Management of Secondary Contacts Direction (No. 3)
Revoked: 31 Decemner 2021
Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency
Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)
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.
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 a specified period of time 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.
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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.
This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction (No.3).
The Management of Secondary Contacts Direction made on 11 September 2021 is revoked from 1am AEST on 22 December 2021 and is replaced by this Direction.
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 – SECONDARY CONTACTS OF A CLOSE CONTACT MUST QUARANTINE
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
A secondary contact of a fully vaccinated close contact must:
for a fully vaccinated secondary contact - undertake a COVID-19 PCR test immediately and on Day 5, or as soon as practicable, after the quarantine period for the close contact has commenced, and at any time the person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and does not need to quarantine
for an unvaccinated secondary contact, who cannot be appropriately separated from the close contact - follow the testing and quarantine requirements for the close contact, including any restrictions that apply to the close contact from Day 8 to Day 14 after quarantine as a close contact started, as provided under the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.4).
A secondary contact of an unvaccinated close contact must:
for a fully vaccinated secondary contact who cannot be appropriately separated from the close contact–undertake a COVID-19 PCR test immediately and on Day 5 or as soon as practicable, after the quarantine period for the close contact has commenced, and must quarantine until the end of the seventh day after the day on which the close contact they reside with last had close contact with a diagnosed person; or
for an unvaccinated secondary contact, who cannot be appropriately separated from the close contact – follow the same testing and quarantine requirements as the close contact has under the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.4).
Where the close contact is aged under 12 years of age, fully vaccinated people in the same household as the close contact do not need to quarantine but must undertake a COVID-19 PCR test immediately and on Day 5 of quarantine, or as soon as practicable. Household members who are unvaccinated must comply with the secondary contact requirements that apply to the person’s circumstances as if the close contact were fully vaccinated.
Note: a child under the age of 16 years of age is treated as fully vaccinated.
Where required to quarantine, 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. If they are unvaccinated and required to quarantine then they must return to their quarantine premises immediately.
Note: a secondary contact who is required to quarantine 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. If there is no quarantine requirement then the person will not be required to quarantine at the alternative premises.
Note: a secondary contact is considered to be appropriately separated from the close contact if they have no contact within the home and have use of their own facilities without any shared or common spaces.
If requested by an emergency officer (public health) or a contact tracing officer, a secondary contact must:
provide the person’s contact telephone number, email address and their date of birth; and;
if a parent, guardian or responsible adult of a minor, must provide the minor’s name and their date of birth; and
any other information or documents, including evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, required by an emergency officer (public health) or a contact tracing officer.
A secondary contact required to quarantine must not leave the premises in which they are quarantining except:
for the purpose of obtaining a COVID-19 PCR test if required under this or another Public Health Direction or the person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or is directed to be tested by an emergency officer (public health); or
for the purpose of transporting a close contact or secondary contact they are quarantining with to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test; or
Example — a parent transporting their child who is a close contact to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test.
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.
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.
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
as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).
A secondary contact must wear a face mask:
whenever directed to do so by a public health officer; and
when leaving quarantine as permitted under paragraph 11;
if permitted to leave quarantine on or before Day 7, until 14 days has passed since quarantine as a secondary contact started,
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.
Any travel by a secondary contact quarantining at a premises under paragraph 8 must be by:
ambulance service; or
emergency services vehicle; or
transport arranged by a government authority; or
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.
A secondary contact must not permit any other person to enter the premises unless that other person:
usually resides at the premises for the purpose of quarantine; or
is required to enter the premises in an emergency; or
as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).
PART 2 – CRITICALLY ESSENTIAL WORKERS
A secondary contact who is required to quarantine may only leave quarantine to perform critically essential work under paragraph11 after all the following requirements have been met:
the person has relocated to separate accommodation where they will quarantine alone until the requirement in paragraph 16(b) can be met; and
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 16(b) under paragraph 25.
the person must have been approved as a critically essential worker in accordance with paragraph 17; and
the person has no symptoms consistent with COVID-19; and
the person is a vaccinated person.
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:
the services are needed to prevent an immediate risk of death or serious injury to a person or serious harm in the community; and
the services provided by the person cannot reasonably be performed by another person who is not in quarantine; and
the services must be provided without delay; and
the person must be physically present at a workplace to provide the services.
If a person is approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 17, 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.
A person who meets the requirements under paragraph 16 and who has been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 17 and 18 must:
keep records of people the person has close contact with while in the workplace until the end of the quarantine period for the secondary contact or close contact, whichever is shorter; and
Example: A fully vaccinated secondary contact who resides with an unvaccinated close contact is only required to quarantine for 7 days so can cease keeping records after 7 days has passed since quarantine commenced.
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.
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.
carry written evidence that they have been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 17 and 18; and
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 secondary contact or close contact, whichever is shorter.
Despite the requirements in Part 1, a secondary contact who meets the requirements under paragraph 16 and who has been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 17 and 18 can end their quarantine period.
A person mentioned in paragraph 20 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 secondary contact or close contact, whichever is shorter.
PART 2 – END OF QUARANTINE FOR SECONDARY CONTACTS
For a secondary contact subject to Part 1, the quarantine period ends:
whether a quarantine direction is given or not, at the end of the time specified in paragraph 6 or 7 for the quarantine period to end for the secondary contact; or
if a secondary contact relocates to separate accommodation for the purposes of performing critically essential work, when the requirement under sub-paragraph 16(b) can be met; or
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 Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction, or its successor.
PART 4 – – INTERSTATE EXPOSURE VENUE SECONDARY CONTACTS
A person who has been informed, either through the interstate exposure venue information, or by the relevant authority of another Australian State or Territory that they are a secondary contact or need to quarantine; undertake COVID-19 PCR testing; and isolate until they receive a negative test result, must follow that direction in Queensland, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
PART 5 – OTHER MATTERS
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.
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.
An exemption may be given on conditions and if so, the person given the exemption must comply with the conditions
A person who was subject to quarantine as a secondary contact under the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction (No.2) 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:
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].
a person who has been determined to be a close contact of a diagnosed person by a public health officer and advised or informed they will need to quarantine in accordance with the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.4); or
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
a household member of a diagnosed person.
Contact tracing officer means a person appointed as a contact tracing officer under section 90 of the Public Health Act 2005.
COVID-19 PCR test means for a person who is:
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
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.
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 medical contraindication means the person has a current:
COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register, or
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:
has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and it has been 7 days since the final dose; or
is under 16 years of age; or
is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine because of a recognised medical contraindication and has evidence of a recognised medical contraindication; or
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.
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:
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
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.
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:
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.
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:
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; or
a category of person approved by the Chief Health Officer and specified on the Queensland Health Contact tracing (exposure sites) — coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage [insert link].
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), headache, loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.
Unvaccinated means a person who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the person has evidence of a medical contraindication.