Queenslanders and visitors to the Sunshine State, if you still have Christmas shopping to do — and buses, trains or ferries to catch to get there — you’ll need to pop on a mask while you browse, buy and transit.
Today, Friday, December 17, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that masks will become mandatory again in a number of settings effective from 1am AEST on Saturday, December 18. The new requirements will apply to everyone in Queensland, residents and travellers alike, and cover both vaccinated and unvaxxed folks.
So, you’ll need to cover your face in all shopping centres and retail stores, on public transport and while using ride shares. Masks will also become compulsory at airports and on planes, and in hospitals and aged care settings.
BREAKING: As of 1am on Saturday, 18 December, masks are mandatory across Queensland in the following locations:
• In shops and retail centres
• Hospitals and aged care
• On public transport
• Ride share
• Airports and planes#covid19 pic.twitter.com/plsrJpie2s
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) December 16, 2021
At present, the mask rule won’t extend to workplaces. And, it doesn’t apply to pubs, clubs, bars, and other hospitality and entertainment venues that, effective today, Friday, December 17, are only allowed to welcome in double-vaxxed patrons.
That said, the Premier also strongly recommends masking up if you’re indoors and can’t social distance. “If you are outdoors in the fresh air, of course you don’t need to wear a mask — and if you are going to the beach. But if you are going into indoor settings where you can’t socially distance, it is going to be strongly advised to wear a mask.”
The mask mandate will be reviewed when Queensland reaches the 90-percent double-vaccinated mark. At the time of writing, the state has reached 83.1 percent.
Queensland currently has 84 active COVID-19 cases, as last updated on Friday, December 17, including nine new locally acquired cases and 11 new cases from overseas or interstate in the last 24 hours.
As always, the usual requests regarding social distancing, hygiene and getting tested if you’re feeling even the slightest possible COVID-19 symptoms also still apply — as they have since March last year.
For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Queensland, head to the QLD COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website.
Published on December 17, 2021 by Sarah Ward