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Superseded - Mass Gatherings Direction

This direction has been superseded by the Movement and Gathering Direction (No. 5)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)

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 19 May 2020.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believes it necessary to give the following directions pursuant to the powers under s362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

PART 1 — NON-ESSENTIAL MASS GATHERINGS OF 500 PERSONS OR MORE

The purpose of this Part is to prohibit non-essential mass gatherings of 500 persons or more.

Directions

  1. A person who owns, controls or operates premises in the State of Queensland must not allow a non-essential mass gathering of 500 persons or more to occur on the premises from the time of publication of this direction until the end of the declared public health emergency.
  2. A person must not organise a non-essential mass gathering of 500 persons or more on premises in the State of Queensland from the time of publication of this direction until the end of the declared public health emergency.
  3. A person must not attend a non-essential mass gathering of 500 persons or more on premises in the State of Queensland from the time of publication of this direction until the end of the declared public health emergency.

Definitions

For the purposes of the directions in paragraphs 1,2, and 3:

  1. Premises has the same meaning as in Schedule 2 of the Public Health Act 2005, but also includes land.
  2. A non-essential mass gathering is any gathering of five hundred (500) or more persons in an indoor or outdoor space, but does not include a gathering:
  3. at an airport that is necessary for the normal business of the airport;
  4. for the purposes of or related to public transportation, including in vehicles or at public transportation facilities such as stations, platforms and stops;
  5. at a medical or health service facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facilities;
  6. for the purposes of emergency services;
  7. at a disability or aged care facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facility;
  8. at a prison, correctional facility, youth justice centre or other place of custody;
  9. at a court or tribunal;
  10. at Parliament for the purpose of its normal operations;
  11. at a food market, supermarket, grocery store, retail store, shopping centre that is necessary for the normal business of those premises;
  12. at a workplace, including but not limited to an office building, factory, manufacturing facility, resource extraction, mine or mineral processing facility, utilities or construction sites that is necessary for the normal operation of those premises;
  13. at a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility that is necessary for the normal business of the facility;
  14. at a hotel, motel or accommodation facility, such as a worker camp, that is necessary for the normal operation of accommodation services;
  15. at a place where five hundred (500) or more persons may be present for the purposes of transiting through the place;
  16. specified as exempt from this direction by the Chief Health Officer in writing.

Guidance

For the purposes of the directions in paragraph 1,2 and 3:

  1. For outdoor gatherings of fewer than 500 people, additional risk mitigation measures should be applied and followed by those who own, control or operate premises, as well as persons organising and attending the gathering.
  2. In a given occupied space, there must be no more than one person per four square metres of ground space.
  3. Availability of hand hygiene products and suitable waste receptacles, with frequent cleaning and waste disposal.
  4. Promotion of the Department of Health recommendations for unwell individuals to isolate at home and not attend.
  5. Food markets are exempt from the 500 person limit, however should undertake additional measures, such as control of patronage level numbers or stall density reduction to decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

PART 2 — 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 particular directions

    A person to whom a direction is given under this division must comply with the direction unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

    Maximum penalty—100 penalty units.

Dr Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer (Qld)
19 March 2020

Published on the Queensland Health website 19 March 2020, 9.59pm

Last updated: 27 March 2020