NRL fans rejoice – and get your tickets sorted! Suncorp Stadium is set to reach 100 per cent capacity for next week’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane.
Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk revealed on Friday her government was easing several COVID-19 restrictions from 4pm Tuesday, including the limit on open-air stadiums.
The decision means an extra 12,500 fans will be allowed to attend Wednesday’s game three, with a potential attendance of 52,500.
With the Queensland border still closed to greater Sydney, fans of the mighty Blues are expected to be in the minority at the venue, where NSW have won just twice since 2010.
“I think Queenslanders are going to be very, very happy with this outcome,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Friday.
“Let’s fill Suncorp and cheer our mighty Maroons on.”
Despite their impressive record at Suncorp Stadium, with 37 wins from 58 Origins at the ground, Maroons’ utility Ben Hunt says the venue won’t decide the game.
“We need to go up a level for sure,” Hunt said.
“We were nowhere near where we needed to be (in Sydney), so yeah we need to improve a hell of a lot.
“We can’t just rely on the crowd.”
Capacity in pubs, restaurants and places of worship will also increase to one person per two square metres inside venues, while gatherings in homes and public spaces will increase from 40 to 50.
Ticketed seated venues for live music and theatre will also increase to 100 per cent capacity, with a requirement for patrons to wear masks on entry and exit.
The cap for weddings and funerals will increase to 200, and outdoor events with a COVID safe checklist will rise from 1000 to 1500 people.
Dancing is also back on the cards for weddings and music festivals.
Though keep in mind that larger events still require a COVID safe plan.
In making the announcement, Ms Palaszczuk said increasing capacity in venues such as pubs and clubs would be a boost for hospitality jobs.
She said she was encouraged by the improving situation in Victoria and would be looking closely at Queensland borders at the end of month.
Victoria has recorded a full fortnight with no new coronavirus cases or deaths, bringing the rolling 14-day average to zero.
All states and territories – except Western Australia – have agreed to reopen before Christmas, but Ms Palaszczuk has not yet set a date to welcome Victorians and Sydneysiders back into the Sunshine State.