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Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 27)

Summary

Effective from: 1.00am AEST 15 January 2022

Posted: 15 January 2022

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 26 March 2022 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, John Gerrard, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following directions 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.

Guidance

For the purpose of this Direction, operators of shared disability accommodation services should ensure physical distancing and risk mitigation measures are in place at a service to the extent practicable, including:

  1. providing appropriate signage that clearly states physical distancing and appropriate hygiene requirements must be followed in a service;

  2. ensuring cleaning and sanitising of all surfaces, doors and high traffic areas in shared disability accommodation service;

  3. structuring staff rosters in a way which minimises staff movements between multiple care facilities wherever possible;

  4. where staff movements can’t be avoided, require staff to use personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with current health advice;

  5. providing additional hand sanitising stations for residents, employees, contractors and visitors to encourage use;

  6. putting in place procedures to closely monitor the health of all employees, with at least daily reporting or check-ins by supervisors;

  7. ensuring tables and seating in common areas of shared disability accommodation service should be managed to provide appropriate physical distancing;

  8. ensure staff are trained and procedures in place to keep family and support people informed where a resident becomes unwell or there is a case identified in the service;

  9. encouraging any person entering the service to have an up-to-date vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to the person;

  10. encouraging residents to continue essential community access but exercise appropriate caution when accessing the community, particularly in restricted areas. Example - considering if there are other ways to achieve access to services, maintain physical distancing or wearing a mask where physical distancing is not able to be observed.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 27).

Revocation

  1. The Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 26) given on 13 December 2021 is revoked from 12:59am AEST on 15 January 2022 and is replaced by this Direction.

Commencement

  1. This Direction applies from 1:00am on 15 January 2022, until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.

PART 1 – REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. This part applies to all shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland.

  2. A person, other than a resident, must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency if:

    1. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person who is an international arrival arrived in Australia from a place outside Australia; or

    2. the person lives or works, or has lived or worked, in a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area after the identified start date, unless 14 days have passed since the person was in the Queensland COVID-19 restricted area;

    3. the person has been informed they are a close contact of a diagnosed person, or a secondary contact, unless their quarantine period has ended; or

      Note: Close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 under paragraph 5(f) does not include contact that occurs when a worker or healthcare worker or practitioner providing health or medical care has been wearing appropriate PPE in accordance with Queensland Health’s Shared disability accommodation service and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance and has followed recommended infection control precautions.

    4. the person has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms consistent with COVID-19; or

    5. the person has been tested for COVID-19 and has not yet received the results of that test.

      Note: See the exception in paragraph 7 for a person waiting for a result from a routine surveillance testing obligation.

  3. In addition to paragraph 5, from 5:00am AEST 17 December 2021, a person who is unvaccinated, other than a resident, must not enter, or remain at, the shared disability accommodation service, in the State of Queensland, unless the person is:

    1. under 16 years of age; or

    2. unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a medical contraindication and has evidence of a recognised medical contraindication; or

    3. is a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant, and receipt of a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved COVID-19 vaccine would impact the validity of the trial. As this exemption is temporary, the medical certificate must not have expired.

      Note: An unvaccinated person who is permitted to enter the service must follow the risk mitigation measures put in place by the service. For example, this may require wearing a single use-surgical face mask, safely physically distancing from others or having a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entering the service.

    4. visiting the resident of shared disability accommodation service for one of the following purposes:

      1. end of life visit; or

      2. in an emergency.

        Note: For example, a person other than a patient of the hospital, may enter in circumstances of an emergency such as visiting a family member in ICU.

      3. a parent, carer, guardian or other responsible adult who is accompanying a resident; or

        Note: The unvaccinated parent, carer, guardian, or other responsible adult will need to comply with the risk mitigation measures put in place by the service. For example, this may require wearing a single use-surgical face mask, safely physically distancing from others or having a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entering the service. Only one unvaccinated parent carer, guardian or responsible adult will be allowed to accompany a resident at a time.

      4. a carer or support person who provides assistance or other caring responsibilities, including advocacy services, to the person who is a resident; or

        Note: A resident may require support from an advocate or person who has provided long-term informal support. This could include behavioural support, disability support or support due to significant health needs.

    5. is permitted to enter as an unvaccinated worker in healthcare under the Workers in a Healthcare Setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction.

      Note: Refer to Part 4A for evidence requirements for paragraph 6.

Exception for a person waiting for a COVID-19 test result

  1. Despite paragraph 5(h) a person may enter a shared disability accommodation service if the person is awaiting the result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken in accordance with a surveillance testing obligation under a Public Health Direction or Protocol approved by the Chief Health Officer.

Note: A person awaiting COVID-19 PCR test results as part of a surveillance testing obligation must still comply with the requirements in paragraphs 5(a) to (g). For example, a person awaiting results of a routine COVID-19 PCR test required under a protocol must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a shared disability accommodation service if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Exception for people entering from a restricted area

  1. Despite paragraph 5(e), the following persons may enter and remain on the premises of a shared disability accommodation service:

    1. an employee or contractor of the shared disability accommodation service; or

    2. a vaccinated student; or

    3. a person providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the shared disability accommodation service, whether the goods are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    4. a person providing health, medical, personal care (such as hairdressing), pathology or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the shared disability accommodation service, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    5. the person’s presence is required for emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or

    6. the person is a prospective resident of the shared disability accommodation service or a support person of a prospective resident; or

    7. with the permission of the operator of the shared disability accommodation service, a person maintaining continuity of care for a resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means; or

      Example for paragraph (f): A resident may require support from their primary care giver to eat their meals.

    8. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit for a resident of the shared disability accommodation service.

  2. Despite paragraphs 8 and 9, a person subject to a quarantine order issued by an emergency officer (public health) is not permitted to enter or remain on, the premises of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland.

    Example –or a person has been quarantining in a restricted area.

  3. If paragraph 9 applies to a person proposing to enter a shared disability accommodation service, the operator of the shared disability accommodation service may require the person to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to residents, including use appropriate personal protective equipment, provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained by the person in Queensland within the previous 72 hours, or provide evidence of having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Obligation on operators

  1. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises of a shared disability accommodation service if the person is prohibited from doing so under this Direction.

  2. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a resident of a shared disability accommodation service who has been given a quarantine notice by an emergency officer (public health) abides by the notice.

  3. Despite paragraphs 5 and 11, the operator of a shared disability accommodation service may allow a person to enter and remain on the premises in accordance with paragraph 14.

  4. Nothing in this Direction is to be taken to prevent a resident of a shared disability accommodation service from entering or remaining upon the premises of the shared disability accommodation service. Residents may continue to access any areas of the shared disability accommodation service to which they normally have access, subject to a direction to self-quarantine or self-isolate in accordance with a public health direction.

  5. Nothing in this Direction should be taken as limiting the right of people living in shared disability accommodation service from leaving the service. Subject to any general public health direction limiting movement and gatherings by members of the public, operators should ensure essential community access can continue, with appropriate physical distancing and good hygiene practices observed.

End of life visitors (international arrivals)

  1. Despite paragraphs 5(a) to 5(d) a person may enter, or remain on, the premises of a shared disability accommodation service, with the permission of the operator of the service, if:

    1. the person's presence at the premises is for the purpose of an end of life visit for a resident of the shared disability accommodation service; and

    2. the person has been granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate for an end of life visit under a Public Health Direction.

      Note: see paragraph 8 for when a person may also be permitted to make an end of life visit. For clarity, end of life visitors under paragraph 8 do not require an exemption.

  2. A person who enters premises under an exemption granted under paragraph 18(b) must comply with all conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate under the exemption.

  3. If a person enters premises under paragraph 18, the operator of the premises must take reasonable steps to manage the person’s visit in accordance with the conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate under the exemption.

    Example: An operator may need to ensure the resident being visited is in a single room, the visitor wears appropriate personal protective equipment, is escorted to and from the room, and avoids common areas and contact with other residents, visitors and staff.

PART 2 – MANAGING ACCESS TO NON-RESTRICTED SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. Any person may enter a non-restricted shared disability accommodation service under this Part and in accordance with paragraph 5 above.

    Example – A medical practitioner, hairdresser or attorney.

PART 3 – REQUIREMENTS FOR RESTRICTED SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. The purpose of this Part is to provide requirements for restricted shared disability accommodation service.

Person Permitted to Enter A Restricted Shared Disability Accommodation Service

  1. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland from the time of publication of this direction until the end of the declared public health emergency unless:

    1. the person is an employee or contractor of, the restricted shared disability accommodation service; or

    2. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the restricted shared disability accommodation service, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    3. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing health, medical, therapeutic, social work, essential disability support or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the restricted shared disability accommodation service, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    4. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit for a resident of the restricted shared disability accommodation service; or

      Note – Paragraphs 18 to 20 require particular persons to obtain an exemption before attending a disability accommodation service for an end of life visit.

    5. the person's presence at the premises is required for the purposes of emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or

      Example – A community visitor exercising a function under the Public Guardian Act 2014

    6. the person’s presence at the premises is necessary to comply with or give effect to orders of any court or tribunal of Australia; or

    7. the person's presence at the premises is in the person's capacity as a prospective resident of the restricted shared disability accommodation service; or

    8. an operator of a restricted shared disability accommodation service or person with responsibility or authority to control access to the service has granted permission for a person to enter a restricted shared disability accommodation service for the purposes of providing behavioural, emotional or social support to a resident or prospective resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means, including advocacy services; and

      Example: A person may require support from an advocate or person who has provided long-term informal support to assist the person with disability and which could include behavioural support.

    9. the person is fully vaccinated or has evidence of a medical contraindication, where there is a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for the person under this or another public health direction.

Visitors

  1. A person may not visit a resident in a restricted shared disability accommodation service other than in accordance with paragraphs 23(d) or (h) above.

    Note – personal visits are not permitted in a restricted disability accommodation service.

  2. Any person attending a restricted shared disability accommodation service must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

    1. practise physical distancing; and

    2. limit their contact with other persons at the facility.

Wearing of Face Masks

  1. Any person (other than a resident) must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted shared disability accommodation service without wearing a single use surgical face mask, in accordance with Queensland Health’s Shared disability accommodation service and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance. This includes visitors, employees, contractors, students and volunteers.

  2. A person who is required to wear a mask under paragraph 26 may use a face shield instead of a single use surgical mask in order to:

    1. communicate with a resident where visibility of the mouth is essential for communication, or

    2. provide services to a resident with disability if it is reasonably anticipated there is a risk of the person with disability becoming distressed because the person is wearing a mask.

      Note: Refer to Queensland Health’s Shared disability accommodation serviceand Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance for guidance about face shields.

  3. Despite paragraphs 26 and 27, a person may remove their single use surgical face mask or face shield if wearing one is not safe in all the circumstances.

    Example – a person may temporarily remove their face mask if wearing one will cause severe distress to a resident.

  4. A person who removes their single use surgical face mask or face shield under paragraph 28 must resume wearing the single use surgical face mask or face shield as soon as practicable after the circumstance ends.

    Example – a person must resume wearing a face mask as soon as they leave the distressed resident’s room.

Workforce Management and Personal Protective Equipment

  1. The operator of a restricted shared disability accommodation service must ensure, to the extent reasonably practicable, that employees, contractors, students and volunteers do not work across multiple care facilities.

    Note – Care facilities include but are not limited to hospitals, retirement villages and residential aged care facilities.

  2. The operator of a restricted shared disability accommodation service must ensure that employees, contractors and volunteers who do work across multiple care facilities:

    1. wear appropriate personal protective equipment, in accordance with Queensland Health’s Shared disability accommodation service and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance, when working at a restricted disability accommodation service; and

    2. use new personal protective equipment when entering a different restricted disability accommodation service.

      Note: This paragraph is in addition to the requirement to wear masks as outlined in paragraph 26.

  3. The operator of a restricted shared disability accommodation service must take all reasonable steps to ensure:

    1. the appropriate use of personal protective equipment in paragraphs 26, 27 and 29 by persons at a restricted disability accommodation service; and

    2. adequate supply and stock management of personal protective equipment.

PART 4 – ELECTRONIC COLLECTION OF CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service must make all reasonable efforts to electronically collect contact information about all visitors, including volunteers and contractors, to a shared disability accommodation service at the time of entry, by either:

    1. requesting visitors use the Check In Qld app; or

    2. registering visitors through the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app.

  2. Example – a person may be unable to use the Check In Qld app due to age, disability, language barriers or does not possess the technology or own a mobile phone. The shared disability accommodation service must register the visitor through the Business Profile mode.

    Note – contact information must be collected for visitors to non-restricted shared disability accommodation service and visitors permitted to visit restricted shared disability accommodation service under paragraph 21 of the Direction.

  3. Despite paragraph 33, an operator of a shared disability accommodation service is not required to request a person’s contact information under paragraph 33 if:

    1. the person is entering a shared disability accommodation service in an emergency or entering to provide emergency services; or

    2. the person is or appears to be younger than 16 years old; or

    3. it is not reasonable to request contact information based on compassionate grounds or a risk to a person’s safety.

  4. An operator of a shared disability accommodation service must make all reasonable efforts to clearly display the Check In Qld app QR code at each entry to the shared disability accommodation service that is used by visitors, volunteers or contractors.

  5. A person who is permitted to enter a shared disability accommodation service under this Direction as a visitor, including volunteers and contractors, must at the time of entry provide the person’s contact information to the operator of a shared disability accommodation service by:

    1. using the Check In Qld App; or

    2. providing their contact details to the operator of a shared disability accommodation service to be registered using the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app; or

    3. if another method of collection is being used under paragraph 39, using that method.

  6. If a person is unable to provide contact information because of age, disability or an inability to speak or comprehend the language used by the Check In Qld App or the other method of collection, another person may provide contact information on the person’s behalf.

  7. Despite paragraph 36 a person who is permitted to enter a shared disability accommodation service under this Direction as a visitor, including volunteers and contractors, is not required to provide the person’s contact information to the operator of a shared disability accommodation service if:

    1. the person is entering a shared disability accommodation service in an emergency or entering to provide emergency services; or

    2. the person is under the age of 16 years old; or

    3. it is not reasonable for a person to provide contact information based on compassionate grounds or a risk to a person’s safety.

  8. Example – a support person arriving at the service to respond to an emergency situation relating to a resident is not required to provide their contact information on entry to the service.

Collection of contact information using another method due to temporary circumstances

  1. If an operator of a shared disability accommodation service cannot electronically collect contact information for visitors to the service at the time of entry because it is not possible to use the Check In Qld app due to unexpected circumstances or because the business is located in a place that does not have mobile internet data connection, the person must collect and keep contact information using another method.

    Example – another electronic method such as a spreadsheet or another method such as a paper-based form

    Note - unexpected circumstances may include temporary issues with failure of an internet service or breakdown in the Check In Qld app.

  2. If contact information is collected using ‘another method’ under paragraph 36, the operator of a shared disability accommodation service must:

    1. use best endeavours to transfer any non-electronic information to an electronic system within 24 hours of collecting the information; and

    2. comply with the requirements for collection and storage; and

    3. if requested, provide the information collected under paragraph 39 and the electronic information under paragraph 40(a) to a public health officer within a stated time.

Part 4A COMPLIANCE WITH VISITOR VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

Obligations for visitors entering a shared disability accommodation service

  1. From 17 December 2021, a person who enters or remains in a shared disability accommodation service where COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement of entry must, prior to entry, provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant.

  2. If a visitor is unable to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant because of age, disability or language barrier or technology used when requesting the proof or evidence, another person may provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or medical contraindication or evidence of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant on the person’s behalf.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or medical contraindication

  1. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant (printed or electronic) includes:

    1. written confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination provided to the person as part of the vaccination process, such as a record of vaccine card; or

    2. vaccination information displayed on the Check in Qld app; or

    3. a COVID-19 digital certificate or printed vaccination certificate from the Australian Immunisation Register; or

    4. an online or printed immunisation history statement for COVID-19 vaccination, including confirmation of a medical contraindication; or

      Note: A patron’s immunisation history statement can be obtained from the Australian Government using myGov, the Medicare mobile app or by calling the Australian Immunisation Register and requesting a statement to be posted.

      Note: If a person is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a recognised medical contraindication, they must provide evidence of a medical contraindication. Upon provision of evidence of a recognised medical contraindication, a person will be treated as if they are fully vaccinated.

    5. evidence of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant;

    6. an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate:

      1. in a printed or electronic form from the Department of Home Affairs that confirms completion of an Australia Travel Declaration and vaccination against COVID-19 overseas; or

      2. through Medicare online account through myGov or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.

  2. A visitor is not required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant if:

    1. the person is younger than 16 years old; or

    2. the person is exercising law enforcement, intelligence, or national security functions on behalf of a government agency; or

    3. the person enters in an emergency or is entering to provide emergency services; or

    4. if it would present a risk to the person’s safety.

Requirements for operators in relation to visitors

  1. An operator of a shared disability accommodation service, must make all reasonable efforts to confirm that the visitor entering and remaining on their premises is fully vaccinated by requesting and sighting proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant (printed or electronic).

  2. An operator of a shared disability accommodation service is not required to request a visitor’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination under paragraph 45 if:

    (a) the visitor is or appears to be younger than 16 years old; or

    Note: Whilst a person who is 12 years or older is eligible to be fully vaccinated, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is only required for a patron who is 16 years or older. A patron who is under 16 years of age is eligible to attend all essential and non-essential activities.

    (b) the person is exercising law enforcement, intelligence, or national security functions on behalf of a government agency; or

    (c) the person enters in an emergency or is entering to provide emergency services; or

    (d) it is not reasonable to collect proof of COVID-19 vaccination due to a risk to the safety of staff and other visitors.

Co-locations within shared disability accommodation service

  1. If part of a shared disability accommodation service is not co-located and meets the requirements in paragraph 48, a person engaged or employed to undertake work in that part of the shared disability accommodation service is not subject to paragraphs 6.

  2. For paragraph 47 to apply, the part of a shared disability accommodation service must:

    1. be unoccupied by residents, staff and visitors of the shared disability accommodation service; and

    2. be physically separate from the occupied part of the shared disability accommodation service or be secured and delineated so that residents, staff and visitors of the shared disability accommodation service cannot enter; and

    3. not have shared points of access with the residents, staff and visitors of the shared disability accommodation service; and

    4. not be accessed by a person who uses the facilities (for example, toilets or lunchroom) in the shared disability accommodation service.

  3. Example: Construction workers on a free standing building not connected to an occupied part of the shared disability accommodation service (new build or refurbishment) or installation of a modular building at a shared disability accommodation service would not be required to be vaccinated if they are separate and do not enter the occupied part of the shared disability accommodation service.

  4. In addition to paragraph 48, if a person engaged or employed to undertake work in that part of the shared disability accommodation service enters the occupied shared disability accommodation service, the person must comply with the visitor requirements.

Emergency entry

  1. An unvaccinated worker may enter a shared disability accommodation service for any of the following purposes, and paragraph 6 does not apply:

    1. to respond to an emergency or provide an emergency service; or

    2. to undertake a legislated regulatory or compliance function; or

    3. as part of official union duties in response to an emergent need.

      Examples: a contractor, who is not vaccinated, enters a school during school hours to fix flooding in the toilet block.

      There is a salmonella outbreak at a high-risk setting and an environmental health officer may investigate the setting, regardless of whether the person meets the COVID-19 vaccination requirements or is unvaccinated.

  2. An unvaccinated person must advise the operator of the shared disability accommodation service of the entry under paragraph 50 and of their vaccination status as soon as is reasonably practicable. Use of the Check In Qld app will satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

Medical contraindication

  1. Paragraph 6 does not apply to a staff member who is unable to be vaccinated due to a recognised medical contraindication and the operator of the shared disability accommodation service:

    1. assesses the risk to other staff, patients, clients and other persons at the shared disability accommodation service; and

    2. determines whether the unvaccinated staff member may continue to work in the shared disability accommodation service where their work cannot be performed outside the shared disability accommodation service; and

    3. the unvaccinated staff member must comply with the requirements in paragraph 53.

  2. Example A worker who is unable to be vaccinated due to a medical contraindication, who repairs critical medical equipment onsite in healthcare settings can continue to perform that work if the responsible person for the healthcare settings assesses the risk to others and determines the worker can continue to work there, if they comply with the necessary PPE and testing requirements.

  3. A staff member to whom paragraph 52 applies must:

    1. comply with the PPE guideline requirements for the shared disability accommodation service and any COVID safe plans for the shared disability accommodation service; and

    2. undertake a COVID-19 PCR test before commencing each work shift in a shared disability accommodation service and provide the COVID-19 PCR test result to the operator of a shared disability accommodation service for the shared disability accommodation service as soon as reasonably practicable after the test result is received; or

    3. where the staff member is a person to whom the Health Employment Directive 12/21 Employee COVID-19 Vaccination requirements (the HED) or the Residential Aged Care Facilities Direction (No.9) or its successor (the direction) applies, comply with the requirements relating to a medical contraindication or any other exceptions to mandatory vaccination requirements in the HED or the direction.

  4. Example: an admissions clerk who provides evidence of a current medical contraindication is able to continue working in an alternative administrative role, using PPE consistent with the setting’s policies and the PPE guideline and must undertake a daily COVID-19 PCR test and provide a negative COVID-19 test result when it is received

  5. A staff member to whom paragraph 52 applies must provide evidence of a recognised medical contraindication.

  6. Evidence of a current medical contraindication provided by a staff member to an operator of a shared disability accommodation service under the predecessor to this public health direction is deemed to be evidence provided for the purposes of paragraph 54 and additional evidence is not required for a current medical contraindication.

Participation in a COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

  1. Paragraph 6 does not apply to a staff member where:

    1. the staff member is a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant; and

    2. the operator of a shared disability accommodation service assesses the risk to other staff, patients, clients and other persons in the shared disability accommodation service and determines that the staff member may continue to work in the shared disability accommodation service.

  2. A staff member to whom paragraph 56 applies must notify the operator of a shared disability accommodation service for the shared disability accommodation service as soon as reasonably practicable upon completion of their participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial.

  3. The exception outlined in paragraph 56 ceases to apply upon the earlier of:

    1. the trial COVID-19 vaccine being recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration; or

    2. the trial COVID-19 vaccine being approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration; or

    3. the trial COVID-19 vaccine being rejected for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Critical Support Needs

  1. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service may permit a staff member  in a shared disability accommodation service who has not complied with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements to enter, work and remain at the shared disability accommodation service for a maximum consecutive period of three months to provide support to a patient, client or person with a disability, if:

    1. the operator of a shared disability accommodation service has assessed the risk to other persons in the shared disability accommodation service; and

    2. the operator of a shared disability accommodation service reasonably believes it is necessary to provide health, wellbeing, legal or advocacy support to the person; and

    3. personal protective equipment is used by the staff member as required by the operator of a shared disability accommodation service ; and

    4. where the staff member enters shared disability accommodation service for a single visit, a COVID-19 PCR test is undertaken by the unvaccinated worker within 24 hours prior to entry; and

    5. where the staff member enters the shared disability accommodation service on multiple consecutive days, a COVID-19 PCR test is undertaken by the unvaccinated worker before entering the shared disability accommodation service each day, and the test results provided to the operator of a shared disability accommodation service for the shared disability accommodation service as soon as reasonably practicable when received.

Critical Workforce Shortage

  1. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service may permit a staff member who has not complied with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements to enter, work in, or provide services in the shared disability accommodation service, for a maximum period of three months from 17 December 2021 or until the critical workforce issue can be resolved, whichever is shorter, if:

    1. the operator of a shared disability accommodation service has assessed the risk to other staff, patients and other persons accessing the shared disability accommodation service; and

    2. the operator of a shared disability accommodation service reasonably believes it is necessary to respond to a critical workforce shortage; and

    3. personal protective equipment is used by the staff members in compliance with the PPE guideline and any COVID safe plans for the healthcare setting; and

    4. The unvaccinated worker undertakes a COVID-19 PCR test before commencing each work shift in a shared disability accommodation service, and provides the COVID-19 PCR test result to the operator of a shared disability accommodation service for the shared disability accommodation service as soon as reasonably practicable after the test result is received.

  2. Note: the use of PPE and daily PCR surveillance testing for COVID-19 is required for a limited period of no more than three months when an unvaccinated worker in healthcare may enter, work, or provide services in a healthcare setting to respond to a critical workforce shortage while fully vaccinated workers are recruited or alternative arrangements are made to respond to the critical workforce shortage.

  3. Where a critical workforce shortage extends beyond three months only the Chief Health Officer or his delegate may approve a staff member who has not complied with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements to continue to enter, work in or provide services in the shared disability accommodation service.

PART 5 – MANAGING STUDENT ACCESS TO SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. From 11 November 2021, a student must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a shared disability accommodation service for the purpose of a placement in connection with an enrolled course of study, unless they are fully vaccinated or have evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant.

  2. A vaccinated student mentioned in this Part or in paragraph 8 must provide evidence of having received the prescribed number of doses of their COVID-19 vaccination or have evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant if requested by the operator of a shared disability accommodation service.

    Note: A vaccinated student can provide evidence of vaccination in their immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register. A vaccinated student can obtain their immunisation history statement from the Australian Government using myGov, the Medicare mobile app or by calling the Australian Immunisation Register and requesting a statement to be posted. Information is available at: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register/how-get-immunisation-history-statement.

PART 6 — OTHER MATTERS

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

  2. An emergency officer (public health) can require the operator of a shared disability accommodation service 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.

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

PART 7 – 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 John Gerrard
Chief Health Officer

14 January 2022

Published on the Queensland Health website at 1:00 am 15 January 2022

SCHEDULE 1 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

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.

Business Profile mode means the ability for businesses to electronically register by entering customer contact details via ‘Check in Qld Business Profile mode’ listed in the profile section of the app.

Check In Qld app means the app developed by the Queensland Government for contact tracing purposes which, when used by a person, provides the Queensland Government with the person’s contact information and details of the person’s attendance at a shared disability accommodation service.

Note – Each person should check in individually using the Check In Qld app or have a person in their group or the service check in on their behalf.

Close contact has the same meaning as in the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 2) or its successor.

Co-located means using shared facilities and staff, residents and visitors of the shared disability accommodation service move freely between the co-located functions or settings.

Example: part of a facility’s grounds are fenced off while construction of a carpark is undertaken. While the construction work progresses, staff, residents and visitors are excluded from the construction site and the construction company has control of the site. The construction site is not co-located with the facility and is not subject to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements that apply to staff and visitors to the facility.

Contact information means the information collected by the Check in Qld app or, if another collection method is permitted under this Direction, the name, phone number, email address, and the date and time of attendance of guests, patrons and staff.


COVID-19 PCR test
means for a person who is:

  1. 12 months of age or over, an oropharyngeal and deep nasal swab of a person who is 12 months of age or over, for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to detect whether a person has the COVID-19 virus.

  2. under 12 months of age, a saliva swab for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to detect whether a person has the COVID-19 virus.

    Note: A COVID-19 PCR test does not include a self-test.

COVID-19 vaccination requirements see paragraph 5.

COVID-19 vaccine means a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Australia or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

COVID-19 vaccine trial means a medical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine under either the Clinical Trial Notification or Clinical Trial Approval schemes regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

COVID-19 vaccine trial participant means a person who:

  1. is an active participant in a COVID-19 vaccine trial; and

  2. provides a medical certificate or letter from a medical practitioner, registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Queensland) associated with the COVID-19 vaccine trial confirming that:

    1. the worker is participating in a Phase 3 or 4 COVID-19 vaccine trial; and

    2. the worker has received at least one active dose of the COVID-19 vaccine being trialled.

Critical workforce shortage means a sustained workforce shortage in a shared disability accommodation service and the geographical region in which the shared disability accommodation service is located that the operator of a disability accommodation service for the shared disability accommodation service considers may directly and significantly adversely impact patient or client care. In determining whether a critical workforce shortage exists, the operator of a disability accommodation service for the shared disability accommodation service must consider:

  1. whether the remaining skill mix and rostering within the shared disability accommodation service is unable to compensate for the shortage; and

  2. whether the critical workforce shortage is not just within the facility but across the geographical area in which the shared disability accommodation service is located.

Diagnosed person has the same meaning as in the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 2) or its successor.

Eligible health professional means any of the following:

  • a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (as defined by the Health Insurance Act 1973 Cth); or

  • a fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (as defined by the Health Insurance Act 1973 Cth); or

  • a person listed on Medicare’s Vocation Register of General Practitioners (as defined by the Health Insurance Act 1973 Cth); or

  • a practice registrar on an approved 3GA training placement; or

  • a paediatrician; or

  • a public health physician; or

  • an infectious diseases physician; or

  • a clinical immunologist.

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 environmental health officers and police.

Emergency services means staff who respond to and deal with emergencies when they occur, such as ambulance service, police and the fire brigade.

End of life visit means a visit by a person for the purposes of end-of-life support for a resident.

Essential community access means leaving the facility for essential activities, including to receive or access health care, disability services, attend employment, obtain food or other essential goods or services or access outdoor physical or recreational activity related to a person’s physical or mental wellbeing, including to assist with providing behavioral support.

Essential disability support means essential care and support provided to a person with disability, including but not limited to: bladder and bowel management, medication management, behavior management, respiratory management, Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastromy (PEG) Changes, pressure relief/turning and wound care, assistance with feeding and hydration, and assistance with basic personal hygiene.

Evidence of a recognised medical contraindication means the person has a current:

  1. COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register, or

  2. Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation medical exemptions form completed and signed by an eligible health professional for the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Notes: some medical contraindications are temporary and therefore the record or completed form may only be valid for a period of time.

    A current completed and signed AIR immunisation medical exemption form is valid in printed or digital form.

Exposure date for an impacted area means the date specified in paragraph 14 of the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No. 17) (SEQ restrictions) Direction or its successors.

Fully vaccinated means a person who is 16 years of age or over has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Note: Information about the World Health Organization COVAX program and WHO emergency use listing is available here: WHO COVID-19 vaccines.

Note: a person who has evidence of a medical contraindication is treated as being fully vaccinated

Identified start date for a restricted area can be found in the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas Direction (No. 30) or its successors

Immunisation history statement means a statement that displays all the immunisations a person has had that are on the Australian Immunisation Register.

Note: further information can be found on:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register

International arrival means a person who arrives in Queensland on a flight that is not a quarantine-free flight or who, in the 14 days immediately before their arrival to Queensland-

  1. has been in a place outside Australia, other than a safe travel zone country; or

  2. arrived in Australia by sea; or

  3. arrived in Australia by air on a flight that is not a quarantine-free flight, regardless of whether the flight originated from a safe travel zone country; or

  4. has been in a place declared a safe travel zone country hotspot.

Medical contraindication means a person has a current:

  1. COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register or

  2. Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation medical exemptions form completed and signed by an eligible health professional for the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Notes: some medical contraindications are temporary and therefore the record or completed form may only be valid for a period of time.

    A current completed and signed AIR immunisation medical exemption form is valid in printed or digital form.

Non-restricted shared disability accommodation service means a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland, other than a restricted shared disability accommodation service.

Operator of a disability accommodation service means a person who owns, controls or operates the disability accommodation service.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) means the relevant personal protective equipment referred to in Queensland Health’s Shared disability accommodation serviceand Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance.

Physical distancing includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons where possible.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination means evidence provided as outlined in Part 4 that verifies a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Note: a person who provides or evidence of recognised medical contraindication or of being a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant is treated as if they are fully vaccinated.

Public health officer includes an emergency officer (general), a contact tracing officer or an authorised person under section 377 of the Public Health Act 2005.

Quarantine-free flight means a flight that only carries passengers who have declared that in the 14 days prior to the flight’s departure they have only been in a safe travel zone country 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.

Shared disability accommodation service and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance means the Queensland Health document Pandemic Response Guidance: Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability accommodation services [https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/1003633/pandemic-response-guide-ppe-agedcare-disability-services.pdf], or its successor.

Resident of a shared disability accommodation service means a person who is ordinarily or temporarily resident at the facility.

Restricted area means a Local Government Area identified in the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas Direction (No.30), or its successor

Restricted shared disability accommodation service means a shared disability accommodation service located in a restricted area.

Safe travel zone country has the same meaning as in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 15), or its successor.

Safe travel zone country hotspot has the same meaning as in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 15), or its successor.

Secondary contact means:

  1. a person who ordinarily resides in the same residence as a close contact and has resided in the residence since the time when the close contact event occurred; and

  2. a category of person approved by the Chief Health Officer and specified on the Queensland Health Contact tracing (exposure sites) — coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

Shared disability accommodation service means a service, including the forensic disability service under the Forensic Disability Act 2011, where:

  1. four or more people with disability reside with people who are not members of their family; and

  2. the residents share enclosed common living areas within the facility whether inside or outside, and

  3. the residents are provided with disability supports within the facility.

Student means a student who:

  1. in connection with an enrolled course of study, is undertaking a placement under the supervision of an employee or contractor at the disability accommodation services facility; or

  2. is entering the facility as part of the placement in connection with an enrolled course of study.

    Example for paragraph (b): a paramedical student.

Surveillance testing obligation means a requirement under a Public Health Direction or Protocol approved by the Chief Health Officer for a person to be routinely tested for COVID-19, who does not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and is not required to self-isolate while awaiting a test result unless there is another lawful reason for them to isolate.

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

Unvaccinated means the person has not received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccinated Student means a student who has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Last updated: 15 January 2022

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for you staying home, going out and having visitors to your home.

Find out more

Pandemic Response Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment

The Pandemic Response Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment provides additional guidance about the recommended use of PPE in shared disability accommodation services depending on the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 that has been identified. This guidance should be used to keep residents, employees and other people entering shared disability accommodation services safe.