“G’day mate! Take the load off and have a beer.” It’s a warm welcome to come in, sit down, take the load off your feet and have a refreshing beer.
But as from Friday 24 July in Queensland it’s an instruction too.
If you’d prefer not to ‘take the load off’ then you can go home and have a drink there, because standing and drinking is a no-no as part of the state’s revised efforts to curb any resurgence in coronavirus infections.
Response to worsening conditions in the southern states
The state’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, said the decision was in response to the escalating outbreaks occurring in Victoria and New South Wales.
“I’m reimposing that restriction [and] it starts today. It’s a requirement [to sit] and there will be compliance,” she is quoted as saying by ABC News.
The requirement had been in place, but was lifted around three weeks ago when the coronavirus situation in Queensland began to improve.
Qld Chief Medical Officer admits she is ‘worried’
Young said she was “worried” about what was happening in the southern states and consequently there was a need to go back and reinforce the regulation.
Patrons can be on their feet to buy a drink from the bar. And, presumably, to head to the loo. But otherwise it’s a requirement to be seated at all times while on licenced premises.
The Chief Medical Officer said it was easier for patrons to maintain the requirement for 1.5-metre distancing when they were seated than when they were standing.
Density of people permitted does not change
The density of people permitted on premises remains the same as before. This is one person allowed per every four square metres, or one person per two square metres in smaller venues. Or a cap of a maximum of 50 people.
“So the density requirement didn’t change [when the rule was relaxed], but people could stand,” Young explained.
The current coronavirus situation in Queensland is 1 076 confirmed cases with six deaths.