Queenslanders have been given new advice about mask-wearing. Here’s where COVID rules stand

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Queenslanders are no longer being asked to wear masks when indoors, as the third Omicron wave of COVID-19 continues to subside in the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement today — but said anyone considered vulnerable is still being told to wear a mask.

Previously all Queenslanders were advised to wear masks in crowded indoor settings.

When do Queenslanders have to wear a mask?

Everyone still needs to wear a mask when visiting healthcare, aged care, disability accommodation and prisons — and also on public transport, including airplanes and rideshare services.

People with COVID-19 symptoms also need to wear masks if they’re outside their home; so does anyone awaiting a PCR test result.

“It’s great that people put the masks on when they need to and take them off when they don’t,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“But we still need to protect the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Just how bad is the current wave?

Authorities are using hospital numbers to best gauge the presence of the virus in the community.

Today just 321 people were in hospital with the virus compared to 1,123 in July when the third wave reached its peak.

Ms Palaszczuk said this morning just 488 healthcare staff were isolating with COVID-19 or the flu.

“Back in July we had around 2,500 people-plus off with COVID or flu,” she said.

There are 15,660 active cases of COVID in the state, which represents less than a quarter of the 66,569 active cases when the wave peaked on July 26.

What are Queensland’s current restrictions?

You’re still required to isolate for a full seven days if you get COVID; and if you tested positive on a RAT test, you’ll need to report that online.

You’re allowed to leave isolation after the seven days without taking another test as long as you don’t have a sore throat, runny nose, a fever or a cough that’s getting worse.

If you still have those symptoms, you need to isolate until they go away.

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Mutations in the COVID-19 virus continue to pose a risk.

What about close contacts?

You’re also still considered a close contact if you live with someone who’s tested positive or you have spent four hours or longer with someone in a home, or a health or aged-care setting since they developed COVID.

If you’re a close contact, you won’t be able to visit healthcare settings, aged care providers, correctional facilities and disability care settings for seven days.

You’ll also need to wear a mask when you’re outside your home if you can’t socially distance and when you’re indoors for seven days.

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