Everything you need to know about our new coronavirus rules
There'll be dancing at weddings - and there could soon be dancing in the streets of Queensland's COVID-crushed tourist towns - after the Palaszczuk Government announced a major relaxation in restrictions and flagged a potential reopening of the border with NSW within weeks.
Pub, club and restaurant patrons who were confined to tables under previous tough restrictions can now stand up and have a beer or a meal at venues across the state under eased rules for licensed venues introduced from 4pm yesterday.
And a 'road map' released by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk lays out a plan for further relaxations, including reopening the border with NSW on November 1 - the day after the state election - if there are no further community transmission cases of COVID-19 this month.
Valid border pass holders entering Queensland from NSW would no longer have to go into two weeks' mandatory quarantine under the road map, which also paves the way for significant increases in indoor and outdoor gatherings and allows dancing at weddings.
Ms Palaszczuk said while it was hoped the border could reopen, NSW was concerned about possible 'undetected' community transmissions and Queensland was watching the situation 'very carefully'.
"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," she said.
"We have made it very clear that our borders have kept us safe … we're watching NSW very closely," Ms Palaszczuk said.
But tourism and business leaders welcomed the road map, saying it provided desperately-needed clarity.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said it was 'great news' for the battered sector, allowing operators across the state to plan for a strong summer.
"We hope bookings will stream in from our NSW travellers giving some sort of relief to struggling tourism operators,' he said.
"The easing of restrictions on events will also attract visitors to destinations, giving the industry hope that things will begin to get back to normal.
"It will be a long road to recovery but with a clear plan in place we will now be able to implement steps to get back to business.
"We are hopeful that we can soon open the border to our Victorian travellers once community transmission is under control so that we can all enjoy the Sunshine State again".
Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan said the road map 'gives us hope'.
"We're really happy that the Premier's made this announcement that will hopefully allow us to get tourists back," he said.
Gold Coast Airport chief Marion Charlton said the road map was positive news and talks were already underway with airlines about flights possibly resuming from Sydney if the border reopens.
"NSW is Queensland's largest source of interstate visitors and Sydney is a key market for the Gold Coast, so the reopening of the border will have significant benefits for tourism operators in the region," she said.
"We are liaising closely with our airline partners about the potential to resume regular Sydney-Gold Coast services.
"The approach that has been taken with interstate travel could be followed with trans-Tasman travel, allowing the economy to be safely restarted."
Campaigning in Cairns, LNP leader Deb Frecklington welcomed the eased restrictions but said the road map was 'no substitute for an economic plan'.
"This is a government that has no plan for the future and no plan for jobs," she said.
The new road map officially started on Thursday with the reopening of Queensland to five northern NSW local government areas, including Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore.
From yesterday, patrons at indoor and outdoor licensed venues with a COVID-safe plan will be able to stand while eating and drinking.
Outdoor restrictions for businesses with COVID safe plans will be eased to one person per 2 sqm from 4 sqm. Outdoor events will also double capacity from 500 people to 1000 and stadium crowds will increase from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of capacity.
Up to 40 people would be able to dance at weddings from November 1, with 50 from December 1 as well as further increases in gathering and event crowds.
"This seated restriction has been one of the hardest for the hospitality workers to enforce," Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said.
"This will make their job easier, and make going out a lot more fun."
Meanwhile, traffic jams at border checkpoints were worsening after the reopening to northern NSW ahead of the long weekend and end of Queensland school holidays.
Gold Coast police chief superintendent Mark Wheeler said peak delays had blown out to 40 minutes and warned this could increase to about an hour over the weekend as northern NSW residents flocked to Queensland and Queenslanders headed south to Byron Bay and the Tweed Coast for the long weekend.
Originally published as Everything you need to know about Qld's new Covid road map