victoria recorded another encouraging set of numbers overnight, with two deaths and just seven new cases.

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