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Entering Queensland from an Australian hotspot – exemptions and specialist or essential worker status

Before progressing your exemption request, it is important to consider the following:

  • Protecting public health is our top priority. It is unlikely you will receive an exemption unless you qualify as someone who is exempt under the Border Direction or you are considered to have an exceptional circumstance - this applies to very few people.
  • Since June, more than 21,000 exemption requests have been received and 80% of exemptions requested relate to the border restrictions and are significant in number. Reviewing requests requires assessment and consideration and requests are prioritised based on meeting criterial described in the Directions and urgency of the exemption.

You do not need an exemption to enter Queensland from a declared COVID-19 hotspot for essential health care.

Examples of an extreme exceptional circumstance in which an exemption to enter Queensland may be granted are provided below. In these circumstances you will still be required to quarantine.

  • to attend a funeral
  • to visit a dying relative

Examples of requests that are not exceptional circumstances and will not be considered for exemption

  • visit your holiday house in Queensland for recreation or renovations
  • to attend or participate in a wedding
  • to look after grandchildren
  • quarantine at your own home in a separate building on the property
  • your partner lives in Queensland and you want to visit them
  • quarantine in an Airbnb or other residence because you have young children, need to cook your own food or usually check in on a relative every couple of months
  • to have your pet accompany you in quarantine.

Before progressing your application for endorsement as a specialist or essential worker, it is important to consider the following:

  • Specialist or essential worker endorsement applications must be submitted by the employer, government agency or entity that the specialist worker is working/contracting for.
  • If a worker is self-employed, they may apply themselves, with details of their business.
  • Applications require evidence of the following:
    • why the services to be provided by the worker are needed in Queensland
    • why the services to be provided cannot be obtained in Queensland
    • why the services must be provided without delay
    • why the specialist worker must be physically present in Queensland to provide the service or perform the duty
    • the employer has a quarantine management plan (DOCX 557 kB) to manage preventing the transmission of COVID-19 amongst other employees and the community. The plan must comply with the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.
  • Employers should be undertaking long-term resource and workforce planning that is not dependent on specialist worker endorsements being granted.

Apply for a Chief Health Officer exemption or an endorsement from a Queensland Government agency as a specialist or essential worker

Use the COVID-19 Exemption and Waiver Service to register and apply for a Chief Health Officer exemption or endorsement as a specialist or essential worker.

Apply now

Last updated: 29 September 2020