Skip links and keyboard navigation

Hospital Entry Direction (No. 5)

Summary

Effective from: 1:00am AEST 30 September 2021

Posted: 30 September 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  26 December 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 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.

Preamble

  1. This Public Health Direction replaces the Public Health Direction referred to as the Hospital Entry Direction (No.4) made on 4 September 2021 and is the successor of that Direction.

  2. This Public Health Direction is to be read in conjunction with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Hospital Entry Direction (No.5).

Revocation

  1. The Hospital Entry Direction (No.4) made on 4 September 2021 is revoked from time of publication of this Direction.

Commencement

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

PART 1 – ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL HOSPITALS

  1. This part applies to all hospitals in the State of Queensland.

  2. A person, other than a patient of the hospital, must not enter, or remain at, a hospital in the State of Queensland if:

    1. the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19, unless the person is no longer subject to a direction to self-isolate under section 362B or section 362H of the Public Health Act 2005; or

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

    3. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, or since the start date identified for the COVID-19 hotspot, whichever is shorter, the person has been in a place which at the time of entry is a COVID-19 hotspot; outside of the Border Zone; or

      Note: see Part 6 for when a person is taken to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot

      Example: A person travels to Queensland from Orange, NSW on 20 July. On 22 July, Orange, NSW is declared a hotspot with an identified start date of 22 July. The relevant date for considering entry to the hospital is 22 July, the date that the hotspot was identified. Since the person has not been in Orange on or after 22 July, they are able to enter the hospital. Once Orange is declared not to be a hotspot, the restricted period no longer applies and a person who was in Orange while it was a hotspot can then enter the hospital even if it is less than 14 days since they were in Orange.

    4. the person has been to an interstate exposure venue, unless 14 days have passed since the person was at the interstate exposure venue;

      Note: a person who has been to an interstate exposure venue must quarantine as required by the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No. 2) or successor.

    5. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, or since the start date identified for the interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities), the person has been in a place which at the time of entry is an interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities).

    6. 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;

    7. the person has been informed they are a close contact of a diagnosed person or a secondary contact, unless their quarantine period has ended and the person has received a negative test result from their post quarantine testing; or

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

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

Exception for people entering from interstate area of concern

  1. Despite paragraph 7(e), a person may enter and remain on the premises of a hospital, if the person obtains a negative COVID-19 test result in Queensland after returning from an interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities).

Exception for people entering from a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area

  1. Despite paragraph 7(f), a person may enter and remain on the premises of a hospital, if

    1. an employee or contractor of the hospital; or

    2. a vaccinated student; or

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

    4. a person providing health, medical, pathology or pharmaceutical services to a patient at the hospital, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis;

    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. with the permission of the operator of the hospital, a person maintaining continuity of care for a patient that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means; or

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

    7. the person's presence at the hospital is for the purposes of end of life visit for a patient of the hospital, or for another purpose listed in paragraph 19.

  2. Despite paragraph 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 hospital in the State of Queensland.

    Example – a person who is a close contact of a diagnosed COVID-19 case who has been directed to quarantine at their home residence in a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area may not enter a hospital in Queensland.

  3. If paragraph 9 applies to a person proposing to enter a hospital, the operator of the hospital may require the person to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to patients, including use appropriate personal protective equipment, provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 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 approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia or endorsed by WHO-COVAX where the vaccination was obtained overseas.

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

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

  1. Despite paragraph 7(h), a person may enter a hospital if the person is awaiting the result of a COVID-19 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 tests results as part of a surveillance testing obligation must still comply with the requirements in paragraphs 7(a) to (g). For example, a person awaiting results of a routine COVID-19 test required under a protocol must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a hospital if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Obligation on operators

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

End of life visitors (international arrivals, COVID-19 hotspots and interstate exposure venues)

  1. Despite paragraphs 7(b) to 7(d), a person may enter, or remain at, a hospital if:

    1. the person's presence at the hospital is for the purpose of an end of life visit for a patient of the hospital; 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: For clarity, end of life visitors from an interstate area of concern who have obtained a negative COVID-19 test result under paragraph 8 do not require an exemption.

  2. A person who enters a hospital under an exemption granted under paragraph 11(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 a facility under paragraph 11, the operator of the hospital must 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 patient 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 patients, visitors and staff.

PART 2 – MANAGING VISITOR ACCESS TO NON-RESTRICTED HOSPITALS

Visiting patients

  1. There is no limit under this Public Health Direction on the number of visitors at a non-restricted hospital.

    Note - All visitors remain subject to each hospital’s clinical guidelines for COVID-19. These clinical guidelines may be more restrictive than this direction, for example, in relation to the number and type of visitors. See paragraphs 15 and 16 for requirements for visitors to a restricted hospital.

PART 3 – MANAGING ENTRY TO RESTRICTED HOSPITALS

Visiting patients in a restricted area

  1. Subject to paragraph 18, a patient of a hospital in a restricted area may not have visitors.

  2. The following patients of a restricted hospital may have visitors in accordance with the hospital’s clinical guidelines for COVID-19 approved by the operator of the hospital:

    1. a patient of the hospital who is a child; or

    2. a patient of the hospital being provided end of life care; or

      Note – Paragraphs 11 to 13 require particular persons to obtain an exemption before attending a hospital for an end of life visit.

    3. a patient of the hospital being provided pregnancy or maternity related care; or

    4. a patient of the hospital with a disability who requires support from a disability support worker or an informal carer; or

      Example: A person may require support from a disability support worker or person who has provided long-term informal support, such as a family member or friend.

    5. other patients that the operator of the hospital believes is necessary to have visitors for emergency or other compassionate grounds.

PART 4 – ELECTRONIC COLLECTION OF CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. The operator of a hospital must make all reasonable efforts to electronically collect contact information about all visitors to a hospital, including volunteers and contractors, 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.

      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 hospital must register the visitor through the Business Profile mode.

      Note – contact information must be collected for visitors to non-restricted hospitals and visitors permitted to visit restricted hospitals under paragraph 16 of the Direction.

  2. Despite paragraph 17, an operator of a hospital is not required to request a person’s contact information under paragraph 17 if:

    1. the person is entering a hospital in an emergency or entering to provide emergency services; or

    2. the person is or appears to be younger than 16 years old and is not accompanied by a responsible parent or adult; or

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

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

  4. A person who is permitted to enter a hospital 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 hospital by:

    1. using the Check In Qld App; or

    2. providing their contact details to the operator of a hospital 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 23, using that method.

  5. 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.

  6. Despite paragraph 20, a person who is permitted to enter a hospital 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 hospital if:

    1. the person is entering a hospital in an emergency or entering to provide emergency services; or

    2. the person is under the age of 16 years old and is not accompanied by a responsible parent or adult; 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.

      Example – a support person accompanying a person arriving to the hospital in an ambulance in an emergency situation is not required to provide their contact information on entry to the hospital.

Collection of contact information using another method due to temporary circumstances

  1. If an operator of a hospital cannot electronically collect contact information for visitors to the hospital 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.

  2. 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.

  3. If contact information is collected using ‘another method’ under paragraph 23, the operator of a hospital must:

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

      Example - an electronic method such as a spreadsheet

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

    3. if requested, provide the information collected under paragraph 23 and the electronic information under paragraph 24(a) to a public health officer within a stated time.

PART 5 – MANAGING STUDENT ACCESS TO HOSPITALS

  1. A student must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted hospital for the purpose of a clinical placement in connection with an enrolled course of study, unless they are a vaccinated student.

    Example: If Cairns is identified as a restricted area, a student cannot enter a hospital in Cairns for a clinical placement unless they have received the prescribed number of doses of approved COVID-19 vaccination.

    Note: nothing in this Direction prevents a student from entering a restricted hospital for another reason such as they are a patient of the hospital or making a permitted end of life visit.

  2. A student must not enter, or remain on, the premises of an impacted hospital for the purpose of a clinical placement in connection with an enrolled course of study, unless they are a vaccinated student.

    Example: Brisbane is an impacted area. A student, who is not vaccinated, cannot enter a hospital in Brisbane for a clinical placement.

    Note: A student who is not vaccinated because of a contraindication cannot enter an impacted hospital.

  3. A student who has been in a restricted area since the date the area was identified as a restricted area, cannot enter a non-restricted hospital or an impacted hospital, unless they are a vaccinated student or 14 days have passed since they have been in a restricted area.

    Example: If Cairns is identified as a restricted area on 8 August, a student who has been in Cairns on 9 August cannot enter a hospital in a non-restricted area such as Innisfail for a clinical placement until Cairns is no longer a restricted area or 14 days have passed since they were in Cairns, unless they have received the prescribed number of doses of approved COVID-19 vaccination.

  4. A student who has been in an impacted area since the exposure date for an impacted area, cannot enter a non-restricted hospital outside an impacted area, unless they are a vaccinated student or 14 days have passed since they were in the impacted area.

    Example: Brisbane is an impacted area. A Brisbane-based student, who is not vaccinated, cannot enter a hospital in Gympie for a clinical placement unless 14 days have passed since they were in Brisbane.

    Note: A student who has been in an impacted area and is not vaccinated because of a contraindication cannot enter a non-restricted hospital outside an impacted area.

  5. From 11 November 2021, a student must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a hospital for the purpose of a placement in connection with an enrolled course of study, unless they are fully vaccinated.

  6. A vaccinated student mentioned in this Part or in paragraph 9 must provide evidence of having received the prescribed number of doses of their COVID-19 vaccination if requested by the operator of a hospital, or their nominated representative.

    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 - EXEMPTIONS

  1. The Chief Health Officer may, in writing, grant an exemption from this direction in respect of a specified area of a hospital if the Chief Health Officer is satisfied, having regard to the need to limit the spread of COVID-19, that an exemption is appropriate due to:

    1. the nature of the area; or

    2. the existing limits on the number of people that may be present in the area (whether because of the operation of a direction under the Public Health Act 2005 or otherwise).

PART 7 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. A person is taken not to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot under this Direction if the person complies with the transit exceptions in paragraph 6 of the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 39) or its successor.

    Note: under the Border Restrictions Direction a person is taken not to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot if they

    1. arrived in a COVID-19 hotspot by air for the sole purpose of transiting through an approved airport in the COVID-19 hotspot and did not leave the confines of the airport; or

    2. transited through a COVID-19 hotspot by road using private transport stopping only for essential fuel and fatigue management, wore a face mask at all times when stopping and did not stay overnight in a COVID-19 hotspot; or

    3. arrived in a COVID-19 hotspot by road and used private transport to travel directly from their point of arrival to an airport in a COVID-19 hotspot, stopping only for essential fuel and fatigue management, wore a face mask at all times when stopping, to depart the COVID-19 hotspot by air.

  2. 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

30 September 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 1:00 am

SCHEDULE 1 – DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this 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.

Border zone has the same meaning as in the Border Restrictions Direction (No.39) or its successors (https://www.qld.gov.au/health/covid19/travel-declaration-map).

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 hospital.

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

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

Contact information means, at a minimum, the name, phone number, email address, and the date and time of attendance of visitors, volunteers and contractors.

Contractor means an individual who provides construction, repair, or maintenance services on an unscheduled or intermittent basis. A contractor does not include a visiting medical practitioner or health practitioners providing health services on the hospital premises.
Examples: repairing or maintaining a lift or providing plumbing services to repair a broken toilet.

COVID-19 hotspot means a particular area of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Health website.

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

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.

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

Exposure date for an impacted area means the date specified in paragraph 14 of the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No. 13) (SEQ, Cairns and Yarrabah eased restrictions Stage 1) Direction or its successors.

Hospital means:

  1. a hospital, as defined in schedule 2 to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011; or

  2. a private health facility, as defined in section 8 of the Private Health Facilities Act 1999; or

  3. a multi-purpose service, as defined in section 104 of the Subsidy Principles 2014 made under section 96-1 of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).

Identified start date for a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area has the same meaning as in the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas Direction (No.22), or its successor

Impacted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published in the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No. 13) (SEQ, Cairns and Yarrabah eased restrictions Stage 1) Direction or its successors https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/restrictions-impacted-areas.

Impacted hospital means a hospital in an impacted area.

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.

Interstate area of concern means a particular area of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website for the purpose of restricting visitors to vulnerable facilities including residential aged care, shared disability accommodation services and hospitals.

Interstate exposure venue has the same meaning as in the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No. 2) or its successor.

Nominated representative of an operator of a hospital is the person identified by the operator as their delegate for the purposes of this Direction.

Non-restricted hospital means a hospital, other than a restricted hospital.

Operator of a hospital means a person who owns, controls or operates the hospital.

Example: The Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer or Executive Director of a hospital.

Patient of the hospital means a person who requests or is being provided with health, medical or pharmaceutical services by the hospital.

Post-quarantine testing means a COVID-19 test completed by the person 2 or 3 days after leaving government nominated accommodation in accordance with an undertaking given by the person as a condition of ending the quarantine period.

Note: 2 or 3 days after a person’s release from quarantine at government-nominated accommodation will be day 16 or 17 after the commencement of the person’s quarantine period.

Queensland COVID-19 restricted area and restricted area means a Local Government Area identified in the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas Direction (No.22), or its successors

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

Restricted hospital means a hospital located in a restricted area.

Safe travel zone country has the same meaning as in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 9), or its successor.

Safe travel zone country hotspot has the same meaning as in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 9), 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.

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 hospital; or

  2. is entering the hospital as part of a 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), loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

Vaccinated Student means a student who has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia or endorsed by WHO-COVAX if the vaccination was obtained overseas.

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

Last updated: 30 September 2021

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for visiting people in hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more