Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No. 6)
Understanding this Direction
Information to help you understand what this Direction means.
Effective from: 12.01am AEST 21 September 2022
Posted: 21 September 2022
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 31 October 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 direction 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 direction applies to require people in any part of Queensland to a wear face mask in particular circumstances. This direction operates in conjunction with and does not override the Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No.5) or its successor.
Individuals may choose to adopt greater infection control measures and nothing in this Direction prevents an operator, employer, organisation or industry from implementing additional infection control measures to mitigate local risks from COVID-19 through protocols, policies or guidelines.
This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No.6).
This Public Health Direction revokes the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No.5) made on 4 March 2022, from 12.01am AEST 21 September 2022.
Commencement and application
This Direction commences from 12.01am AEST 21 September 2022 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless this Direction is earlier revoked or replaced.
To the extent of any inconsistency between this Direction and another public health direction made under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005, other than the Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) or its successors, this Direction prevails.
PART 1 – DIRECTION — FACE MASKS
A person must wear a face mask covering the person’s nose and mouth at all times when the person is:
in an indoor space that is, or is part of, a:
residential aged care facility; or
shared disability accommodation service; or
hospital or a healthcare setting where face-to-face services are provided to patients and others accessing healthcare; or
corrective services facility; or a
detention centre; or
outside their home if the person has:
any symptoms consistent with COVID-19; or
undertaken a COVID-19 PCR test and has not yet received the results of that test.
is required to do so in accordance with any other Public Health Directions in effect under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005; or
Example – a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or a person who is informed or becomes aware they are a close contact of a diagnosed person must comply with any face mask requirements included in the Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) or its successors.
directed to do so by an emergency officer (public health).
Note – For further information on the use of face masks, please refer to the Queensland Health website as updated from time to time: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/face-masks
Note: Part 1 paragraph (5)(b)(ii) does not limit any exemption that applies for a person waiting for a result from a routine surveillance testing obligation
PART 2 – EXEMPTIONS
The requirement to wear a face mask under paragraph 5 does not apply to:
an infant or child under 12 years; or
a person who has a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable.
Examples – persons who have obstructed breathing, a serious skin condition on their face, an intellectual disability, a mental health illness, or who have experienced trauma.
Without limiting paragraph 5, a person who is required to wear a face mask may remove the face mask:
if the person is communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication; or
if the nature of a person’s work or education means that clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential; or
Example – a speech therapist in a hospital or healthcare setting, or an employee communicating with a resident or patient of a facility or service where the face mask is a barrier to effective communication with the resident or patient.
if the person is consuming food, drink or medicine; or
Example: a person must wear a face mask when entering and walking through a cafe located in a hospital but may remove the face mask while eating and drinking in the cafe.
Example - when visiting a residential aged care facility, a visitor must wear a face mask while seated in the resident’s room, even where there are no other people in the room but may remove the face mask while eating and drinking in the room.
if the person is a patient undergoing healthcare to the extent that such healthcare requires that no face mask be worn while being provided; or
Example – while providing healthcare to a patient, a doctor determines that the patient should not wear a face mask while undergoing a particular face-to-face service based on the nature of the face-to-face service and the impacts on the patient’s health and wellbeing.
if the person is asked to remove the face mask to ascertain the person’s identity; or
Example – a person who is a visitor to a facility or service may be asked by an operator or other employee of the facility or service to remove their face mask to ascertain the person’s identity.
if wearing a face mask would create any other serious risk to that person’s life or health and safety, including if determined through work Occupational Health and Safety guidelines; or
Example – a person who is undertaking work where a face mask could become tangled in machinery.
in the event of an emergency; or
Example – a person escaping a fire or a risk of harm related to domestic and family violence or sexual violence.
if required or authorised by law; or
if continuing to wear the face mask is not safe in the immediate circumstances.
Example – a person who is wearing a face mask but finds it obstructing their vision when they are bending down to look at items on a lower shelf in a hospital gift shop may remove their face mask to avoid losing their balance by having their vision obstructed.
Without limiting paragraph 5(a), and subject to any policies or requirements of the facility or service, a person who is required to wear a face mask may remove the face mask:
if any of the circumstances in paragraphs 7(a)-(i) apply to the person; or
at a residential aged care facility, where the person is a resident of the residential aged care facility; or
at a shared disability accommodation service, where the person is a resident of the shared disability accommodation service; or
at a hospital, where the person is an inpatient of the hospital; or
while healthcare is being delivered as a face-to-face service at a person’s home, where the person is a resident; or
at a corrective services facility, where the person is a prisoner of the corrective services facility; or
at a detention centre, where the person is a detainee of the detention centre.
Example - A person who is receiving healthcare in their home, such as healthcare provided by a community health nurse or aged care worker, does not need to wear a face mask in their home. However, the person delivering the healthcare is required to wear a face mask.
if the person is an employee or contractor of, or student undertaking placement at, the facility or service; and
is undertaking work in a space within the facility or service that is not co-located with anyone other than employees, contractors, or students; and
is seated or standing at a workstation or table; and
can maintain physical distancing from other employees, contractors, or students.
Example – A hospital employee who is working alone in an office or is sitting or standing at a workstation in an office where there are no face-to-face services provided to patients, does not need to wear a face mask.
Example – An employee that moves around the workplace or has frequent contact with people (such as at a reception, or sales or information desk, or a shared workstation in a hospital ward where there are patients) must wear a face mask.
A person who is otherwise required to wear a face mask removes their face mask due to a circumstance in Part 2, the person must resume wearing a face mask as soon as practicable after the circumstance ends.
PART 3 – OTHER MATTERS
Definitions used in this Direction are in Schedule 1.
PART 4 – 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
20 September 2022
Published on the Queensland Health website at 12:01am AEST 21 September 2022.
SCHEDULE 1 – DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:
Close contact has the same meaning as in the Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) or its successors.
Co-located means using shared facilities where employees and visitors of the facility or service move freely between the co-located facilities, functions or settings.
Corrective services facility has the same meaning as in the Corrective Services Act 2006.
COVID-19 PCR test means 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.
Note: A COVID-19 PCR test does not include a self-test
Detention centre has the same meaning as in the Youth Justice Act 1992.
Emergency officer (public health) means an emergency officer appointed under the Public Health Act 2005.
Employee means any person, who works, undertakes an educational placement, or volunteers in a facility or service, including any person:
employed or engaged by or on behalf of the facility or service (whether as an employee, contractor, agency staff) to work in, perform duties or provide services for residents or patients at that facility or service in paid or unpaid capacity on a full time, part time or casual basis; and
includes a health service employee and a person engaged by Queensland Health (whether as an employee, contractor, agency staff or volunteer) to work in, perform duties or provide services at any Queensland Health facility; and
a student undertaking a educational placement in a facility or service; and
for the purposes of Part 1, includes medical practitioners and allied health professionals who regularly attend and provide care at a facility or service whether employed or engaged by the resident or patient, the operator or another person.
Note: volunteers who are not engaged by the residential aged care facility, for example community visitors providing companionship to a resident at the request of the resident, are not within the scope of this Direction.
Examples of an employee includes:
a doctor who has consulting rooms at a private hospital, and their receptionist,
a Visiting Medical Officer
an employee or contractor of a disability accommodation service
Kitchen staff in a vulnerable facility
volunteers who assist visitors to a vulnerable facility.
an employee of a community pharmacy
Chaplains visiting patients in a hospital or other healthcare setting
Teachers in a hospital or other healthcare setting
Support worker providing healthcare or disability support services
Face mask means a flat surgical mask, P2/N95 mask or a cloth mask with three layers that covers the nose and mouth (but does not include a face shield) or other type of face mask required to be worn by a person to comply with any operator requirements PPE for a facility or service.
Example – a scarf or bandana is not a face mask.
Example – a vulnerable facility or healthcare setting may require people to wear a single use surgical mask rather than a reusable face mask.
Face-to-face service means a service that is provided where all the participants are physically in the same place. This is in contrast to virtual services, such as telehealth, where participants participate from separate locations.
Facility or service means a facility or service as described at paragraph 5(a).
Fever means a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or greater.
Healthcare means services, support and medical treatment provided to a person to support, promote or improve their health and wellbeing and includes:
medical care; and
allied healthcare; and
other healthcare and disability support services.
Example: healthcare and disability support services includes in-person supports related to a person’s healthcare and/or disability, including:
assistance with daily life tasks - for example, assistance with everyday needs, cooking, household cleaning and yard maintenance;
community access and centre-based activities;
specialist supported employment which assist people with disability in their workplace to perform their work tasks;
assistance with daily personal activities for example, assisting a person with personal care, showering, dressing and eating.
community nursing care
Healthcare setting means a public or private health facility where healthcare is primarily accessed via face-to-face services provided to residents, patients, clients and others.
Examples of a healthcare setting include:
public hospitals, public health clinics, ambulance services, patient transport services, and other health services; or
private health facilities, such as private hospitals or day procedure centres, or specialist outpatient services; or
residential aged care facilities; or
shared disability accommodation services; or
private provider facilities, such as general practitioners, private nurse offices and allied health consulting offices, pharmacies, optometrists, dental clinics, medical imaging providers and private pathology centres; or
not for profit health organisations providing public healthcare under a service agreement with any State or Commonwealth agency, including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Service; or
Non-Government Organisations (NGO) delivering healthcare services, for example Alcohol and other Drugs residential rehabilitation and treatment services; healthcare services on a Hospital and Health Service campus, for example, breast screening services, integrated mental health Step-Up-Step Down models; or
Outreach services in other settings provided by the facilities in paragraphs (a) to (d), including (but not limited to) healthcare services delivered to a client or patient in their home; or
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood collection centres; or
disability support services delivered to a client patient in their home;
aged care services funded by the Australian Government and delivered to a client or patient in their home; or
mobile services such as mobile dental clinic van or mobile health promotion van.
A person solely providing healthcare services from their home or another location via telehealth and who is not providing any in-person services is not considered in-scope for the purposes of this Direction.
Where healthcare is provided within part of an indoor space that is primarily accessed by people for purposes other than healthcare, the Direction applies only to the part of the indoor space where the healthcare is provided. For example, where a physiotherapist operates within a gym, the Direction applies to the space where the physiotherapist is providing the face-to-face services, but not to the other spaces in the gym.
Home means the premises where a person ordinarily resides or is residing temporarily.
a hospital, as defined in schedule 2 to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011; or
a private health facility, as defined in section 8 of the Private Health Facilities Act 1999; or
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).
Inpatient means a patient in a hospital who undergoes a formal admission process to receive treatment and/or care provided over a period of time.
Indoor space means an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are:
permanent or temporary; or
open or closed.
Operator means the person or other legal entity that owns, controls or operates an entity, business activity, or undertaking, including but not limited to a facility or service.
For a vulnerable facility, the operator may include a licensee, operator or chief executive, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider or their delegate in a setting. It does not include a support coordinator, NDIS plan manager, or a self-managing NDIS participant, where the self-managing NDIS participant does not directly employ a worker.
Outdoor space means a space that is not an indoor space.
Patient means a person accessing healthcare for the purposes of treating, maintaining, improving or restoring a person’s health and wellbeing.
Note - includes healthcare provided in hospitals and other healthcare settings. For hospitals, includes both inpatients and outpatients.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) means personal protective equipment used to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Premises has the same meaning as in Schedule 2 of the Public Health Act 2005 and includes
a building or other structure; and
a part of a building or other structure; and
a vehicle; and
a caravan; as well as
Queensland Health residential aged care facility means the following Queensland Health facilities and for a multi-purpose health service, means the aged care portion in which accommodation, and personal or nursing care or both, are provided to a person in respect of whom a residential care subsidy or a flexible care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 of the Commonwealth, or funding is provided under the Commonwealth Government National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program or Multi-Purpose Services Program:
|Hospital and Health Service||Facility|
|Cairns and Hinterland||Babinda Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Mossman Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Central Queensland||Baralaba Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Blackwater Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Eventide Home Rockhampton|
|Mount Morgan Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Moura Multi-purpose Health Service|
|North Rockhampton Nursing Centre|
|Springsure Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Theodore Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Woorabinda Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Central West||Alpha and Jericho Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Barcaldine Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Winton Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Darling Downs||Dr E A F McDonald Nursing Home|
|Forest View Residential Care Facility|
|Inglewood Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Karingal Nursing Home|
|Millmerran Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Mt Lofty Nursing Home|
|Texas Multi-purpose Health Service|
|The Oaks Residential Aged Care Facility|
|Mackay||Clermont Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Metro North||Gannet House|
|Metro South||Redland Residential Care Facility|
|North West||Cloncurry Hospital|
|McKinlay Shire Multi-purpose Health Service|
|South West||Augathella Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Cunnamulla Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Dirranbandi Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Injune Multi-purpose Service|
|Mitchell Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Mungindi Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Quilpie Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Surat Multi-purpose Service|
|Waroona Multipurpose Centre|
|Westhaven Nursing Home|
|Torres and Cape||Cooktown Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Weipa Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Townsville||Eventide Charters Towers|
|Parklands Residential Aged Care Facility|
|Hughenden Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Richmond Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Wide Bay||Biggenden Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Childers Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Eidsvold Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service|
|Mundubbera Multi-purpose Health Service|
Resident of a facility means a person who ordinarily or temporarily resides at the facility or residence.
Residential aged care facility means a facility, including a Queensland Health residential aged care facility, at which accommodation, and personal care or nursing care or both, are provided to a person in respect of whom a residential care subsidy or a flexible care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 of the Commonwealth, or funding is provided under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.
Shared disability accommodation service means a service, including the forensic disability service under the Forensic Disability Act 2011, where:
four or more people with disability reside with people who are not members of their family; and
the residents share enclosed common living areas within the facility whether inside or outside, and
the residents are provided with disability supports within the facility.
Student means a student who in connection with an enrolled course of study, is undertaking a placement under the supervision of an employee or contractor at a facility or service.
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:
residential aged care facility; or
shared disability accommodation service.
Volunteer means a person engaged by a facility or service listed at paragraph 5(a) to provide products or services on a voluntary basis and does not include a volunteer working for an organisation that is independent from the facility or service.