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Superseded - Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction

This direction has been superseded on 3 January 2022. See the current Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 7).

Summary

Effective from: 12am AEST 31 December 2021

Posted: 31 December 2021

Superseded on: 3 January 2022

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 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.

Preamble

This public health direction replaces the requirements for a diagnosed person contained in the revoked Designated COVID-19 Hospitals Network Direction (No.5), for the purpose of protecting the health of the community and health workers, and to safeguard the delivery of hospital care in Queensland. The direction mitigates the risk of the spread of COVID-19 by providing a consistent and best practice approach to the management of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland.

This Public Health Direction specifies the requirements that apply to individuals who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction.

Revocation

  1. The Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction made on 21 December 2021, the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.4) made on 22 December 2021 and the Management of Secondary Contacts Direction (No.3) made on 22 December 2021 are revoked from 11.59pm AEST 30 December 2021 and are replaced by this Direction.

Commencement

  1. This Direction applies from midnight 30 December 2021 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.

Application

  1. This Direction applies to a diagnosed person and to a close contact of a diagnosed person in Queensland.

PART 1 – DIRECTION – ISOLATION FOR DIAGNOSED CASES OF COVID-19

  1. The purpose of this Part is to require persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to isolate in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

  2. Subject to paragraph 7, a diagnosed person must immediately upon being informed of their positive COVID-19 test result, travel by private transport or by transport arranged by government authority directly to isolate for a period of 7 days, or as otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health) at:

    1. their home, where their home is no more than two hours of safe driving distance from where the diagnosed person is informed of their positive COVID-19 test result; or

    2. place of accommodation, or other suitable premises; or

    3. another nominated premises as otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  3. Despite paragraph 6 a diagnosed person may travel directly to hospital by private transport or by ambulance to seek emergency treatment.

  4. A diagnosed person must:

    1. Inform their household and household like contacts that they are a confirmed case of COVID-19 and that each household member is considered to be a close contact; and

    2. not leave their home, accommodation or other nominated premises, except:

      1. for the purposes of seeking medical treatment at a hospital in accordance with paragraph 7; or

        Example — a person leaving isolation to go to a hospital by ambulance.

      2. to avoid 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; or accessing support from a domestic and family violence support service.

      3. in the event of an emergency situation; or

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

    3. must only travel under paragraph 8(b)(i) or 8(b)(iv) by:

      1. private vehicle; or

      2. ambulance service; or

      3. transport arranged by a government authority; and

    4. must not permit any other person to enter the premises unless that other person:

      1. usually resides at the premises or is residing at the premises for the purpose of isolation; or

      2. enters the premises to provide emergency, medical or other essential care to a person residing in the premises; or

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

  5. A diagnosed person must wear a surgical mask, and follow any additional infection control measures:

    1. when directed to do so by an emergency officer (public health); and

    2. when leaving isolation as permitted under paragraph 8(b), 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.

      Note: if a diagnosed person is evacuated in an emergency situation, they must advise emergency personnel they are a diagnosed person.

PART 2 – CLOSE CONTACT MUST ISOLATE

  1. A person who is informed or becomes aware they are a close contact of a diagnosed person must:

    1. if the person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 – immediately undertake a COVID-19 PCR test and isolate for 7 days from the date the person last had contact with the diagnosed person; or

    2. If the person does not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 – immediately undertake a Rapid Antigen Test and isolate for 7 days from the date the person last had contact with the diagnosed person; and

    3. Where the close contact is isolating with the diagnosed person as a member of their household, the isolation period is for the same period as the diagnosed person.

  2. A close contact required to isolate must travel by private transport or by transport arranged by government authority directly to isolate at:

    1. their home, where their home is no more than two hours of safe driving distance from where the diagnosed person is informed of their positive COVID-19 test result; or

    2. place of accommodation, or other suitable premises; or

    3. another nominated premises as otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  3. Despite paragraph 11 a close contact may travel directly to hospital by private transport or by ambulance to seek emergency treatment.

  4. A close contact required to isolate must not leave the premises in which they are isolating except:

    1. for the purpose of undertaking a COVID-19 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

      Note: a person in isolation must not leave isolation to purchase a Rapid Antigen Test but may leave to attend a point of care setting to obtain either a Rapid Antigen Test or a COVID-19 PCR test. Where a Rapid Antigen Test is required under this Direction, a COVID-19 PCR test is also acceptable.

    2. for the purpose of transporting a diagnosed person or close contact they are isolating with to obtain a COVID-19 test; or

      Example — a parent transporting their child who is a close contact to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test when showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

    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 isolation 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 3; or

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

  5. A close contact must wear a face mask:

    1. whenever directed to do so by a public health officer; and

    2. when leaving isolation as permitted under paragraph 13;

    3. if permitted to leave isolation on or before Day 7, until 14 days has passed since isolation as a close 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.

  1. Any travel by a close contact isolating at a premises under paragraph 13 must be by:

    1. ambulance service; or

    2. emergency services vehicle; or

    3. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    4. private transport.

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

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

  1. A close 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 isolation; 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 3 – CRITICALLY ESSENTIAL WORKERS

  1. A close contact who is required to isolate may only leave isolation to perform critically essential work under paragraph 13 after all the following requirements have been met:

    1. the person has relocated to separate accommodation where they will isolate alone until the requirement in paragraph 18(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 18(b) under paragraph 25.

    3. the person must have been approved as a critically essential worker in accordance with paragraph 19; and

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

    5. the person is fully vaccinated.

  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 19, 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 18 and who has been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 19 and 20 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, whichever is shorter; 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 17 and 18; 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 secondary contact or close contact, whichever is shorter.

  5. Despite the requirements in Part 2, a close contact who meets the requirements under paragraph 18 and who has been approved as a critically essential worker under paragraph 19 and 20 can end their isolation period.

  6. A person mentioned in paragraph 22 must remain in separate accommodation from the diagnosed person and any persons who are ordinarily members of their household until the end of the isolation period for the diagnosed person.

PART 4 – RELEASE FROM ISOLATION

  1. Provided the person does not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, a person subject to paragraph 6 or 10 may leave isolation at the earlier of:

    1. if the positive result for the diagnosed person is found to be a historic infection and the person is no longer considered infectious, the requirement to isolate ends; or

    2. 7 days after diagnosis if the person has undertaken a Rapid Antigen Test on Day 6 of isolation and has received a negative test result, if a further direction to isolate has not been given to the person under section 362H of the Public Health Act 2005; or

    3. if a further direction has been given to the person under section 362H of the Public Health Act 2005, at the time provided in that direction; or

    4. when certified for release, if a registered nurse, or a medical practitioner from a treating Hospital and Health Service (as defined under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 (Qld)) certifies that the person has met the ‘release from isolation’ criteria, including where applicable, the criteria for healthcare workers and workers in aged care facilities, as outlined in the ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units’, as amended from time to time, available at https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-novel-coronavirus.htm; or

    5. when authorised for release, if a medical practitioner working within a COVID-19 healthcare framework approved by Queensland Health determines the person meets the requirements for release from isolation and authorises their release.

  2. Certification under paragraph 24(d) and authorisation under paragraph 24(e) must be in writing but is not required to be in a particular form.

  3. Despite paragraph 13, a close contact who is isolating in the same premises as a diagnosed person is permitted to leave isolation after all of the following conditions have been met:

    1. the close contact has relocated to separate accommodation where they will quarantine until the requirement in subparagraph (b) can be met; and

      Note: where relocation to separate accommodation requires travel, the close contact must do so in accordance with paragraph 15.

    2. the diagnosed person has:

      1. undertaken a COVID-19 test at least 24 hours after the close contact has relocated to separate accommodation; and

      2. received a negative result from the test mentioned in subparagraph (b)(i); and

      3. the close contact has no symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

PART 5 – CONTACT TRACING

  1. If requested by a public health officer, a person must:

    1. provide the address of the premises they are isolating at; and

    2. a contact telephone number, email address and their date of birth; and

    3. if a parent, guardian or responsible adult of a minor who has been deemed to be a diagnosed person, provide the minor’s name and date of birth; and

    4. provide contact details, including at least a name and telephone number, of any other persons who are residing in, or have recently resided in, the premises or who are a household-like contact; and

    5. any other information or documents required by a  public health officer.

PART 6 – EXEMPTIONS

  1. The Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or their delegate may, having regard to the need to limit the spread of COVID-19, grant an exemption from all or part of this direction to an individual or class of individuals if other extreme exceptional circumstances exist.

  2. An exemption may be given on conditions and if so, the person given the exemption must comply with the conditions.

PART 7 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. An emergency officer (public health) may review a quarantine direction given under this or another public health direction and, if satisfied it is appropriate, vary or revoke the notice given to the diagnosed person or close contact and must notify the diagnosed person or close contact.

  2. A person who was subject to quarantine under any of the revoked Directions or their predecessors is now subject to the requirements of this Direction.

PART 8 – 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.

Dr John Gerrard
Chief Health Officer

31 December 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 5.25am 31 December 2021

Schedule 1 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

Close contact means a person who is a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person.

COVID-19 test means tested for COVID-19 either with a COVID-19 PCR test or, with a Rapid Antigen Test.

COVID-19 PCR test means for a person who is:

  1. 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

  2. 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.

Diagnosed person means an individual who has received a positive COVID-19 test result, or who has been otherwise informed that they have been diagnosed as having COVID-19, but does not include a person who is a cleared case of COVID-19.

Emergency officer (public health) means an emergency officer appointed under the Public Health Act 2005

Note: emergency officers appointed under the Public Health Act are public health officers and police.

Endorsed transport provider means the person, business or entity that owns, controls or operates a transport service endorsed by a Queensland government department or agency and with a Transport Plan in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.

Note: Information about endorsed transport operators and Transport Plans is available here: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/covid-19-testing-for-quarantine-facility-workers/endorsed-transport-providers.

Essential medical supplies include medicines prescribed by a doctor or dispensed by a pharmacist that are necessary to maintain treatment of the person’s pre-existing medical conditions, or to treat an urgent medical condition where the absence of prompt treatment would likely produce an adverse health outcome for the person.

Home means the place where the diagnosed person ordinarily resides.

Hospital means:

  1. a hospital, as defined in schedule 2 to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011; or

  2. a private health facility, as defined in section 8 of the Private Health Facilities Act 1999; or

  3. 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).

Hospital and Health Service means a hospital and health service as defined in Schedule 2 of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Household means, except in exceptional circumstances determined by the Chief Health Officer or delegate, a person or persons who ordinarily reside at the same premises or place of accommodation as the diagnosed person, and who are residing at the premises or place of accommodation at the time the diagnosed person receives their positive COVID-19 test result.

Example: Members of a family that live in the same house are a household. A group of unrelated people that share a house is a household.

Household-like contact means, except in exceptional circumstances determined by the Chief Health Officer, a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar setting, unless the person has been in a separate part of the house, place of accommodation, care facility or similar setting that has a separate point of entry, no shared common areas, where the person does not share that area for more than four hours, and the person has no contact or interaction with the diagnosed person for more than four hours.

Example: a person in a self-contained unit with a separate point of entry and access to shared common areas for less than four hours is not a household-like contact of a diagnosed person in another unit within a larger place of accommodation, such as a unit in mining camp accommodation.

Informed means given oral or written notice, irrespective of whether that oral or written notice is correct.

Example: a public health officer, a pathology lab, or another company contracted to contact cases may inform a person of their positive COVID-19 PCR test result by SMS, email or telephone call.

Isolate means to follow the requirements set out in paragraphs 5 to 17.

Nominated premises means:

  1. other premises, including government nominated accommodation as directed by an emergency officer (public health)

Place of accommodation means any accommodation, including temporary accommodation where the person is residing or staying, including for a holiday, when they become a diagnosed person.

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.

Private transport means:

  1. a private vehicle operated by the diagnosed person or by a person who is a close contact; or

    Example: a diagnosed person may drive themselves in their own car or be transported in a car driven by a close contact.

  2. if practical, by foot or via privately-owned bicycle, scooter or other personal mobility device, if the person is within 5 km from the premises and wears a face mask.

    Note: devices may be motorised or non-motorised, but must be privately owned i.e., travel is not permitted on any personal mobility devices hired through a shared-fleet scheme such as e-scooter or e-bike sharing schemes, council bike docking schemes etc.

Public health officer means an emergency officer or a contact tracing officer.

Rapid Antigen Test means a rapid antigen test approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for Use in Australia; where a Rapid Antigen Test is required or approved for use under this Direction, a COVID-19 Test may be used where a Rapid Antigen Test is not available.

Note: information about RAT can be found on the TGA website

Surgical mask means a single use surgical mask with a minimum level 1 barrier protection level under the Australian Standard (AS 4381:2015) that covers the nose and mouth.

Last updated: 3 January 2022