Next week’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane will be played at a full capacity Suncorp Stadium with the Queensland government set to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday announced from 4pm Tuesday, among a host of eased restrictions, open-air stadiums will be able to operate at 100 per cent capacity.
It means instead of the 40,000 expected to attend Wednesday’s match, a crowd of up to 52,500 can attend as Queensland and NSW compete for this year’s series.
With the borders closed between NSW and Queensland, Blues fans will 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,” Palaszczuk told reporters.
“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.”
Queensland lifts raft of COVID-19 restrictions
Capacity in pubs, restaurants and places of worship will also increase as the one person per four square metre rule relaxes to one person per two square metres inside venues, and gatherings in homes and public spaces will increase from 40 to 50.
Ticketed seated venues for live music and theatre will also increase from 50 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.
In making the announcement on Friday, Premier 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.
“This is absolutely wonderful news. And this is because of the great work of Queenslanders,” she said
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