This is your rules for Christmas gatherings and New Years Eve

After a mammoth 2020, this festive season is giving many families a chance to unwind and celebrate together for the first time in many months.

But as people gather for holidays and end-of-year events, what are the rules and guidelines for a COVID-free Christmas?

If you're planning a big event, it might be worth scoping out the local park.

Up to 50 people can attend a party at a private property (including those you live with), but up to 100 people can gather in public outdoor spaces.

Queensland Health recommends hosting Christmas gatherings outside or in a well-ventilated area.

Food should be served on individual plates and guests should avoid sharing glasses and utensils.

Guests are urged to stay home on the day if they're feeling sick.

Bars and restaurants hosting Christmas events must follow a COVID-safe plan.

Is Hugging allowed

The festive season is a time for affection, but when it comes to elderly relatives, Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says the 1.5 metre rule is still best practice.

"People should use their common sense — if you have vulnerable people, don't fall at the last hurdle," Dr Young said.

"Wouldn't it be awful if unknowingly we had a case that had come out into the community and it was your grandmother that got it?"

Families are advised to visit vulnerable relatives in smaller groups and avoid meeting in busy public places.

Visiting Hospitals and Aged Care

Queensland Health says generally you should be allowed to pay a visit to both of those places.

However, you'll be denied access if you:

Are unwell

Have returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been asked to self quarantine

Had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days

Have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting a result

Have COVID-19 symptoms

Visitor conditions can vary between facilities, so it's also advisable to check before you stop by.

Travelling domestically and visiting relatives

You sure can.

There are currently no declared COVID-19 hotspots in Australia, meaning you can travel throughout the country without having to quarantine upon your return to Queensland.

Some states require you to register before arrival.

Domestic travellers are no longer required to complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass before entering the state.

Taking the kids to see Santa

The traditional shopping centre snap on Santa's knee is no more.

Families can still have their photo taken with the man in red, but will need to sit 1.5 metres away with no physical contact.

Visits should be booked in ahead of time to minimise crowds and queues.

Group photos and selfies with family and friends are allowed because standing together for a short time is considered low risk.

Get togethers on New Years Eve and what about the traditional midnight pash ?

It's safe to say most of us will be happy to see the back of 2020.

Many large-scale fireworks displays have been cancelled to prevent big crowds from gathering.

Bars and nightclubs are expected to be busy with Queensland's dance ban now lifted.

As for a New Year's kiss, Queensland Health says "pashing a stranger at the pub at midnight is not advisable at this time".

Shops that are open over the festive season

Woolworths:

Christmas Eve: All stores open,

Christmas Day: All stores closed

Boxing Day: All stores open

December 28: All stores open

New Year’s Day: All stores open.

Coles:

Christmas Eve: All stores open until 6pm with selected stores open until 9pm.

Christmas Day: All stores closed

Boxing Day: All stores open  9am-6pm Boxing Day,

December 27 and 28 selected stores will be open 7am-9pm.

New Year’s Eve: All stores open until 9pm with selected stores open until 10pm.

New Year's Day: all stores are open 9am-6pm, with selected stores open 7am-9pm.

Westfield:

All Westfield Westfield North Lakes, Garden City, Carindale, and Chermside will trade from 8am to midnight on December 23, while Westfield Marion in South Australia will trade from 9am-2am

• Christmas Eve: all centres will trade from 7am-6pm,

• New Year's Day: Westfield North Lakes, Garden City, Carindale and Chermside will trade from 10am-5pm while Westfield Coomera and Helensvale will trade from 10am-4pm.

BWS:

Christmas Eve: All stores open

Christmas Day: Most BWS stores closed,

Boxing Day: Most stores open

December 28: Most stores open

New Year’s Eve: All stores open

New Year's Day: Most stores open

DAN MURPHY’S

Christmas Eve: All stores open

Christmas Day: Most Dan Murphy’s stores closed

Boxing Day: All stores open

December 28: All stores open

New Year’s Eve: All stores open

New Year's Day: All stores open

KMART

Christmas Eve: All stores open, times vary

Christmas Day: All stores closed

Boxing Day: Most stores open, check local store for details

New Year’s Eve: All stores open

New Year's Day: Most stores open

TARGET

Christmas Eve: All stores open, times vary

Christmas Day: All stores closed

Boxing Day: Most stores open, check local store for details

New Year’s Eve: All stores open

New Year's Day: Most stores open

BIG W

Christmas Eve: All stores open 8am-10pm

Christmas Day: All stores closed

Boxing Day: Most stores will be open

HOYTS

All Hoyts cinemas are open and operating over the Christmas/New Year period.

Christmas Day: On Christmas Day,  Redcliffe, Stafford, Sunnybank and Tweed City in Queensland.

ALDI

Christmas Eve: All stores open

Christmas Day: All stores closed

Boxing Day: All stores open

New Year’s Eve: All stores open

New Year's Day: All stores open

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