Requirements for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction (No. 5)
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 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.
The purpose of this Direction is to protect the health of the community and individuals working in the quarantine facility system by mitigating the risk of the spread of COVID-19, including through vaccination, personal protective equipment and routine surveillance COVID-19 testing requirements for workers.
This Direction affects:
individuals working in identified quarantine facility such as quarantine hotels where people are completing mandatory quarantine;
operators of hotels where international arrivals complete mandatory quarantine;
Hospital and Health Services, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Police Service, Australian Defence Force and other government departments or agencies who employ staff working at a quarantine hotel.
This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Requirements for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction (No. 5).
The Requirements for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction (No. 4) made on 31 May 2021 is revoked from the time of publication of this Direction and is replaced by this Direction.
This Public Health Direction applies from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless revoked or replaced.
PART 1 – DIRECTION – REQUIREMENTS FOR WORKERS
This Direction applies to quarantine facility workers and to the hotel operators, Queensland government departments or agencies and the Australian Defence Force that employ or engage the services of quarantine facility workers in government-nominated accommodation.
A quarantine facility worker must, where access to COVID-19 testing has been established at government-nominated accommodation by, or on behalf of, Queensland Health and in accordance with the Operational protocol for COVID-19 testing of quarantine facility workers and other requirements approved by the Chief Health Officer (the protocol):
undertake surveillance testing for COVID-19 in accordance with the protocol; and
for workers employed or engaged by the hotel operator, notify the hotel operator of compliance with the requirements of the protocol; and
for workers employed or engaged by a Queensland Government department or agency or the Australian Defence Force, notify the applicable entity of compliance with the requirements of the protocol; and
for workers employed or engaged by a transport operator, notify the operator of compliance with the requirements of the protocol; and
if not tested under paragraph (a), not attend the government-nominated accommodation or provide a quarantine service until in compliance with the protocol.
A worker who does not consent to a COVID-19 test may be subject to a fine if the worker knowingly continues to attend the government-nominated accommodation, or provide a quarantine service such as driving overseas arrivals to the quarantine hotel, while untested.
A quarantine facility worker must comply with the requirements in the protocol applying to quarantine facility workers including wearing personal protective equipment and receiving vaccinations for COVID-19.
A quarantine facility worker who is tested for COVID-19 in accordance with paragraph 5 and who does not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is not required to isolate while awaiting a test result unless there is another lawful reason for them to isolate.
Example: a quarantine facility worker may be directed to isolate for another reason such as being identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19.
If a quarantine facility worker develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they must:
be tested for COVID-19 as soon as practicable and isolate until a negative test result is received and they do not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19; and
comply with other requirements in the Operational protocol for COVID-19 of testing quarantine facility workers and other requirements approved by the Chief Health Officer
PART 2 – HOTEL OPERATORS, TRANSPORT PROVIDERS AND OTHER ENTITIES ENGAGING QUARANTINE FACILITY WORKERS
The following must take reasonable steps to comply with the Operational protocol for COVID-19 testing of quarantine facility workers and other requirements approved by the Chief Health Officer:
hotel operator that employs, contracts with, or otherwise engages the services of a quarantine facility worker;
a Queensland Government department or agency that employs, contracts with, or otherwise engages the services of a quarantine facility worker;
the Australian Defence Force where employing or otherwise engaging the services of a quarantine facility worker; and
an transport operator that is engaged by a Queensland government department or agency to transport quarantined persons to or from government-nominated accommodation.
Example: the Queensland Government department or agency that employs or engages a quarantine facility worker to provide health services, transport services or security services must comply with the protocol. The hotel operator that engages a worker to provide hotel services such as cleaning, including contracting with a third party to provide the cleaning, must comply with the protocol.
From 9.00am on 21 May 2021, A transport operator must be endorsed by a government authority and have a Transport Plan in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.
The requirements in paragraph 10 do not apply to ambulance services and emergency services.
PART 3 – OTHER MATTERS
An emergency officer (public health) can give a direction to a quarantine facility worker about the conduct of a COVID-19 test or request the worker provide evidence of having received a COVID-19 vaccination, if the protocol requires the worker to be tested or vaccinated.
An emergency officer (public health) can require the hotel operator or transport operator to comply with additional directions if the emergency officer believes the direction is reasonably necessary to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
PART 4 – DEFINITIONS
Definitions used in this Direction are in Schedule 1.
PART 5 – EXEMPTIONS
The Chief Health Officer, the Deputy Chief Health Officer or their delegate may grant a person an exemption from all or part of these directions on the basis of extreme exceptional circumstances.
An exemption may be given on conditions and if so, the person given the exemption must comply with the conditions.
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
20 January 2022
Published on the Queensland Health website at 6pm
SCHEDULE 1 – DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:
COVID-19 test means an oropharyngeal and deep nasal swab for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a Rapid Antigen Test approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to detect whether a person has the COVID-19 virus.
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 and includes emergency officers (medical) and emergency officer (general).
Government-nominated accommodation means a hotel or other accommodation premises at which a quarantined person is residing but for the purpose of this Direction does not include:
a home residence; or
a military base, military property or Australian Defence Force nominated quarantine hotel.
Example: A hotel at which a person arriving from overseas has been directed to quarantine is government-nominated accommodation. A farm at which seasonal workers have been directed to quarantine or a home at which a person has been directed to quarantine is not government-nominated accommodation.
Face mask means a 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.
Hotel operator means the person, business or entity that owns, controls or operates government-nominated accommodation.
the person is to travel directly by private vehicle to their home or premises that are suitable to reside in and remain in those premises until a negative COVID-19 test result is received and they are symptom-free; or
travel directly to, or remain at, a hospital for medical treatment, and following treatment and discharge from the hospital, travel directly to their home or premises that are suitable to reside in and remain in those premises until a negative COVID-19 test result is received and they are symptom-free; and
must not leave the premises except to:
obtain a COVID-19 test if permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); or
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 home isolation to go to a hospital for emergency medical treatment or due to an emergency at the premises such as fire or flood.
as otherwise permitted or required under a direction given by the person by an emergency officer (public health); and
must wear a face mask whenever directed to do so by an emergency officer (public health) and when leaving isolation as permitted by paragraph (c),unless it is not practicable because of the emergency situation or the need to avoid immediate injury or risk of harm; and
must not permit any other any other person to enter their home or the premises unless that other person:
usually resides at the premises or is residing at the premises for the purpose of quarantine or isolation at home; 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).
Quarantine facility worker means an individual, including an employee, volunteer or contractor who performs a quarantine service at government-nominated accommodation.
Quarantine service means a service or work of any kind during the course of which a person is physically present at government-nominated accommodation, or a service in relation to government-nominated accommodation, which is identified in the Operational protocol for COVID-19 testing of quarantine facility workers and other requirements approved by the Chief Health Officer including:
Example: providing medical care to or taking a swab for COVID-19 testing from a quarantined person
Example: assisting a quarantined person with a disability with personal care needs such as showering
Example: monitoring and directing the movement of a quarantined person within the government-nominated accommodation
Example: cleaning a guest room at which a quarantined person is residing or has resided including after the quarantined person has departed
any other service identified in the Operational protocol for COVID-19 testing of quarantine facility workers and other requirements approved by the Chief Health Officer.
Example: providing check in or check out services for a quarantined person, preparing meals for consumption by staff or guest or, maintaining hotel premises
Quarantined person means an individual who has been directed to quarantine by an emergency officer (public health) under section 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.
Example: an individual who has arrived from overseas and has been directed to quarantine for 14 days at a hotel under the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 18) or its successors.
Surgical mask means a single use surgical mask with a minimum level 2 barrier protection level under the Australian Standard (AS 4381:2015) that covers the nose and mouth.
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.
Transport operator means the person, business or entity that owns, controls or operates the transport service that is engaged by a Queensland government department or agency to transport quarantined persons to or from government-nominated accommodation or between a vessel.
Note: A transport operator must be endorsed by a government authority and have a Transport Plan in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.
Vessel means a commercial vessel, research vessel or government vessel that is in Australian waters and is 50 metres or more in length. It does not include cruise vessels, private vessels, super yachts or recreational vessels.