Superseded - Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 8)
This direction has been superseded on 12 December 2020. See the current Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 20).
Effective from: 1am AEST 1 December 2020
Posted: 30 November 2020
Superseded on: 12 December 2020
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 December 2020 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.
This Public Health Direction replaces the Public Health Direction referred to as the Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 7) made on 2 November 2020 and is the successor of that Direction.
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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.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 Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 8).
The Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 7) made on 2 November 2020 is revoked from 1am on 1 December 2020.
This Direction applies from 1am on 1 December 2020 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.
PART 1 —REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL HOSPITALS
This part applies to all hospitals in the State of Queensland.
A person, other than a patient of the hospital, must not enter, or remain at, a hospital in the State of Queensland from the time of publication of this direction until the end of the declared public health emergency if:
the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19, unless the person is no longer subject to a direction to self-isolate under section 362B or section 362H of the Public Health Act 2005; or
the person is subject to a direction to self-quarantine under section 362B or section 362H of the Public Health Act 2005; or
during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person arrived in Australia from a place outside Australia; or
during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person had known contact with a person who is a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
the person has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms consistent with COVID-19
the person has been tested for COVID-19 and has not yet received the results of that test.
The operator of a hospital in the State of Queensland must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain within a hospital if the person is prohibited from doing so under paragraph 7.
Visitors subject to self-quarantine direction or from overseas
Despite paragraphs 7(b) and 7(c), a person may enter, or remain at, a hospital if:
the person's presence at the hospital is for the purpose of an end of life visit for a patient of the hospital; and
the person has been granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate to:
enter Queensland and leave quarantine for an end of life visit under the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 18), or its successor; or
leave quarantine for an end of life visit under the Self-quarantine for Persons Arriving in Queensland From Overseas Direction (No. 6) or its successor.
A person who enters a hospital under paragraph 9 must comply with all conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer under the exemption.
If a person enters a facility under paragraph 9, the operator of the hospital must manage the person’s visit in accordance with the conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer under the exemption.
Example: An operator may need to ensure the patient being visited is in a single room, the visitor wears appropriate personal protective equipment, is escorted to and from the room, and avoids common areas and contact with other patients, visitors and staff.
PART 2 — MANAGING VISITOR ACCESS TO NON-RESTRICTED HOSPITALS
There is no limit under this Public Health Direction on the number of visitors at a hospital, other than a restricted hospital.
Note - All visitors remain subject to each hospital’s clinical guidelines for COVID-19. These clinical guidelines may be more restrictive than this direction, for example, in relation to the number and type of visitors. See paragraphs 13 and 14 for requirements for visitors to a restricted hospital.
PART 3 — MANAGING VISITOR ACCESS TO RESTRICTED HOSPITALS
Visiting patients in a restricted area
Subject to paragraph 14, a patient of a hospital in a restricted area may not have visitors.
The following patients of a restricted hospital may have visitors in accordance with the hospital’s clinical guidelines for COVID-19 approved by the operator of the hospital:
a patient of the hospital who is a child; or
a patient of the hospital being provided end of life care; or
a patient of the hospital being provided pregnancy or maternity related care; or
a patient of the hospital with a disability who requires support from a disability support worker or an informal carer; or
Example: A person may require support from a disability support worker or person who has provided long-term informal support such as, a family member or friend.
other patients that the operator of the hospital believes is necessary to have visitors for emergency or other compassionate grounds.
For the purposes of this Direction:
End of life visit means a hospital visit by a person for the purposes of end-of-life support for a patient of the hospital.
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).
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.
Patient of the hospital means a person who requests or is being provided with health, medical or pharmaceutical services by the hospital.
Restricted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website.
Restricted hospital means a hospital located in a restricted area.
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.
The Chief Health Officer may, in writing, grant an exemption from this direction in respect of a specified area of a hospital if the Chief Health Officer is satisfied, having regard to the need to limit the spread of COVID-19, that an exemption is appropriate due to:
the nature of the area; or
the existing limits on the number of people that may be present in the area (whether because of the operation of a direction under the Public Health Act 2005 or otherwise).
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:
- 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
27 November 2020
Published on the Queensland Health website on 30 November 2020 at 12.15pm