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Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.4)

Summary

Effective from: 1:00am AEST 22 December 2021

Posted: 22 December 2021

Revoked: 31 December 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 March 2022 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr 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

This Public Health Direction affects those who have been informed that they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and must quarantine for a prescribed period from the day they last had close contact with that person unless an exception applies.

Separately from the requirements under Public Health Directions, under sections 362G and 362H of the Public Health Act 2005, a person may be given a direction by an emergency officer (public health) to stay at or in a particular place for up to 14 days if the emergency officer believes it is reasonably necessary to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Preamble

  1. 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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.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 Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.4).

Revocation

  1. The Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.3) made on 05 September 2021 and the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No.4) made on 05 November 2021 are revoked from 1am AEST on 22 December 2021.

Commencement

  1. This Direction applies from 1am AEST on 22 December 2021 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless revoked or replaced.

PART 1 – CLOSE CONTACTS OF A PERSON DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 MUST QUARANTINE

  1. The purpose of this Part is to require persons who have been informed or become aware they are a close contact of a diagnosed person to quarantine in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Requirements for quarantine

  1. A person who is informed or becomes aware that they are a close contact must quarantine until:

    1. for a fully vaccinated person – the end of the seventh day after the day on which the person last had close contact; or

    2. for a person who is not fully vaccinated - the end of the fourteenth day after the day on which the person last had close contact.

      Note: a person may be informed in writing or orally, or through notification on the Queensland Government website – see Definitions

      Example: a person who is informed they had close contact on 1 May (day 0) must quarantine until the end of 15 May (day 14) if they are not fully vaccinated.

  2. A close contact must immediately travel by private transport or by transport arranged by a government authority directly to their home or place of accommodation or other suitable premises to quarantine unless otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  3. A close contact must provide:

    1. the address of the premises they are quarantining at and a contact telephone number, email address and their date of birth to a public health officer, as well as the details of any other persons who reside in the same residence as the close contact, if requested; and

    2. evidence of COVID-19 vaccination if requested by a public health officer.

  4. A close contact must inform any persons who usually reside, are currently residing in, or have recently resided in, the same residence that they have been informed they are a close contact.

    Note: persons who reside in the same residence as a close contact specified in Schedule 1 of the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction will be required to follow that direction.

  5. A close contact instructed to enter government-nominated accommodation must immediately travel by private transport or by transport arranged by a government authority directly to the relevant government-nominated accommodation unless otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  6. A close contact who is fully vaccinated and is quarantining for 7 days under paragraph 6(a) must undertake a COVID-19 PCR test immediately and as close as practicable to Day 5 of the quarantine period, and at any time the person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

    Example: a person may need to be tested on Day 4 or Day 6 if Day 5 is a public holiday.

  7. A close contact who is not fully vaccinated and is quarantining for 14 days under paragraph 6(b) must undertake a COVID-19 PCR test immediately and as close as practicable to Day 5 and Day 12 of the quarantine period, and at any time the person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

  8. A close contact must not leave the premises or government-nominated accommodation, except:

    1. for the purpose of obtaining a COVID-19 PCR test if permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); or

    2. to avoid immediate 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.

    3. in the event of an emergency situation; or

      Example — a person leaving quarantine to go to a hospital for emergency medical treatment or due to an emergency at the premises such as fire or flood.

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

  9. A close contact must wear a face mask:

    1. whenever directed to do so by a public health officer; and

    2. when leaving quarantine as permitted under paragraph 13,

      unless it is not practicable because of the emergency situation or the need to avoid immediate injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.

  10. A close contact must not permit any other person to enter the premises or government-nominated accommodation unless that other person:

    1. usually resides at the premises or is residing at the premises or government-nominated accommodation for the purpose of quarantine; or

      Note: persons who reside in the same residence as a close contact specified in Schedule 1 of the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction will be required to follow that direction

    2. is required to enter the premises or government-nominated accommodation in an emergency; or

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

  11. Any travel by a close contact quarantining at a premises under paragraph 13 must be by:

    1. ambulance service; or

    2. emergency services vehicle; or

    3. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    4. private transport.

  12. Any person transporting a close contact must wear a face mask at all times when transporting the close contact.

    Example: A friend or household member, who will be quarantining with the close contact, who is transporting a close contact in a private vehicle.

  13. Any travel by a close contact quarantining at government-nominated accommodation under paragraph 13 must be by:

    1. ambulance service; or

    2. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    3. an emergency services vehicle in emergency or serious situations as permitted or allowed under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).

PART 2 – END OF QUARANTINE FOR CLOSE CONTACTS

  1. For a close contact subject to part 1, the quarantine period ends:

    1. at the time specified in the quarantine direction as given under paragraph 6 or as varied under paragraph 27; or

    2. if the quarantine direction given to the person is revoked, at the time the revocation takes effect under paragraph 27; or

    3. if no quarantine direction is given under paragraph 6, until the end of the seventh day for a fully vaccinated person, or the end of the fourteenth day for a person who is not fully vaccinated, after the day on which the person last had close contact with the diagnosed person; or

    4. if the person becomes a diagnosed person following a test for COVID-19, when the diagnosis is communicated to the person.

Note: a close contact who becomes a diagnosed person must then isolate in accordance with the Self-isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4).

Note: a child under the age of 16 years of age is treated as fully vaccinated.

  1. A person who is a close contact who has been advised by Queensland Health or an emergency officer (public health) that the person may end quarantine before the period prescribed in paragraph 6, may end quarantine before the prescribed period is completed if the person:

    1. complies with any advice provided by Queensland Health by means of text message or other communication; and

    2. has undertaken a COVID-19 PCR test within 3 days prior to leaving quarantine and received a negative test result.

    Note: any person who commenced quarantine under the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.3) and who remains in quarantine at commencement of this direction may end quarantine in accordance with advice from Queensland Health.

  2. A fully vaccinated close contact who has been released from quarantine on or before Day 7 must, until 14 days have passed since quarantine as a close contact started, wear a face mask at all times when outside their home unless only members of their household are present.

PART 3 – POST QUARANTINE ENTRY TO VULNERABLE FACILITIES FOR VACCINATED PERSONS

  1. The purpose of this Part is to set out the requirements for entry to a vulnerable facility for the period from Day 8 to Day 14 after a fully vaccinated person enters quarantine as a close contact.

  2. Where the responsible person for a vulnerable facility undertakes a risk assessment and determines it is appropriate, a fully vaccinated worker who has been released from quarantine as a close contact may enter and work at the vulnerable facility.

  3. A person who is released from quarantine as a close contact is not permitted to enter a vulnerable facility as a visitor until 14 days have passed since they started quarantine, unless an exception applies under the Hospital Entry Direction (No.7), the Residential Aged Care Facility (No.11), the Shared Disability Accommodation Service (No.26) or, for a prison, the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for workers in a high risk setting Direction.

PART 4 – INTERSTATE EXPOSURE VENUE CLOSE CONTACTS

  1. The purpose of this Part is to require individuals in Queensland who have been to an interstate exposure venue to quarantine in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

  2. A person who has been to an interstate exposure venue, regardless of whether the person has been informed they are a close contact or not, must:

    1. quarantine as if they are a close contact in accordance with the requirements in Part 1, paragraphs 6 to 18; and

    2. contact Queensland Health for further instructions.

Note: this Part applies and requires a person to follow testing and quarantine requirements where a person is informed they are a close contact after they have arrived in Queensland.

PART 5 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. An emergency officer (public health) may review a quarantine direction given under paragraph 6 and, if satisfied it is appropriate, vary or revoke the notice given to the close contact and must notify the close contact.

  2. The Queensland Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate may grant a person an exemption from the requirements of this Direction if extreme exceptional circumstances exist.

  3. A person who was subject to quarantine as a close contact under the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.3) is now subject to the requirements of this Direction.

PART 6 – 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

22 December 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 1:00 am

SCHEDULE 1 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

Close contact means:

  1. a person who has been determined to be a close contact of a diagnosed person by a public health officer and has been, or has been advised they will be, provided with a quarantine direction under the Public Health Act 2005; or

    Note: notification from the Queensland Government or a company contracted to contact people may be through SMS, email or telephone call or through contact tracing alerts published on the Queensland Health Contact tracing (exposure sites) — coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage [insert link].

  2. a person in Queensland who has been determined to be a close contact or a casual contact of a diagnosed person by an interstate government authority; or

  3. a household member of a diagnosed person.

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

  1. 12 months of age or over, an oropharyngeal and deep nasal 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; or

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

Diagnosed person means a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

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

Note: emergency officers appointed under the Public Health Act include public health officers, Queensland and local government officers and police.

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.

Face mask means a surgical mask or a cloth mask with three layers that covers the nose and mouth (but does not include a face shield).

Fully vaccinated means a person:

  1. has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and it has been 7 days since the final dose; or

  2. is under 16 years of age; or

  3. is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine because of a recognised medical contraindication and has evidence of a recognised medical contraindication; or

  4. has a medical certificate or letter from a medical practitioner, certifying that the person is currently taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial and receipt of a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved vaccine would impact the validity of the trial.

Note: The medical certificate or letter from a medical practitioner about the clinical trial will only be valid for a period of time.

Note: Proof of receiving the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine includes a COVID-19 digital certificate, an immunisation history statement (printed or digital) or an international COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

Government-nominated accommodation means the allocated room within a hotel or other accommodation premises at which the person is directed to quarantine by an emergency officer (public health).

Hospital has the same meaning as in the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Hospital and Health Service has the same meaning as in the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Informed means given oral or written notice, including by a government authority in another jurisdiction or by self-informing, irrespective of whether that oral or written notice is correct.

Example: a public health officer, Queensland Health or a company contracted for contact tracing may inform a person of their testing and quarantine requirements by SMS, email or telephone call, or through notification on the Queensland Health website.

Interstate exposure venue means a place that is:

  1. identified by the relevant government authority for the State or Territory as a site where a person who was present at that site during an exposure period is required to quarantine or isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19; and

  2. published on the government website for the relevant State or Territory or notified to a person by the relevant government authority for a State or Territory by SMS, text or other means with contact tracing, testing and/or quarantine requirements for the person to follow.

Private transport means:

  1. a private vehicle operated by the person identified as a close contact, a household member of the close contact or a friend or family member of the close contact; or

    Example: a close contact may drive themselves in their own car or be transported in a car driven by one of their household members or friends.

Note: unless driving by themselves, a close contact should take all reasonable steps to ensure they are physically distanced from the driver and avoid sharing transport with any other person, unless they are a secondary contact under the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction.

Premises has the same meaning as in Schedule 2 of the Public Health Act 2005 but excludes vehicles, and for premises that are a hospital, means the person’s allocated room or ward within the hospital.

Public health officer includes an emergency officer under section 315 of the Public Health Act 2005, a contact tracing officer under section 90 of the Public Health Act 2005 or an authorised person under section 377 of the Public Health Act 2005.

Note: an emergency officer under the Public Health Act includes an emergency officer (general) and emergency officer (medical).

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.

Vulnerable facility means a hospital under the Hospital Entry Direction (No.7), a residential aged care facility under the Residential Aged Care Facilities Direction (No.11), a shared disability accommodation service under the Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No.26) or a prison.

Last updated: 31 December 2021

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Information to help you understand what this Direction means to travellers and residents.

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