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Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew Direction (No. 3)

Summary

Effective from: 5pm AEST 8 January 2021

Posted: 8 January 2021

Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Section 362B

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 31 March 2021 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following direction pursuant to the powers under s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Preamble

The purpose of this Direction is to protect the health of the community and international air crew by mitigating the risk of the spread of COVID-19 through quarantine and COVID-19 testing of air crew.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew Direction (No.3).

Revocation

  1. The Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew Direction (No.2) effective from 4.00pm 23 December 2020 is revoked from the time of publication of this Direction.

Commencement

  1. This Direction applies from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless revoked or replaced.

PART 1 - QUARANTINE FOR AIR CREW ARRVING FROM OVERSEAS

  1. This Direction applies to Queensland-based air crew and international air crew who arrive in Queensland and who have been in a place outside Australia in the 14 days immediately before their arrival.

    Note: The requirements in the Direction do not apply to air crew who have travelled to Queensland on a quarantine-free flight from a safe travel zone country.

  2. Queensland-based air crew and international air crew must quarantine in nominated premises in accordance with paragraph 11 until:

    1. their next international work voyage which is departing from their port of quarantine and does not require interstate travel prior to commencing; or

    2. 14 days have passed from their date of arrival in Queensland, whichever is shorter.

  3. Queensland-based air crew engaged by an approved airline may quarantine at a suitable home residence unless otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  4. Queensland-based air crew quarantining at a home residence, after completing immigration, customs and any other requirements:

    1. must travel directly, from their port of disembarkation to their home residence using private transport without stopping; and

    2. strictly comply with the quarantine requirements in Part 2.

  5. Each airline operator must develop a Compliance Plan outlining the measures that will be taken to ensure Queensland-based air crew comply with home quarantine requirements and all other requirements under relevant Public Health Directions.

  6. An airline operator must provide a copy of their Compliance Plan to an emergency officer (public health) on request.

  7. Queensland-based air crew and international air crew arriving in Queensland on a freight flight from a place outside Australia are permitted to take an interstate freight on-flight to another destination in Queensland or another State or Territory if they can provide the following to an emergency officer (public health):

    1. an undertaking the person wore a protective mask on the flight and while in the confines of the airport; and

    2. written confirmation from a person’s employer that the person has travelled on a freight flight; and

    3. an undertaking the person has not left the confines of the airport in Queensland.

PART 2 - QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS

  1. A person who is required to quarantine under this Direction:

    1. must not leave the nominated premises for 14 days or until their next international work voyage, whichever is shorter, except:

      1. for the purposes of obtaining essential medical care or essential medical supplies where alternative delivery arrangements to the person are not reasonably practicable; or

      2. to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm; or

        Example – escaping a risk of harm related to sexual or domestic and family violence; or accessing support from a domestic and family violence support service

      3. in the event of an emergency situation; or

      4. for Queensland-based air crew, to carry out essential regulatory or safety flight related duties including training within Queensland; or

        Example: flight simulation training or safety and security training, including training that may be carried out while the person is not on their usual work shift or duty.

      5. to undertake a COVID-19 test in accordance with paragraph 12 or 13; or

      6. as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); and

    2. must wear a protective mask:

      1. whenever directed to do so by an emergency officer (public health); and

      2. when leaving quarantine as permitted under paragraph 11(a), unless:

        1. it is not practicable due to the need to avoid immediate injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm; or

        2. it is not practicable because of the emergency situation; or

        3. permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); and

    3. any travel when permitted to leave quarantine under this paragraph must be by:

      1. private transport; or

      2. transport provided by an airline operator; or

      3. the means permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); and

    4. must not permit any other person to enter the nominated premises unless that other person:

      1. resides in the nominated premises with a person who is Queensland-based air crew; or

      2. enters the nominated premises to provide emergency, medical or other essential care to a person residing in the nominated premises; or

      3. enters to conduct a COVID-19 test in accordance with paragraph 12 or 13; or

      4. as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).

PART 3 - COVID-19 TESTING OF AIR CREW

  1. International air crew quarantining at a nominated premises must undertake surveillance testing for COVID-19 conducted by a relevant authority.

  2. Queensland-based air crew quarantining at a nominated premises must undertake surveillance testing for COVID-19.

  3. Each airline operator must keep records of surveillance testing of Queensland-based air crew and international air crew and provide these records to an emergency officer (public health) on request.

  4. Queensland-based air crew or international air crew who are tested for COVID-19 in accordance with paragraph 12 or 13 are permitted to leave quarantine for their next international work voyage while awaiting a test result unless there is another lawful reason for them to self-isolate provided:

    1. they comply with quarantine requirements under paragraph 11; and

    2. they do not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

    Example: A Queensland-based air crew member may be directed to self-isolate for another reason such as being identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19.

  5. If a Queensland-based air crew or international air crew member develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they must:

    1. immediately seek medical attention; and

    2. be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate until a negative test result is received and they are symptom-free.

PART 4 – SCREENING AND EVIDENTIARY PROVISIONS

  1. An emergency officer (public health) may require any person subject to this Direction to answer questions or provide evidence about:

    1. whether the person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19;

    2. their possible exposure to COVID-19; and

    3. their name, contact information and residential address including evidence that a person’s primary place of residence is located in Queensland; and

      Examples of evidence a person may provide to prove their primary place of residence is located in Queensland may include a utility bill or Queensland Drivers Licence.

    4. the places the person has been in in the 14 days before arriving in Queensland.

PART 5 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. An emergency officer (public health) can give a direction to a Queensland-based air crew member or an international air crew member about the conduct of a COVID-19 test.

  2. An emergency officer (public health) can require an airline operator to comply with additional directions if the emergency officer believes the direction is reasonably necessary to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

PART 6 – EXEMPTIONS

  1. The Chief Health Officer, the Deputy Chief Health Officer or their delegate may grant a person an exemption from all or part of these directions on the basis of exceptional circumstances.

  2. An exemption may be given on conditions and if so, the person given the exemption must comply with the conditions.

PART 7 – DEFINITIONS

  1. Definitions used in this Direction are in Schedule 1.

PART 8 – PENALTIES

A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.

Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 provides:

Failure to comply with public health directions

    A person to whom a public health direction applies must comply with the direction unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
    Maximum penalty—100 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

Dr Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer

7 January 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at xx:xx am/pm

SCHEDULE 1 — DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

Airline operator means the person, business or entity that owns, controls or operates an aircraft arriving in Queensland from a point of origin outside of Australia.

Approved airline is an airline specified in Schedule 3.

Australia means the Commonwealth of Australia and includes the external territories of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands and Heard and McDonald Islands but excludes the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Compliance Plan means a plan developed by an airline operator that sets out the measures that will be taken to ensure Queensland-based air crew comply with home quarantine requirements and all other requirements under relevant Public Health Directions.

Emergency officer (public health) means an emergency officer appointed under the Public Health Act 2005.

Note: Emergency officers appointed under the Public Health Act 2005 include public health officers and police and includes emergency officers (medical) and emergency officer (general).

Freight flight means a flight transporting freight and essential crew only.

Government-nominated accommodation means a hotel or other accommodation premises at which the person is directed to quarantine by an emergency officer (public health) at which the Queensland Government provides a security and health overlay.

International air crew means a person whose primary place of residence is not in Queensland and who does not enter Queensland on a quarantine-free flight who is:

  1. a pilot, crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member actively servicing an inbound flight to Australia; or

  2. an off-shift pilot, crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member travelling to reposition to commence duty in Australia; or

  3. an aeromedical services crew member providing patient transport or emergency medical care to a patient; or

  4. an off-shift aeromedical services crew member who is travelling as a passenger on an aircraft to reposition to commence duty in Australia.

    Note: Air crew servicing quarantine-free flights to Queensland from a safe-travel zone country are not required to quarantine under this Direction.

Nominated premises means:

  1. government-nominated accommodation as directed by an emergency officer (public health); or

  2. for Queensland-based air crew engaged by an approved airline, the air crew’s home residence; or

  3. another premises as directed by an emergency officer (public health).

Private transport means a:

  1. private vehicle; or

  2. a taxi with a protective shield between driver and passenger or a taxi van that allows for physical distancing between the driver and passengers; or

  3. if travel by (a) or (b) is not available, a taxi or ride share sitting in the back seat on the passenger side.

Quarantine-free flight means a flight that only carries passengers who have completed an Australian Travel Declaration at least 72 hours prior to departure declaring details of their health status and that they have been in a safe travel zone country for 14 days or more and have not been in a safe travel zone country hotspot.

Note: Information about quarantine free flights is available from the Australian Department of Home Affairs: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/new-zealand-safe-travel-zone. Determinations about quarantine-free flights are made by the relevant airline.

Queensland-based air crew means a person whose primary place of residence is in Queensland and arrives in Queensland on a flight that is not a quarantine-free flight and who is:

  1. a pilot, crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member actively servicing an inbound flight to Australia; or

  2. an off-shift pilot, crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member travelling to reposition to commence duty in Australia; or

  3. an aeromedical services crew member providing patient transport or emergency medical care to a patient; or

  4. an off-shift aeromedical services crew member who is travelling as a passenger on an aircraft to reposition to commence duty in Australia.

Relevant authority means Queensland Health or an agency contracted by the Queensland Government to undertake testing for COVID-19.

Example: Mater

Residence means premises used, or intended to be used, as a dwelling or mainly as a dwelling, and includes the land on which the residence is situated, and includes:

  1. a single detached dwelling;

  2. each of one or more attached dwellings that are separated by a common wall;
    Examples for paragraph (b) — villa unit, townhouse, terrace house, row house, unit in an apartment block.

  3. a manufactured home as defined in section 10 of the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003;

  4. a caravan as defined in section 7 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008;

  5. any other building or structure situated on the same land as the premises or dwelling.
    Examples for paragraph (e) –pool house, granny flat.

but does not include an aged care residential facility, corrective services facility or detention centre.

Safe travel zone country means a country specified in Schedule 2.

Safe travel zone country hotspot means an area within a country in Schedule 2 that has been specified by the Chief Health Officer by a direction published on the Queensland Government website: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/hotspots-covid-19

Self-isolate means:

  1. the person is to travel directly to premises that are suitable to reside in and remain in those premises until a negative test result is received and they are symptom-free; or

  2. travel directly to, or remain at, a hospital for medical treatment, and following treatment and discharge from the hospital, travel directly to premises that are suitable to reside in and remain in those premises until a negative test result is received and they are symptom-free; and

  3. must not leave the premises except to:

    1. obtain essential medical care or essential medical supplies where alternative delivery arrangements are not reasonably practicable;

    2. avoid injury or escape a risk of harm; or

    3. in the event of an emergency situation; or

    4. as otherwise permitted or required under a direction given by the person by an emergency officer (public health); and

  4. must wear a protective mask whenever directed to do so by an emergency officer (public health) and when leaving isolation as permitted by paragraph (c), unless it is not practicable because of the emergency situation or the need to avoid immediate injury or risk of harm.

Surveillance testing means testing for COVID-19 that:

  1. occurs when an air crew member is asymptomatic; and

  2. is facilitated by an airline operator as soon as testing can reasonably be made available to Queensland-based air crew arriving in Queensland unless a person can provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken in Queensland or another State or Territory in the 7 days immediately prior to entry and is repeated on a rolling 7-day testing cycle until the crew member leaves for their next international work voyage or has been in Australia for 14 days, whichever is shorter; and

  3. is facilitated by a relevant authority as soon as testing can reasonably be made available to international air crew arriving in Queensland unless a test is unable to be provided by a relevant authority during the layover period or a person can provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken in Queensland or another State or Territory in the 7 days immediately prior to entry and is repeated on a rolling 7-day testing cycle until the crew member leaves for their next international work voyage or has been in Australia for 14 days, whichever is shorter; and

  4. occurs when requested by an emergency officer (public health).

Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 means fever or history of fever, symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat), loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

SCHEDULE 2 – Safe Travel Zone Countries

New Zealand

SCHEDULE 3 – Approved Airlines

Adagold

Air Canada

Air India

Air New Zealand

Air Niugini

Air Vanuatu

Aircraft owned or engaged by an Australian or Queensland Government Agency

Airwork

Alliance Airlines

Altitude Aviation

Brenzil

Avcair Pty Ltd

Cathay Pacific

Celestial Airways Ltd

China Air

Cobham

Dnata

Emirates

Eva Air

ExecuJet Australia

Fiji Airways

Global Jet International

Hevilift

Japan Airlines

Jet Aviation

Jetstar

Machjet

Malaysian Airlines

Malinda

Menzies Aviation

Mission Aviation Fellowship

Nauru Airlines

Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA)

Oceania

Pacific Air Express (PAE)

Pacific Direct

Papua New Guinea Air

Philippines (Charter)

Pionair

Qantas

Qatar Airways

Regional Express Airlines (REX)

Singapore Airlines

Skytrans

Solomon Airlines

Swissport

Tag Aviation Asia

Virgin Airlines

Last updated: 8 January 2021

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for international air crew arriving in Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more