Qld to ease virus restrictions on Thursday

Queenslanders will be able to go out without masks from 6am on Thursday.
Queenslanders will be able to go out without masks from 6am on Thursday.

Queensland will ease coronavirus restrictions early after no new locally acquired cases were reported.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says two new cases were reported in hotel quarantine on Wednesday after 8246 tests in the previous 24 hours.

She says restrictions introduced amid Brisbane's COVID-19 outbreak two weeks ago will lift from 6am on Thursday.

The rules had been set to lift on Thursday afternoon.

"Queenslanders have done a mighty job and I want to thank everyone," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

"It has not been easy over these last two weeks, I know people have had to wear their masks, but by wearing our masks we're keeping everyone safe.

"And I'm not going to say we're not going to have any future cases where we have to wear these masks again, I don't know the future, but everyone has done a great job."

Masks will not be mandatory, except in airports and on planes, but will be recommended indoors and in places people can't socially distance.

Patrons will be allowed to stand, and dance, at restaurants, pubs and clubs, while all outdoor gatherings will be allowed with no restrictions.

Stadiums, theatres and cinemas can operate at full capacity and gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed at private residences.

Visitors will also be allowed back into Greater Brisbane's hospitals, aged care facilities, disability providers and prisons after being barred since March 26.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital, the state's second largest, will remain closed to visitors after testing found COVID-19 traces in its infectious diseases ward.

Ward 5D was shut on March 30 when it was found to be at the centre of two virus clusters involving 23 cases.

Those clusters triggered a snap three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane last month.

The Metro South Hospital and Health Service said deep cleaning was undertaken by contractors last week, but testing had found the virus was still in Ward 5D.

Metro South said another clean was under way and engineering consultants were examining the isolation rooms.

The state government is also dealing with nurses launching industrial relations action against it over ill-fitting P2/N95 respirators.

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union's case was being heard in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on Wednesday afternoon.

"We're now extremely concerned that nurses and other health workers treating COVID-positive and, potentially positive patients, are not being properly fit tested for their PPE - and the consequences of this could be catastrophic," QNMU secretary Beth Mohle said.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath acknowledged the issue's importance and said QHealth would "work collaboratively with the QNMU to ensure that they can continue to work in a safe work environment".

Meanwhile, the premier said the state had administered 115,025 vaccine doses, as concerns about supplies continue.

Ms Palaszczuk said she supported the prime minister's call for twice-weekly national cabinet meetings to discuss the vaccine drive.

"It will put everybody on the same page, so everybody will be getting the same information at the same time, and telling the Australian public everything at the single point of time, and I think that's a good thing," she said.

Australian Associated Press