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Superseded - Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 3)

This direction has been superseded on 26 August 2022. See the current Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 5).

Summary

Effective from: Time of publication

Posted: 15 July 2022

Superseded on: 26 August 2022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 22 September 2022 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Peter Aitken, 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 amends the requirements for a diagnosed person and for close contacts contained in the Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 2) 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 maintaining a consistent and best practice approach to the management of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland and close contacts, appropriate to the current stage of the pandemic. This Public Health Direction specifies the mandatory and minimum requirements that apply to individuals who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and their close contacts. Individuals may choose to adopt greater infection control measures and nothing in this Direction prevents an employer, organisation or industry from implementing additional infection control measures through protocols, policies or local guidelines.

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 Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No.3).

Revocation

  1. The Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Close Contacts Direction (No. 2) made on 19 May 2022 is revoked and replaced by this Direction from the time of publication.

Commencement

  1. This Direction applies from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.

Application

  1. This Direction applies to a person that is a diagnosed person in the isolation or in the post-isolation period, and to a person that is a close contact in Queensland.

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

Isolation Requirements for Diagnosed Persons

  1. Subject to paragraph 6, a diagnosed person must, immediately upon being informed of their positive COVID-19 test result, travel as directly as practicable by transport permitted under paragraph 10 to isolate at the isolation premises for a period of 7 full days from the COVID-19 test date, or as otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  2. Despite paragraph 5, a diagnosed person may travel directly to hospital by private transport or by ambulance to seek emergency treatment.

  3. A diagnosed person must as soon as practicable inform each household member and household like contact that the diagnosed person is a confirmed case of COVID-19 and that each household member or household like contact is a close contact.

  4. A diagnosed person must not leave the isolation premises, except:

    1. for the purposes of seeking medical treatment at a hospital, travelling directly by private transport or by ambulance; or

    2. to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm; or

    3. in the event of an emergency situation; or

    4. to attend a birthing suite as a support person to a birthing mother, where the operator of the hospital has approved the person’s attendance; or

    5. to visit a patient, resident or client at a vulnerable facility for the purposes of an end-of-life visit, where the operator has approved the person’s attendance, and in accordance with the conditions prescribed in paragraphs 25 and 26; or

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

      Note: a diagnosed person entering a vulnerable facility must advise the setting that they are a diagnosed person in isolation, and follow any entry requirements of the setting, preferably before entering the setting.

  1. A diagnosed person must not permit any other person to enter the isolation premises unless that other person:

    1. usually resides at the premises or is residing at the isolation 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).

      Note: a diagnosed person is taken to have not permitted entry to the premises if entry occurs without the diagnosed person’s permission or is outside their control.

Transport to be used by Diagnosed Persons

  1. A diagnosed person must only travel under paragraphs 5, 8(b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) by:

    1. private transport; or

    2. ambulance service; or

    3. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    4. endorsed transport provider operating in accordance with an endorsed transport plan.

      Note: a diagnosed person may not travel by commercial or charter air travel

Mask requirements for Diagnosed Persons

  1. 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, 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, or where an exception in Part 3 applies.

      Note: where required or permitted to remove a mask under this Direction, a diagnosed person must first disclose they are a diagnosed person in isolation to the person requiring or permitting them to remove the mask.

PART 1A – RELEASE FROM ISOLATION – DIAGNOSED PERSON

  1. A diagnosed person who is in isolation will be released from isolation at the later of:

    1. 7 full days from the COVID-19 test date, if the person has no fever or acute respiratory symptoms, and sub-paragraph (c) does not apply; or

      Note: 7 full days is 7 x 24-hour periods.

    2. when fever or acute respiratory symptoms have resolved, if the diagnosed person has fever or acute respiratory symptoms on Day 7 of isolation; or

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

Early departure from government nominated accommodation

  1. A person isolating in government nominated accommodation, may leave during the seventh day of isolation, only in order to use government arranged transport on the seventh day, provided the person has had no symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for at least 24 hours.

  2. A person who leaves government nominated accommodation before the seventh full day of isolation has ended must, until the end of the isolation period:

    1. wear a surgical mask covering the person’s nose and mouth at all times outside the isolation premises, including outdoors, unless an exception in Part 3 applies; and

    2. remain physically distant from persons other than household members.

PART 1B – POST-ISOLATION REQUIREMENTS– DIAGNOSED PERSON

  1. Subject to the exceptions in Part 3, a person who has been a diagnosed person and who has been released from isolation must, for 7 full days from the end of isolation (the post-isolation period), wear a face mask covering the person’s nose and mouth at all times outside the home, including outdoors when unable to remain physically distant from persons other than household members.

  2. Subject to the exceptions in Part 4, a person who has been a diagnosed person, and who has been released from isolation must not enter and remain in a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting during the post-isolation period.

PART 1C – PREVIOUSLY DIAGNOSED PERSON

Note: Reinfection is possible following recent and/or prior recovery from COVID-19 and emerging evidence is being closely monitored.

  1. A previously diagnosed person who has recovered from COVID-19, and less than 28 days has passed since being released from isolation, is not subject to the requirements prescribed in Part 2 of this Direction.

    Note: The risk of reinfection is generally higher in people who are significantly immunocompromised. Where these people, who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, develop any new acute respiratory at any time after being a diagnosed person should contact their general practitioner or treating specialist for advice on testing or treatment for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

  2. A previously diagnosed person who has recovered from COVID-19, and more than 28 days has passed since being released from isolation, is required to comply with this Direction and, is to be considered a:

    1. diagnosed person if they test positive for COVID-19; and

    2. close contact if they meet the requirements prescribed in Part 2 of this Direction.

      Note: Testing for COVID-19 remains an important way to mitigate the risk of transmission. Any person who has recovered from COVID-19 and more than 28 days has passed since being released from isolation should test for COVID-19 if they develop new COVID-19 symptoms.

    Note: A previously diagnosed person who has recovered from COVID-19, and more than 28 days has passed since being released from isolation, that receives a positive COVID-19 test is reported and managed as a reinfection, unless otherwise determines to be an historical case.

PART 2 – REQUIREMENTS FOR CLOSE CONTACTS

  1. Subject to the exceptions in Part 3, during the 7 full days from the COVID-19 test date, a close contact must wear a face mask covering the person’s nose and mouth at all times outside the home, including outdoors when unable to remain physically distant from persons other than household members.

    Note: the COVID-19 test date is the date the diagnosed person tested positive for COVID-19.

  2. Subject to the exceptions in Part 4, during the 7 full days from the COVID-19 test date, a close contact must not enter and remain in a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting.

    Note: A close contact should follow the Guidelines for Close Contacts available at https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/exposed-to-covid/close-contacts/guidelines-for-close-contacts-in-queensland

    Note: nothing in this Direction prevents an employer, organisation or industry from implementing additional infection control measures through policies, protocols and local guidelines (for example, the Eastern Seaboard Cruise Protocols, guidelines for entry to a vulnerable facility or employer requirements for employees).

  3. A close contact must isolate as a diagnosed person if a positive COVID-19 test result is received at any time.

PART 3 – EXCEPTIONS TO FACE MASK REQUIREMENTS

  1. Despite paragraphs 11, 14(a), 15 and 19, the requirement to wear a face mask or surgical mask does not apply to–

    1. an infant or child under 12 years of age; or

    2. a person, including an infant or child, who has a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face mask or surgical mask unsuitable.

      Note: children under 12 years of age are not required, but are encouraged, to wear a face mask where it is safe to do so. Face masks, including surgical masks, are not considered safe for children under two years of age.

  2. A person who is required to wear a face mask or surgical mask under this Direction, may remove the face mask or surgical mask:

    1. 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

    2. if the nature of a person’s work or education means that clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential; or

    3. if the person is consuming food, drink or medicine; or

    4. if the person is a patient receiving healthcare to the extent that such healthcare requires that no face mask be worn while being provided; or

    5. where the person is asked to remove the face mask to ascertain the person’s identity; or

    6. where wearing a face mask would create a serious risk to that person’s life or health and safety, including if determined through work Occupational Health and Safety guidelines; or

    7. where the face mask must be removed for emergency purposes; or

    8. where removal of the face mask is required or authorised by law; or

    9. where doing so is not safe in all the circumstances; or

    10. where the person is assisting in, or undertaking, a disaster recovery activity; or

    11. where a higher level of personal protective equipment (PPE) than a face mask or surgical mask, where applicable, is required by a venue, facility or setting.

      Note: In the event of an inconsistency with the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No.5), the face mask requirements of this Direction prevail to the extent of any inconsistency.

  1. A person who is permitted to remove the face mask or surgical mask under paragraph 23 must resume wearing a face mask or surgical mask as soon as practicable after the permitted reason for removing the face mask or surgical mask ends.

PART 4 – EXCEPTIONS FOR ENTRY TO A VULNERABLE FACILITY OR HIGH-RISK SETTING

Exceptions for an end-of-life visit

  1. Despite paragraphs 5, 16 and 20 and subject to approval of the exception by the operator, a person will be permitted to enter and remain in a vulnerable facility for the purposes of an end-of-life visit, where the person:

    1. is a diagnosed person that is in isolation; or

    2. has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, where the person is a diagnosed person that is in the post-isolation period or a close contact.

  2. Where paragraph 25 applies, the person will only be permitted to enter and remain in a vulnerable facility where the person agrees to:

    1. advise the operator they are a diagnosed person or a close contact, prior to arrival at the vulnerable facility; and

    2. undertaken screening by the operator to inform an assessment of risk in accordance with a COVID-Safe Visit Procedure; and

    3. comply with all reasonable requirements of the operator and any conditions or restrictions imposed in accordance with a COVID-Safe Visit Procedure for the duration of their visit.

      Note: A COVID Safe Visit Procedure is an important way a vulnerable facility is able to manage the impact of the COVID-19 and mitigate risks to patients, residents and staff.

Exceptions during the post-isolation period and for close contacts

  1. Despite paragraphs 16 and 20, a person who is in the post-isolation period or who is a close contact may enter a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting where the person:

    1. requires medical care at a vulnerable facility; or

    2. is permitted to enter as an employee of the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting and, where the person is a close contact and meets the conditions in paragraph 30; or

    3. is a resident of the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting; or

    4. is a support person for a birthing mother in the birthing suite of a hospital, and the operator of the hospital has approved their attendance; or

    5. is entering a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting in the performance of an official duty as an emergency services responder provided the person is complying with face mask requirements of this Direction and any additional infection control measures required by their employer or the operator; or

    6. is permitted to enter the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting under another public health direction.

Exceptional and compassionate circumstances

  1. Despite paragraph 16 and 20 and subject to approval of the exception by the operator, a diagnosed person in the post-isolation period or a close contact may enter and remain in a vulnerable or high-risk setting as a visitor for an exceptional and compassionate circumstance, where the person:

    1. does not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19; and

    2. where the person is a close contact, has undertaken a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entering the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting and received a negative test result; and

    3. advises the operator they are either in the post-isolation period or a close contact, whichever applies, prior to arrival at the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting; and

    4. wears a surgical mask and complies with any additional PPE requirements of the operator; and

    5. complies with all reasonable requirements of the operator, including only entering parts of the vulnerable or high-risk setting specified by the operator and following visitor guidelines for the duration of their visit.

      Note: unless it is for an end-of-life visit and an exception under paragraph 25 applies, a person seeking to enter and remain in a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting for an exceptional and compassionate circumstance that does not fully meet the criteria prescribed in paragraphs 28(a)-(e) should seek an exemption in accordance with Part 5 of this Direction.

  2. An exceptional and compassionate circumstance includes:

    1. visiting a patient, client or resident for an end-of-life visit; or

    2. visiting a patient, client or resident who is seriously or critically ill; or

    3. a parent visiting their infant that is an inpatient in a special care unit or neonatal intensive care unit; or

    4. attending as a support person for a dependent requiring critical medical treatment; or

    5. an emergency.

Close contact employees at a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting

  1. In accordance with paragraph 27(b), a close contact that is an employee at a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting may continue to work at the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting where the close contact:

    1. advises the operator of their close contact status; and

    2. remains without symptoms consistent with COVID-19; and

    3. complies with the vaccination requirements that apply to the person as an employee at the vulnerable facility; and

    4. wears a surgical mask or complies with any greater PPE requirements of the vulnerable facility while at work; and

    5. undertakes a COVID-19 test and receives a negative test result on the day of their first shift and every second day thereafter while you are working and you are a close contact.

  2. An employee at a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting that becomes a close contact is not subject to the requirements prescribed in Part 2 of this Direction where the employee was a diagnosed person who has recovered from COVID-19, and less than 28 days has passed since the person was released from isolation.

    Note: An employee at a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting must comply with any workplace health and safety requirements set by the operator or their employer. This may include any conditions or requirements for any employee who develops any acute respiratory symptoms, even where the employee may have recently recovered from COVID-19.

Obligations of an operator of a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting

  1. An operator of a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting must take all reasonable steps to ensure a diagnosed person or a close contact entering a vulnerable facility or high risk setting under this Direction complies with the conditions of entry to the setting and does not enter or remain within the setting if the person is prohibited from doing so under this Direction.

  2. To ensure compliance with this Direction and any relevant policies to minimise the risk of COVID-19 and facilitate an exceptional visit by a diagnosed person or a close contact to a vulnerable facility, an operator of a vulnerable facility must:

    1. develop, approve and regularly review a COVID-Safe Visit Procedure; and

    2. where an operator is authorised under this Direction to approve any requests by exception for a person to enter and remain in the vulnerable facility for a specified purpose, utilise the COVID-Safe Visit Procedure to inform decision-making and any conditions to be imposed; and

    3. consider individual circumstances on a case-by-case basis for any exception requests, keeping patients and residents at the centre of decision-making; and

    4. keep records of all requests for exceptional entry to the operator under this Direction, including any decisions and decision-making for at least 28 days from the day of entry and provide to the person requesting entry, or to an authorised person where requested.

PART 5 – 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 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 6 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. An emergency officer (public health) may review an isolation 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 and must notify the diagnosed person.

Transitional Arrangements

  1. A person who was subject to isolation under the Management of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Close Contacts Direction (No.2) is now subject to the requirements of this Direction and may end isolation where the requirements of this Direction are met.

PART 7 – 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 Peter Aitken
Chief Health Officer

15 July 2022

Published on the Queensland Health website 15 July 2022 at 6:00pm

SCHEDULE 1 – DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

Acute respiratory symptoms include sore throat, runny nose or a productive cough. Some people with COVID-19 experience ongoing symptoms including mild fatigue, mild dry cough or loss of taste or smell which are not acute respiratory symptoms.

Close contact means a person who is a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person on the COVID-19 test date.

Given reinfections may occur as early as 28 days after recovery from a previous COVID-19 infection, a person who has previously been a diagnosed person and recovered from COVID-19, and more than 28 days has passed since being released from isolation, will become a close contact if they meet requirements of Part 2 and will be subject to the requirements of a close contact prescribed in this Direction.

Corrective services facility means a facility listed in Schedule 4 of the Corrective Services Act 2006, specifically:

  1. a prison

  2. a community corrections centre

  3. a work camp

  4. a temporary corrective services facility declared under section 268(2)

COVID-Safe Visit Procedure means a document (in written or electronic form) developed by an operator that prescribes the policies and/or processes for managing a diagnosed person or a close contact visiting a vulnerable facility. The COVID-Safe Visit Procedure must be used to inform decisions by the operator or employees of a vulnerable facility to manage a diagnosed person or a close contact entering a vulnerable facility both safely and compassionately. Development, approval, monitoring and compliance with the COVID-Safe Visit Procedure is the responsibility of the operator, and the COVID-Safe Visit Procedure does not need to be approved by the Chief Health Officer or delegate.

The COVID-Safe Visit Procedure may include policies and processes relating to such matters as:

  1. symptom check of visitor and management of any symptoms to mitigate risk;

  2. PPE requirements;

  3. physical distancing;

  4. cleaning, sanitising and hygiene activities;

  5. location of visit and access areas within facility, including ventilation; and

  6. timing, duration and frequency of visits.

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.

COVID-19 test means tested for COVID-19 either with a COVID-19 PCR test or with a Rapid Antigen Test, or for a child under two years of age means a COVID-19 PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test administered by a health professional.

Note: Where a Rapid Antigen Test is required under this Direction, a COVID-19 PCR test is also acceptable.

Note: Home Rapid Antigen Testing is not recommended for children under two years of age; they can only be tested using a COVID-19 PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test administered by a health professional. A Rapid Antigen Test may be used for children over the age of two.

COVID-19 test date means the date that a diagnosed person undertook the COVID-19 test that provided a positive test result and is Day 0 when calculating the time for isolation or for a requirement to undertake a COVID-19 test.

COVID-19 vaccine means a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Australia or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Disaster recovery activity means the activities required immediately following a disaster for safety and to secure property, including for example rubbish removal, cleaning, fire, water and electrical safety activities, and emergency repairs.

Diagnosed person means an individual who has within the previous 14 days received a positive COVID-19 test result, or who has been otherwise informed that they have been diagnosed as having COVID-19 and is in either the isolation or post-isolation period.

Given reinfections may occur as early as 28 days after recovery from a previous COVID-19 infection, a person who has previously been a diagnosed person and recovered from COVID-19, and more than 28 days has passed since being released from isolation, is:

  1. a diagnosed person if they test positive for COVID-19, and reported and managed as a new case; and

  2. a close contact in accordance with Part 2 of this Direction; and

  3. will be subject to the requirements of a diagnosed person or close contact prescribed in this Direction.

Educational placement means a placement in a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting that is undertaken in connection with an enrolled course of study and under the supervision of an employee or contractor at the setting, or as part of a professional development arrangement.

Employee means a person engaged or employed, whether paid or unpaid, to perform work or provide services whether as a contractor, under an employment agreement or under another engagement to perform work, and includes a student undertaking an educational placement or a volunteer.

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.

Emergency services responder means:

  1. a member of the Queensland Police Service, National Security, Border Patrol or the Australian Defence Force who, in the performance of official duties, is responding to an emergency, providing an emergency service, undertaking a time critical legislated regulatory or compliance function;

  2. a member of the Queensland Ambulance Service, an officer of St John Ambulance Australia, or aeromedical services crew, such as RACQ Lifeflight crew, Royal Flying Doctor Service or CareFlight who, in the performance of official duties, is responding to an emergency, providing an emergency service;

  3. a member of the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Services and Fire and Rescue Service personnel who, in the performance of official duties, is responding to an emergency, providing an emergency service, undertaking a time critical legislated regulatory or compliance function;

  4. a disaster management responder who, in the performance of official duties, is responding to an emergency, providing an emergency service; or

  5. a union official responding to an emergent need.

Endorsed transport plan means the Transport Plan for the transport service, in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.

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 that has a Transport Plan in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.

Face mask means a cloth face mask with three layers that covers the nose and mouth, or a surgical mask.

Note: a scarf or bandana is not a face mask.

Fever means a temperature of 37.5 degrees celsius or greater.

Government nominated accommodation has the same meaning as in the Requirements for Workers at Government Nominated Accommodation Direction.

Home means the place where the diagnosed person or close contact ordinarily resides or is residing

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).

Household member means, except in exceptional circumstances determined by the Chief Health Officer or delegate, persons who ordinarily reside at the same premises or place of accommodation and who are residing at the premises or place of accommodation at the relevant time for determining quarantine or another purpose under this Direction.

Example: Members of a family that live in the same house are household members. A group of unrelated people that share a house are household members. A person who is away from the house at the time the positive test result is received but who ordinarily resides at the house and was present when the test was undertaken will still be a close contact of a diagnosed person within the 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, such as a residential aged care facility, disability accommodation, hospital or similar setting, unless:

  1. the person has been in a separate part of the house or place of accommodation that has a separate point of entry; and

  2. any use of shared or common areas of the house or place of accommodation also used by the diagnosed person has been for a period of less than four hours; and

  3. any contact or interaction with the diagnosed person was for less than four hours duration.

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 or a person becomes aware by other ways than oral or written notice.

Isolate means to follow the requirements set out in paragraphs 5 to 15.

Isolation refers to separating a diagnosed person with a contagious disease (such as COVID-19) from a population without that disease and in this Direction means to follow the requirements set out in paragraphs 5 to 15.

Isolation period means the period from the COVID-19 test date until the diagnosed person is released from isolation under paragraph 12.

Isolation premises for a diagnosed person means:

  1. their home, where their home is a safe driving distance from where the diagnosed person is informed of their positive COVID-19 test result; or

  2. their place of accommodation, or other premises at which the diagnosed person can comply with the isolation requirements; or

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

  4. a part of any of the premises identified in sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) where only that part of the premises is used for isolation.

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

Operator means the person who owns, controls or operates a vulnerable facility or high-risk setting.

Physically distant means a distance of at least 1.5 metres away from other persons.

Place of accommodation means any accommodation, including temporary accommodation such as a holiday apartment, hotel, or on a cruise liner or other marine vessel, where the person is residing or staying, including for a holiday, when they become a diagnosed person or close contact.

Post-isolation period means the period of 7 full days from the end of isolation (Days 7 to 14).

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 including a home, place of accommodation or other suitable premises and nominated premises, 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

    Note: private transport does not include commercial or charter air travel

    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 appointed under the Public Health Act 2005.

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 PCR Test may be used where a Rapid Antigen Test is not available.

Note: information about Rapid Antigen Tests can be found on the TGA website

Reinfection means a subsequent confirmed COVID-19 infection in a person with a recent known history of confirmed or probable COVID-19 that is determined to be separate to the previous infection based on epidemiological and/or laboratory findings.

Residential aged care facility means a 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:

  1. four or more people with disability reside with people who are not members of their family; and

  2. the residents share enclosed common living areas within the facility whether inside or outside, and

  3. the residents are provided with disability supports within the facility.

Student means a student who:

  1. in connection with an enrolled course of study, is undertaking an educational placement; or

  2. is entering the hospital as part of a placement in connection with an enrolled course of study.

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.

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:

  1. hospital; or

  2. residential aged care facility; or

  3. shared disability accommodation service.

Vulnerable facility or high-risk setting means:

  1. a vulnerable facility; or

  2. a corrective services facility.

Volunteer means a person engaged by a vulnerable facility or high risk setting to provide products or services on a voluntary basis and does not include a volunteer working for an organisation that is independent from the vulnerable facility or high-risk setting.

Last updated: 26 August 2022