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Management of Secondary Contacts Direction (No. 2)

Summary

Effective from: 4.45pm AEST 11 September 2021

Posted: 11 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.

Guidance

This Public Health Direction affects those people who reside in the same residence as a person who has been informed that they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and must quarantine for 14 days 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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.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 Secondary Contacts Direction (No.2).

Revocation

  1. The Management of Secondary Contacts Direction made on 5 September 2021 is revoked from the time of publication of this Direction and is replaced by this Direction.

Commencement

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

PART 1 — SECONDARY CONTACTS OF A CLOSE CONTACT MUST QUARANTINE

  1. The purpose of this Part is to require secondary contacts who reside in the same residence as a close contact to quarantine in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Requirements for quarantine

  1. A secondary contact must quarantine until the end of the fourteenth day after the day on which the close contact they reside with last had close contact with a diagnosed person or until an earlier or later time as an emergency officer (public health) specifies in a quarantine direction issued to the close contact under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.

    Example: a secondary contact of a person who is informed they had close contact on 1 May (day 0) must quarantine until the end of 15 May (day 14).

  2. A secondary 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 as soon as they are made aware that a member of their household has been informed they are a close contact.

    Example: a secondary contact may be made aware they are a secondary contact verbally, by SMS message or letter from a hospital or educational institution, such as a school.

    Notes: a secondary contact who has relocated to another premises before being made aware that a member of their household is a close contact is required to quarantine under this Direction if they were residing with the close contact on the day that person last had close contact with the diagnosed person.

  3. If requested by an emergency officer (public health) or a contact tracing officer, a secondary contact must:

    1. provide the person’s contact telephone number, email address and their date of birth; and;

    2. if a parent, guardian or responsible adult of a minor, must provide the minor’s name and their date of birth; and

    3. any other information or documents required by an emergency officer (public health) or a contact tracing officer.

  4. A secondary contact must not leave the premises in which they are quarantining except:

    1. for the purpose of obtaining a COVID-19 test if the person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or is directed to be tested by an emergency officer (public health); or

    2. for the purpose of transporting a close contact or secondary contact to obtain a COVID-19 test; or

      Example — a parent transporting their child who is a close contact to undertake a COVID-19 test.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. to perform work as a critically essential worker if the person can provide evidence that they meet all of the requirements under Part 2; or

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

  5. A secondary 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 9;

  6. 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.

  7. Any travel by a secondary contact quarantining at a premises under paragraph 9 must be by:

    1. ambulance service; or

    2. emergency services vehicle; or

    3. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    4. private transport.

  8. Any person transporting a secondary contact must wear a face mask at all times and, to the extent reasonably practicable, practise physical distancing, when transporting the secondary contact.

    Example: A friend or family member who is transporting a secondary contact in a private vehicle. Physical distancing can be achieved through having the secondary contact sit in the rear passenger side seat.

  9. A secondary contact must not permit any other person to enter the premises unless that other person:

    1. usually resides at the premises for the purpose of quarantine; or

    2. is required to enter the premises in an emergency; or

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

PART 2 — CRITICALLY ESSENTIAL WORKERS

  1. A secondary contact may only leave quarantine to perform critically essential work under paragraph 9 after all the following requirements have been met:

    1. the person has relocated to separate accommodation where they will quarantine alone until the requirement in paragraph 14(b) can be met; and

    2. the close contact has undertaken a COVID-19 test at least 48 hours after the person relocates to separate accommodation and received a negative COVID-19 test result from this test; and

      Note: a minimum of 48 hours must have passed between the time when the secondary contact moves to separate accommodation and a close contact receiving a negative test result. If the critically essential worker is required before 48 hours has passed, they may apply for an exemption from paragraph 14(b) under paragraph 22.

    3. the person must have been approved as a critically essential worker in accordance with paragraph 15; and

    4. the person has no symptoms consistent with COVID-19; and

    5. the person is a vaccinated person.

  2. An operator of a hospital or relevant Queensland Government agency for a person in another industry, may approve a person as a critically essential worker if:

    1. the services are needed to prevent an immediate risk of death or serious injury to a person or serious harm in the community; and

    2. the services provided by the person cannot reasonably be performed by another person who is not in quarantine; and

    3. the services must be provided without delay; and

    4. the person must be physically present at a workplace to provide the services.

  3. If a person is approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 15, the operator of a hospital or relevant Queensland Government agency must inform the local public health unit or COVID Incident Management Team (IMT) of their recommendation and seek endorsement for the person to be released from quarantine.

  4. A person who meets the requirements under paragraph 14 and who has been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 15 and 16 must:

    1. keep records of people the person has close contact with while in the workplace until the end of the quarantine period for the close contact; and

      Note: record keeping may include the name, phone number and email address of the close contact if reasonably practicable to do so, or at least the day, time and location at which the contact occurred.

    2. comply with any additional COVID-19 testing or infection control requirements imposed by their employer or an emergency officer (public health); and

      Example: an employer may require a critically essential worker to undertake daily saliva testing or impose specific requirements for the use of Personal Protective Equipment.

    3. carry written evidence that they have been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 15 and 16; and

    4. to the extent reasonably practicable, practise physical distancing including by remaining at least 1.5 metres from other people until the end of the quarantine period for the close contact.

  5. Despite the requirements in part 1, a secondary contact who meets the requirements under paragraph 14 and who has been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 15 and 16 can end their quarantine period.

  6. A person mentioned in paragraph 18 must remain in separate accommodation from the close contacts and secondary contacts who are ordinarily members of their household until the end of the quarantine period for the relevant close contact.

PART 3 — END OF QUARANTINE FOR SECONDARY CONTACTS

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

    1. at the time specified in a quarantine direction issued to the close contact by an emergency officer (public health) under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005; or

    2. at the end of the fourteenth day after the day on which the close contact last had close contact with the diagnosed person if a quarantine direction to the close contact has not been issued prior; or

    3. if a secondary contact relocates to separate accommodation for the purposes of performing critically essential work, when the requirement under sub-paragraph 14(b) can be met; 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 secondary contact who becomes a diagnosed person must then isolate in accordance with the Designated COVID-19 Hospital Network Direction (No. 2).

PART 4 — DIRECTION – INTERSTATE EXPOSURE VENUE SECONDARY 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 is a secondary contact or not, must:

    1. quarantine in accordance with the requirements under the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No.2); and

    2. contact Queensland Health for further instructions.

PART 5 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. 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.

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 Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer

11 September 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 4.45pm.

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 advised they will be, provided with a quarantine direction under the Public Health Act 2005; or

    Note: notification from the Queensland Government may be through SMS, email or telephone call, or through publication on the Queensland Health Contact tracing (exposure sites) — coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

  2. a person who has been determined to be a close contact of a diagnosed person by a public health officer and advised they will need to quarantine in accordance with the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.3); or

  3. 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.

Contact tracing officer means a person appointed as a contact tracing officer under section 90 of the Public Health Act 2005.

Critically essential worker means a person who has been approved by an operator of a hospital or relevant Queensland Government agency as a person that meets the criteria under paragraph 15.

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.

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).

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 by a public health officer or a government authority in another jurisdiction, irrespective of whether that oral or written notice is correct.

Example: a public health officer may inform a person by SMS, email or telephone call.

Interstate exposure venue means a place that is:

  1. identified by the relevant government authority for the State or Territory as a venue where a person who was present at that venue 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.

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

Private transport means:

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

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

  2. if travel by (a) is not available, a taxi with a protective shield between driver and passenger or a taxi van that allows for physical distancing between the driver and passengers; or

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

    Notes: unless driving by themselves, a secondary 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 or close contact.

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).

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.

Separate accommodation means accommodation that is completely separate from the residence where the close contact is completing quarantine and does not share an entrance or any facilities with the residence where the close contact is completing quarantine.

Example: a second private residence or hotel.

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 person means a person 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 a vaccine was obtained overseas and it has been two weeks since the final dose.

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

Last updated: 11 September 2021

Understanding this Direction

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

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