Businesses, including cafes and pubs and restaurants, can return to having one customer for every two square metres. People are also allowed to stand to drink in licensed premises.
Weddings and funerals can have 200 guests, dancing can return indoors and outdoors, venues with allocated seating – such as outdoor stadiums, theatres and cinemas – can have 100 per cent capacity.
In addition, a maximum of 50 people can gather in private homes and up to 100 people can gather in public spaces, such as parks.
Regarding high-risk facilities – such as the state’s hospitals, residential aged care facilities and prisons – the visitor restrictions have also eased.
The only reasons people cannot enter those facilities are if they’re unwell, have been told to isolate or quarantine, have returned from overseas in the past 14 days, have had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have visited a COVID-19 hotspot within the designated timeframe.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was full of praise and congratulations for Queenslanders.
“We have some of the lowest levels of restrictions in the country but also the world,” she said.
“At the moment, I get reports that business aren’t operating, they’re shut down, because they’re in lockdown, in many, many countries across the world.
“If you don’t have a strong health response, you can’t have a strong economy, there is nothing more certain than that.
“We’ve come through this together and we’ve come through this stronger.”
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it had been 14 days since the last case related to the Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster entered quarantine and mass testing had found no community cases.
Six cases of the highly infectious UK COVID-19 strain have come from the seventh floor of the Brisbane hotel.
Genomic testing has confirmed the six cases are all linked, almost certainly to a returned traveller who arrived from the UK on December 30 before later testing positive.
He passed it to his wife, who was in the same room as him, but also to a hotel cleaner who serviced the room once they had been moved to hospital. That sparked a three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane after the cleaner visited a number of locations while infectious.
The cleaner also infected her partner, who was not involved with the hotel, the a man and woman who arrived in Brisbane from Lebanon also picked up the dangerous strain.
“The most encouraging part of the response was how quickly people in Greater Brisbane responded. It didn’t take long to get that message out there, I don’t know I have ever seen that in my career, that you can stand up and ask people to do something and they immediately do it,” Dr Young said.
In further good news, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said there was a continued downward trend in Queensland’s hotel quarantine numbers, with 2795 people in quarantine on Thursday – which was a reduction of more than 600 since the beginning of the week.
On the issue of border reopening, Dr Young said the situation in Greater Sydney was “very encouraging”, but there were still some unlinked cases.
“They’re getting on top of all their clusters,” she said.
“So we’ve seen a whole series of clusters, which has been an enormous amount of work for them, but each one they’ve got on top of, and this last one it looks like they’re getting on top of.”
Queensland is due to review its border closure with greater Sydney at the end of January.
With Felicity Caldwell and Stuart Layt
Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times