Coronavirus restrictions will ease across Queensland on Thursday morning after no new cases of community transmission emerged.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says just two new cases were reported in hotel quarantine on Wednesday after more than 8000 tests in the previous 24 hours.
She says restrictions introduced after two COVID-19 clusters emerged in Brisbane two weeks ago, originally set to end on Thursday evening, will now end from 6 in the morning.
“Queenslanders have done a mighty job and I want to thank everyone, it has not been easy over these last two weeks, I know people have had to wear their masks, but by wearing our mask we’re keeping everyone safe,” the premier told reporters.
“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.”
Ms Palaszczuk said from 6am on Thursday masks won’t be mandatory, but are recommended indoors and places where people can’t socially-distance.
People won’t have to carry facemasks at all times either, but wearing them will remain mandatory at airports and on planes.
The premier said people will be allowed to stand, and dance, at restaurants, pubs and clubs, and all outdoor gatherings will be allowed without any restrictions.
Visitors will also be allowed back into hospitals, aged care facilities, disability providers and prisons across Greater Brisbane after being barred on March 26.
However, Queensland’s second-largest hospital will be closed to visitors for longer after traces of coronavirus turned up in testing there, one week after it was deep cleaned.
The Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Ward 5D was shut from March 30 when it was at the centre of two virus clusters involving 23 cases, resulting in the snap three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane last month.
Metro South Hospital and Health Service says deep cleaning was undertaken by contractors last week, but testing has found the virus is still in Ward 5D.
“Subsequently, testing has shown COVID-19 related virus in Ward 5D, and further cleaning will be occurring of the ward today,” a spokesperson told AAP on Wednesday.
The service says engineering consultants are also examining the ward after maintenance reports indicated all isolation rooms were functioning properly.
Metro South stressed there were no patients currently being treated in the ward.
“It’s important to remember that Ward 5D is currently closed,” the spokesperson added.
Two patients with the highly infectious UK strain of the virus, who were treated in Ward 5D, spread the virus to healthcare workers who then inadvertently transmitted it in the community.