Funerals can have up to 100 mourners from tomorrow, Palaszczuk says

Funerals can have up to 100 mourners from tomorrow, Palaszczuk says

Queenslanders will be allowed to have up to 100 mourners at funerals from tomorrow, as the State Government moves to further ease coronavirus contact restrictions.

Key points:

  • Next of kin will be required to record the details of all people attending
  • Details must be kept for at least eight weeks, Dr Young said
  • The new rules will also allow up to 100 people at wakes

The announcement came as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed no new cases of COVID-19 had been recorded in Queensland overnight.

Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young said the next of kin at funeral services would be required to collect contact information for all people attending and keep that list for at least eight weeks, to facilitate contact tracing if needed.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the decision was in response to pleas from the public.

“We’ve received hundreds of heartbreaking stories from families wanting to have more people to grieve their loved ones,” Mr Miles said.

“It’s an event that people don’t get to choose the timing of, so they can’t put it off as they can other events.”

The allowance of 100 attendees would also be extended to wakes held after the ceremony, a Government spokesperson confirmed.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the person hosting the funeral, namely the next of kin, would be required to keep an attendance book with full contact details of all mourners for eight weeks.

“They do not need to show it to anyone, unless someone in that group tests positive,” Dr Young said.

The special dispensation for funerals would not apply to any other gatherings or events, such as weddings.

“A wedding is a gathering, so yes at the moment [the limit] is 20 people who can gather,” she said.

Health Minister Steven Miles and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk walking along a parliamentary annex

Health Minister Steven Miles says the Government has heard “heartbreaking” stories from families wanting to bury loved ones.(AAP Image: Dan Peled)

Under the Queensland Government’s current road map, the scheduled date to lift stage three restrictions was July 10 — when 100 people would be permitted to gather and state borders might reopen.

However, the Premier had previously flagged further lifting of restrictions by July 1.

On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared to speak out of turn following National Cabinet, declaring Queensland’s borders would be opening on July 10.

Ms Palaszczuk said today she did not believe Mr Morrison had done anything other than “read the road map”.

“Our road map clearly says July 10,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“[At National Cabinet] I also mentioned that we will review at the end of the month, but it is our clear intention that July 10 would be the date for consideration.”

There have now been more than 250,000 coronavirus tests conducted in Queensland, which Dr Young said was a significant milestone.

She again urged the public to isolate and submit to a test at the first sign of respiratory illness.

“If we just make that our new way of living, we’ll manage to get through this and continue to lift restrictions,” Dr Young said.

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