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Major detail on public transport to vanish as restrictions eased

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

NSW is further easing its restrictions on public transport with no signs of community transmission of coronavirus across the state.

Passengers on public transport will once again be able to sit next to strangers with the green dot system to be scrapped from Monday.

Capacity on buses, trains, light rail and ferries will return to 75 per cent on city services while regional transport will be allowed full capacity. 

The green dot system meant seats either side of an occupied seat were left empty. 

Two commuters on a Sydney bus, one wearing a face mask.
Commuters will be allowed to sit next to strangers on public transport from Monday. Source: AAP

"Health advice now allows public transport services to increase capacity, which means people can now sit next to each other on their trip,"Acting Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said on Thursday.

Yet he said "the fight against Covid isn't over" and said the green dots would be kept in case they needed to be rolled out again. 

Transport for NSW Chief Operating Officer Howard Collins urged all commuters to continue to practice good hygiene, not to travel if unwell and asked for Opal cards to be registered for easier contact tracing.

Face masks were no longer mandatory on transport in the state from March 28.

NSW has not recorded a locally acquired coronavirus case since April 1 after Brisbane's March outbreak filtered down into Byron Bay. 

The state also suffered its own virus leak in March after a security guard who acquired the virus at Sydney's Sofitel hotel quarantine facility triggered a small cluster.

Queensland's restrictions ease

Queensland relaxed tight coronavirus restrictions on Thursday morning, two weeks after a snap lockdown of Greater Brisbane after two COVID-19 clusters linked to the Princess Alexandra Hospital emerged in the city's north.

While the mandate on wearing masks in the community has ended, masks will still be required at the airport and on flights - as happens in other states.

But Queenslanders are being advised to wear masks in settings where social distancing cannot be maintained.

People are allowed to stand and dance at restaurants, pubs and clubs, and all outdoor gatherings will be allowed without restrictions.

Stadiums, theatres and cinemas can operate at full capacity and gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed at private residences.

Visitors are also allowed back into hospitals, aged care facilities, disability facilities and prisons across Greater Brisbane.

As virus restrictions lifted Virgin Airlines, in which the state government holds a stake, announced it had rehired 220 staff laid off during the pandemic.

With AAP

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