Queensland, Australia, is returning to normal with stadiums and venues returning to 100% capacity – with restrictions.
The move comes as the Australian state enters Stage 5 of its roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions. Queensland will host New South Wales tomorrow night with a full stadium of 52,500 spectators. It will be the largest and best-attended sports event in Australia since the pandemic struck in March.
Open-air stadiums in Queensland will take their capacity from 75% to 100% capacity with COVID-safe restrictions in place.
Outdoor events will be able to increase their attendance to 1,500, up from just 1,000 in Stage 4. All events are required to have a COVID-safe checklist and plan. Cinemas, live music, and theaters will also be returning to full capacity at the same time. Performers can reduce their distance from the audience from 14 feet down to just 6 feet.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young asked that patrons attending these events continue to follow precautions. That includes wearing masks upon entry and exit, visiting public restrooms, or buying food and drinks.
“Once you’re sat down in your seat, if you feel more comfortable, take the mask off or leave it on,” Dr. Young said during a press conference announcing the changes. The re-opening of Queensland also extends beyond just live music and sports venues opening at 100% capacity.
Restaurants, bars, and pubs where indie live music thrives can now accommodate more customers. Queensland Health officials recommend one person per every 2 square meters in pubs and restaurants. That’s an eased restriction from one person per every 4 square meters. These restrictions also apply to other indoor public places like museums, art galleries, convention centers, and worship places.
While stadiums and venues are returning to normal capacity after Queensland restrictions, there are still limits on risky activities.
Dancing is still banned at Queensland nightclubs, taverns, and pubs. It will be allowed at outdoor venues like a music festival or beer garden. Venues who do not stop patrons from dancing can be fined upwards of $6,670 for not following through with COVID-safe precautions.
Queensland is also lifting the limit on private gatherings to increase the number of people who may attend. Until now, a 40-person limit placed restrictions on gatherings at home and in public places. The new limit is 50 people across all of Queensland. Dr. Young says she is assessing coronavirus numbers in the state. Australia is hoping to re-open its borders without restriction by Christmas.