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Superseded - Residential Aged Care Direction (No.8)

This direction has been superseded on 30 September 2021. See the current Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 10).

Summary

Effective from: 1.00am AEST 29 September 2021

Posted: 29 September 2021

Superseded on:  30 September 2021

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 December 2021 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 s362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Preamble

  1. This Public Health Direction replaces the Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 7) made on 4 September 2021.

  2. The requirements set out in this Public Health Direction only apply while it is in force (until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless earlier revoked or replaced).

  3. The Commonwealth is responsible for regulating and funding aged care under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth). The requirements set out in this Public Health Direction are intended to operate in addition to any existing requirements under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), including related subordinate legislation.

  4. To the extent of any inconsistency between this Public Health Direction and a requirement under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), the Act applies or prevails.

  5. Separately from the requirements under Public Health Directions, under sections 362G and 362H of the Public Health Act 2005, an emergency officer (public health) can require a facility or person to comply with additional directions 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.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 8).

Revocation

  1. The Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 7) made on 4 September 2021 is revoked from time of publication of this Direction.

Commencement

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

PART 1 — GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. This part applies to all residential aged care facilities in the State of Queensland.

  2. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland if:

    1. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person who is an international arrival arrived in Australia from a place outside Australia; or

    2. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, or since the start date identified for the COVID-19 hotspot, whichever period is shorter, the person has been in a place which, at the time of entry to the facility, is a COVID-19 hotspot, outside of the Border Zone; or

      Example: A person travels to Queensland from Orange, NSW on 20 July. On 22 July, Orange, NSW is declared a hotspot with an identified start date of 22 July. The relevant date for considering entry to the residential aged care facility is 22 July, the date that the hotspot was identified. Since the person has not been in Orange on or after 22 July, they are able to enter the facility. Once Orange is declared not to be a hotspot, the restricted period no longer applies and a person who was in Orange while it was a hotspot can then enter the facility even if it is less than 14 days since they were in Orange.

    3. the person has been to an interstate exposure venue, unless 14 days have passed since the person was at the interstate exposure venue;

      Note: a person who has been to an interstate exposure venue must quarantine as required by the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No. 2) or successor.

    4. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry or since the start date identified for the interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities), whichever period is shorter, the person has been in a place which at the time of entry is an interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities).

    5. the person lives or works, or has lived or worked, in a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area after the identified start date, unless 14 days have passed since the person was in the Queensland COVID-19 restricted area;

    6. the person has been informed they are a close contact of a diagnosed person, unless their quarantine period has ended; or

      Note: Close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 under paragraph 10(e) does not include contact that occurs when a residential aged care worker or healthcare worker or practitioner providing health or medical care has been wearing appropriate PPE in accordance with Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance and has followed recommended infection control precautions.

    7. the person has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms consistent with COVID-19; or

    8. the person has been tested for COVID-19 and has not yet received the results of that test; or

      Note: See the exception in paragraph 11 for a person waiting for a result from a routine surveillance testing obligation.

    9. the person does not have an up to date vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to that person

      Note: the vaccination is not available to a person only if:

      • the person has a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccine; or
      • the person is observing the recommended waiting period between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine.

Exception for a person waiting for a COVID-19 test result

  1. Despite paragraph 10(g), a person may enter a residential aged care facility if the person is awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test taken in accordance with a surveillance testing obligation under a Public Health Direction or Protocol approved by the Chief Health Officer.

    Note: A person awaiting COVID-19 tests results as part of a surveillance testing obligation must still comply with the requirements in paragraphs 10(a) to (f), and 10(h). For example, a person awaiting results of a routine COVID-19 test required under a protocol must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Exception for emergency services by a person without an up to date influenza vaccination

  1. Despite paragraph 10(h), a person (other than a person whose presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing health, medical, personal care, or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the residential aged care facility), may enter and remain on the premises for the period reasonably required to provide an emergency service that is necessary for the effective operation of the residential aged care facility or to protect the health and safety of staff and residents on the condition that the person must practise physical distancing wherever possible, including maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres.

    Example – A plumber may make emergency repairs if an employee or contractor with an up to date vaccination against influenza is unable to attend.

    Note – An ambulance officer, nurse, doctor or other health care worker, including a student, is not permitted to enter premises under this paragraph and must have an up to date influenza vaccination due to the health risks posed by close contact with aged care residents if the vaccination is available to the person.

Exception for people entering from interstate area of concern

  1. Despite paragraph 10(d), the following persons may enter and remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility if the person obtains a negative COVID-19 test result in Queensland after returning from an interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities):

    1. an employee, contractor or student of the residential aged care facility; or

    2. a person providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the residential aged care facility, whether the goods are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    3. a person providing health, medical, personal care (such as hairdressing), pathology or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the residential aged care facility, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis;

    4. the person’s presence is required for emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or

    5. the person is a prospective resident of the residential aged care facility or a support person of a prospective resident; or

    6. with the permission of the operator of the residential aged care facility, a person maintaining continuity of care for a resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means; or

      Example for paragraph (f): A resident may require support from their primary care giver to eat their meals.

    7. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit for a resident of the residential aged care facility.

Exception for people entering from a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area

  1. Despite paragraph 10(e), the following persons may enter and remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility:

    1. an employee or contractor of the residential aged care facility; or

    2. a person providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the residential aged care facility, whether the goods are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    3. a person providing health, medical, personal care (such as hairdressing), pathology or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the residential aged care facility, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis;

    4. the person’s presence is required for emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or

    5. the person is a prospective resident of the residential aged care facility or a support person of a prospective resident; or

    6. with the permission of the operator of the residential aged care facility, a person maintaining continuity of care for a resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means; or

      Example for paragraph (f): A resident may require support from their primary care giver to eat their meals.

    7. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit for a resident of the residential aged care facility; or

    8. a fully vaccinated legal practitioner who is required to undertake essential legal work that must be completed face to face.

  2. Despite paragraphs 13 and 14, a person subject to a quarantine order issued by an emergency officer (public health) is not permitted to enter or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland.

    Example – a person who has been in a public exposure site as listed by the Victorian Government and who has travelled to Queensland and is now required to quarantine, or a person who is quarantining in a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area.

  3. If paragraph 13 applies to a person proposing to enter a residential aged care facility, the operator of the facility may require the person to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result obtained by the person in Queensland, after returning from interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities).

  4. If paragraph 14 applies to a person proposing to enter a residential aged care facility, the operator of the facility may require the person to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to residents of the facility, including use appropriate personal protective equipment, provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result obtained by the person in Queensland within the previous 72 hours, or provide evidence of having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia or endorsed by WHO-COVAX where the vaccination was obtained overseas.

    Note: Information about the World Health Organization COVAX program and WHO emergency use listing is available here: WHO COVID-19 vaccines

Obligation on operators

  1. The operator of a residential aged care facility must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises of the residential aged care facility if the person is prohibited from doing so under this Direction.

  2. Nothing in this Direction is to be taken to prevent a resident of a residential aged care facility from entering or remaining upon the premises of the residential aged care facility.

Workforce Management and Personal Protective Equipment

  1. The operator of a residential aged care facility must develop a Workforce Management Plan that:

    1. requires employees, contractors, volunteers and students to notify a residential aged care facility of their additional place of employment, if relevant;

    2. requires employees, contractors, volunteers and students if they become aware of a COVID-19 case identified at an additional place of employment, to notify the operator of a residential aged care facility;

      Note: This is to assist with contact tracing when an identified case of COVID-19 is confirmed.

    3. identifies how workforce surge requirements will be met if there is a COVID-19 event at the facility, in accordance with relevant guidance provided by Queensland Health;

    4. provides that the operator must notify the local Health Emergency Operations Centre of a critical workforce shortage for notification purposes.

      Note: The requirement for a residential aged care facility to notify the local Health Emergency Operations Centre will support Queensland Health’s COVID-19 response.

  2. It is recommended that the operator of a residential aged care facility ensure, to the extent possible, that employees, contractors, volunteers and students do not work across multiple care facilities.

    Note: Care facilities include but are not limited to hospitals, retirement villages, residential aged care facilities and distinct sections of a facility providing multiple types of care such as a Multi-Purpose Health Service.

  3. The operator of a residential aged care facility must ensure that where employees, contractors, volunteers and students do work across multiple care facilities, they must not enter, or remain on, the premises of the residential aged care facility without wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, in accordance with Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance.

    Note: A person who does not, or is unable to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, must not enter a residential aged care facility.

  4. The operator of a residential aged care facility must take reasonable steps to ensure the following, in accordance with relevant guidance provided by Queensland Health:

    1. employees, contractors who have contact with residents, volunteers and students undertake face to face infection control and personal protective equipment training; and

    2. ensure an adequate supply of personal protective equipment is available to respond to a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the residential aged care facility.

Residents

  1. The operator of a residential aged care facility must take reasonable steps to develop and document appropriate processes to ensure residents and their unique needs can be immediately identified in a COVID-19 event.

    Example: This may include requirements for residents to wear identification if appropriate, and to ensure residents’ personal preferences and needs are documented appropriately, for example by keeping a hard copy of each resident’s relevant records securely stored in the facility, including current medications list, personal care requirements and preferences, and their advance care planning documents and directions.

End of life visitors (international arrivals, COVID-19 hotspots and interstate exposure venues)

  1. Despite paragraphs 10(a) and 10(b) and 10(c) a person may enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility, with the permission of the operator of the facility, if:

    1. the person's presence at the premises is for the purpose of an end of life visit for a resident of the residential aged care facility; and

    2. the person has been granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate for an end of life visit under a Public Health Direction.

  2. Note: see paragraph 13 for when a person may also be permitted to make an end of life visit. For clarity, end of life visitors under paragraph 13 do not require an exemption.

  3. A person who enters a facility under an exemption granted under paragraph 75 must comply with all conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate under the exemption.

  4. If a person enters a facility under paragraph 25, the operator of the facility must take reasonable steps to manage the person’s visit in accordance with the conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate under the exemption.

    Example: An operator may need to ensure the resident 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 residents, visitors and staff.

PART 2 – VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS AND COMPLIANCE FOR RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITY STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

  1. This part applies to any person who is a residential aged care worker at a residential aged care facility, including:

    1. direct care workers, including nurses, personal care workers, allied health assistants;

    2. administration staff, including reception staff and management;

    3. ancillary staff, including food preparation staff, cleaners, laundry staff, gardeners and maintenance staff;

    4. lifestyle and social care staff, including for music and art therapy;

    5. transport drivers of residents of a residential aged care facility;

    6. a volunteer engaged by a residential aged care facility to undertake duties at a residential aged care facility;

      Note: volunteers who are not engaged by the residential aged care facility, for example community visitors providing companionship to a resident at the request of the resident, are not persons to whom this Part applies.

    7. a medical practitioner and allied health professional, including paramedics and emergency services staff who regularly attends and provides care to residents of a residential aged care facility whether employed or engaged by the resident, residential aged care facility or another person.

  2. Subject to paragraph 27, a residential aged care worker to whom this Part applies must not enter, engage in work or duties or provide services, at a residential aged care facility unless the person has met the following COVID-19 vaccination requirements:

    1. the person has:

      1. by 16 September 2021, received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia; and

      2. for a health service employee - by 31 October 2021, received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia; or

      3. for a residential aged care worker other than a health service employee - by 31 October 2021, received, or has evidence of a booking to receive, the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia; or

        Note: where a residential aged care worker in paragraph 29(a)(iii) only has evidence of a booking to receive a final prescribed dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia they must provide the operator with confirmation of their vaccination as soon as reasonably practicable after the booking date.

        Note: residential aged care workers are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, through Queensland Health clinics, as members of priority group 1, irrespective of the worker’s age.

    2. where the person has been vaccinated overseas, the person has received the prescribed number of doses of a WHO-COVAX approved COVID-19 vaccine.

      Note: Information about the World Health Organization COVAX program and WHO emergency use listing is available here: WHO COVID-19 vaccines

  3. A residential aged care worker in a residential aged care facility must notify the operator, or their nominated representative, of each residential aged care facility they enter, work in, or perform services in, of their compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements, by providing:

    1. evidence of having received at least their first vaccination dose - by 17 September 2021 for a residential aged care worker; and

    2. evidence of having received the prescribed number of doses of their COVID-19 vaccination:

      1. for a health service employee – by 1 November 2021; or

      2. for other residential aged care workers - as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving their prescribed number of doses.

      Note: A residential aged care worker can provide evidence of vaccination in their immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register. A residential aged care worker can obtain their immunisation history statement from the Australian Government using myGov, the Medicare mobile app or by calling the Australian Immunisation Register and requesting a statement to be posted. Information is available at: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register/how-get-immunisation-history-statement. Where an immunisation history statement is not available, a residential aged care worker may provide another form of written evidence.

Exceptional circumstances

  1. A person, or class of person to whom this Part applies may enter, engage in work or duties, or provide services at a residential aged care facility, despite not having met the vaccination requirements in paragraph 30, where the operator assesses the risk to residents and other residential aged care workers and determines one or more of the following apply:

    1. it is reasonably necessary to respond to a critical workforce shortage; or

    2. the person’s work or duties at the residential aged care facility are necessary to provide for specialist clinical care of a resident; or

    3. the person’s work or duties at the residential aged care facility are necessary to ensure non-specialist maintenance of the quality of care available to residents; or

    4. for a residential aged care worker other than a health service employee – it is not reasonably practicable to deploy a residential aged care worker with a medical exemption to an alternative work site.

  2. Note: the reasons in paragraph 31 should only continue until the residential aged care worker can meet the COVID-19 vaccination requirements where the medical exemption is temporary, or alternative staffing arrangements can reasonably and practicably be made.

    Example: an operator in a remote or regional setting, where there are no immediately available vaccinated staff to cover emergent leave, may determine that an unvaccinated worker is required to work the shift to ensure continuation of quality of care, based on their assessment of the risks and ability to use alternative risk mitigation strategies such as PPE.

  3. A medical exemption applies where the person:

    1. is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because the person has a recognised medical contraindication; and

    2. provides the operator of the residential aged care facility with a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner certifying

      1. that the person is unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccination because the person has a recognised medical contraindication;

      2. whether the medical contraindication will permanently or temporarily prevent COVID-19 vaccination; and

      3. when the person may be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, where the medical contraindication only temporarily prevents COVID-19 vaccination.

  4. Where the doctor certifies that a person has a temporary medical contraindication for not being able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, paragraph 31 only applies for the period specified in the medical certificate provided by the doctor. If the medical reason continues beyond that period, the person must provide a new medical certificate from their doctor, certifying the matters in 32(b).

  5. Despite paragraph 29, a residential aged care worker who does not comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements may enter, work in and provide services in a residential aged care facility if the entry, work or services are immediately necessary to provide emergency care to a resident of the facility.

  6. A residential aged care worker must report the entry under paragraph 34 to the operator or their nominated representative as soon as is reasonably practicable.

  7. A residential aged care worker who does not comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements or the notification requirements in paragraph 30 may enter the residential aged care facility as a personal visitor of a resident of the facility or as a support person for a prospective resident, but must not enter, work in, or provide services as a residential aged care worker, and must comply with all other public health directions applicable to entering a residential aged care facility.

    Example – a residential aged care worker may have a parent or friend who is a resident of the facility. The residential aged care worker may continue to make personal visits even if they have not complied with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The personal visits must comply with the entry requirements in this Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 8) or its successor.

Requirements for operators

  1. An operator must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a residential aged care worker does not enter, work in, or provide services in the residential aged care facility if the person is prohibited from doing so under this Direction.

  2. An operator must take all reasonable steps to facilitate access to COVID-19 vaccination for residential aged care workers engaged by the residential aged care facility, including access to off-site vaccination.

  3. An operator of a Queensland Health residential aged care facility must ensure a health service employee who is unable to be vaccinated due to a medical contraindication or shortage of vaccinations is temporarily deployed to another work unit until this Direction is revoked.

  4. Where paragraph 39 applies and deployment is not reasonably practicable the health service employee must discuss the situation with their line manager, and the operator or their nominated representative must consult with the local Human Resources Team for other options.

  5. Where a residential aged care worker does not comply with the vaccination requirements in paragraph 29 for reasons other than in paragraph 31, the operator or their nominated representative must ensure the employee does not work in, or provide services in a residential aged care facility. The operator or their nominated representative in a Queensland Health residential aged care service must also consult with the local Human Resources Team regarding options for the health service employee.

Reporting requirements

  1. An operator or their nominated representative must keep a record, either locally or centrally, of COVID-19 vaccination reported to it by a person to whom paragraph 30 applies. The information is collected and used for ensuring compliance with the Direction and to comply with Commonwealth reporting obligations related to aged care.

  2. The information must be stored in a secure database that is accessible to authorised persons only and maintained in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 and the Public Records Act 2002.

Other

  1. Nothing in this part prevents a person who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 from entering any part of a residential aged care facility:

    1. for the purposes of performing a law enforcement function that cannot reasonably be performed other than by entering the residential aged care facility; or

    2. in pursuance of a statutory duty arising under a law of the Commonwealth that cannot reasonably be performed other than by entering the residential aged care facility; or

    3. performing any function or duty or exercising any right or power under a Work Health and Safety entry permit issued by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) or an entry permit issued by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission under the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld); or

    4. performing any function or duty or exercising any right or power under a Fair Work entry permit issued by the Fair Work Commission under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or a Work Health and Safety entry permit issued by the Fair Work Commission under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth).

PART 3 — MANAGING ACCESS TO NON-RESTRICTED RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. The purpose of this Part is to manage contact between residents and non-residents of a non-restricted residential aged care facility.

Visitors

  1. A person may enter a non-restricted residential aged care facility under this Part unless the person is prohibited from entering the residential aged care facility under paragraph 10.

    Examples – A relative, friend, medical practitioner, hairdresser or attorney

  2. There is no limit under this Public Health Direction on the number of visitors at a non-restricted residential aged care facility.

    Note – See Part 4 for requirements for visitors to a restricted residential aged care facility.

  3. If a person is attending a non-restricted residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

    1. practise physical distancing; and

    2. limit their contact with other persons at the facility.

Residents

  1. The operator of a non-restricted residential aged care facility may permit a resident to leave the facility for any purpose.

    Note – Residents who form part of a familial group (for example, couples, siblings) or close friends should be permitted to leave the facility together. A resident who leaves a residential aged care facility must comply with other public health directions. For example, the Movement and Gathering Direction (No. 9) and its successors place restrictions on the number of people who may gather outdoors or at residences.

PART 4 — REQUIREMENTS FOR RESTRICTED RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. The purpose of this Part is to provide requirements for restricted residential aged care facilities.

Person Permitted to Enter A Restricted Residential Aged Care Facility

  1. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland unless:

    1. the person is an employee or contractor of the restricted residential aged care facility; or

    2. the person’s presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the restricted residential aged care facility, whether the goods are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or

    3. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing health, medical, personal care (such as hairdressing), pathology or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the restricted residential aged care facility, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis;

    4. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit for a resident of the restricted residential aged care facility; or

      Note – Paragraphs 25 to 26 require persons coming from overseas or COVID-19 hotspots to obtain an exemption before attending a residential aged care facility for an end of life visit.

    5. the person's presence at the premises is required for the purposes of emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or

    6. the person's presence at the premises is in the person's capacity as a prospective resident of the restricted residential aged care facility or as a support person of a prospective resident of the restricted residential aged care facility; or

    7. the operator of a residential aged care facility has granted permission for the person to enter a restricted residential aged care facility for the purposes of maintaining continuity of care for a resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means; or

      Example: A resident may require support from their primary care giver to eat their meals.

    8. the person is a fully vaccinated legal practitioner who is required to undertake essential legal work that must be completed face to face.

  2. A person may not enter to visit a resident in a restricted residential aged care facility other than in accordance with paragraph 53(d) above.

    Note – personal visits are not permitted in a restricted residential aged care facility.

  3. Despite paragraph 53 a person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility unless in accordance with Part 1 of this Direction.

Residents

  1. The operator of a restricted residential aged care facility must not permit a resident, excluding an end of life resident, to leave the facility except:

    1. to receive or access health care; or

    2. to attend a funeral; or

    3. in the case of emergency or on any other compassionate grounds.

Wearing of Face Masks

  1. Any person (other than a resident) must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility without wearing a single use surgical face mask.

    Note – a person who does not, or is unable to wear a face mask, must not enter a restricted residential aged care facility.

  2. Despite paragraph 57, a person may remove their single use surgical face mask if wearing one is not safe in all the circumstances.

    Example – a person may temporarily remove their face mask if wearing one will cause severe distress to a resident.

  3. A person who removes their single use surgical face mask under paragraph 58 must resume wearing the single use surgical face mask as soon as practicable after the circumstance ends.

    Example – a person must resume wearing a face mask as soon as they leave the distressed resident’s room.

  4. A person may be required to wear additional personal protective equipment in certain circumstances in accordance with Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance.

Workforce Management and Personal Protective Equipment

  1. A person providing direct care to a resident, including providing health, medical, personal care, pathology or pharmaceutical services to residents in a restricted residential aged care facility, must wear appropriate personal protective equipment in accordance with Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance.

  2. The operator of a restricted residential aged care facility must take all reasonable steps to ensure the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, in paragraphs 57, 60 and 61, by persons at a residential aged care facility, in accordance with Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance.

PART 5 – ELECTRONIC COLLECTION OF CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. The operator of a residential aged care facility must make all reasonable efforts to electronically collect contact information about all visitors, including volunteers and contractors, to a residential aged care facility at the time of entry, by either:

    1. requesting visitors use the Check In Qld app; or

    2. registering visitors through the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app.

      Example – a person may be unable to use the Check in Qld app due to age, disability, language barriers or does not possess the technology or own a mobile phone. The residential aged care facility must register the visitor through the Business Profile mode. Alternatively, another person may provide contact information on their behalf under paragraph 67.

      Note – contact information must be collected for visitors to non-restricted residential aged care facilities and visitors permitted to visit restricted residential aged care facilities under paragraph 53 of the Direction.

  2. Despite paragraph 63, an operator of a residential aged care facility is not required to request a person’s contact information under paragraph 63 if:

    1. the person is entering a residential aged care facility in an emergency or entering to provide emergency services; or

    2. the person is or appears to be younger than 16 years old and is not accompanied by a responsible parent or adult; or

    3. it is not reasonable to request contact information based on compassionate grounds or a risk to a person’s safety.

  3. An operator of a residential aged care facility must make all reasonable efforts to clearly display the Check In Qld app QR code at each entry to the residential aged care facility that is used by visitors, volunteers or contractors.

  4. A person who is permitted to enter a residential aged care facility under this Direction as a visitor, including volunteers and contractors, must at the time of entry provide the person’s contact information to the operator of a residential aged care facility by:

    1. using the Check In Qld App; or

    2. providing their contact details to the operator of the business to be registered using the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app; or

    3. if another method of collection is being used under paragraph 69, using that method.

  5. If a person is unable to provide contact information because of age, disability or an inability to speak or comprehend the language used by the Check In Qld App or the other method of collection, another person may provide contact information on the person’s behalf.

  6. Despite paragraph 66, a person who is permitted to enter a residential aged care facility under this Direction as a visitor, including volunteers and contractors, is not required to provide the person’s contact information to the operator of a residential aged care facility if:

    1. the person is entering a residential aged care facility in an emergency or entering to provide emergency services; or

    2. the person is under the age of 16 years old and is not accompanied by a responsible parent or adult; or

    3. it is not reasonable for a person to provide contact information based on compassionate grounds or a risk to a person’s safety.

      Example – a support person arriving at the facility to respond to an emergency situation relating to a resident is not required to provide their contact information on entry to the facility.

Collection of contact information using another method due to temporary circumstances

  1. If an operator of a residential aged care facility cannot electronically collect contact information for visitors to the facility at the time of entry because it is not possible to use the Check In Qld app due to unexpected circumstances or because the facility is located in a place that does not have mobile internet data connection, the person must collect and keep contact information using another method.

    Example – another electronic method such as a spreadsheet or another method such as a paper-based form

Note - unexpected circumstances may include temporary issues with failure of an internet service or breakdown in the Check In Qld app.

  1. If contact information is collected using ‘another method’ under paragraph 69, the operator of a residential aged care facility must:

    1. use best endeavours to transfer any non-electronic information to an electronic system within 24 hours of collecting the information; and

      Example - an electronic method such as a spreadsheet

    2. comply with the requirements for collection and storage; and

    3. if requested, provide the information collected under paragraph 69 and the electronic information under paragraph 70(a) to a public health officer within a stated time.

PART 6 – MANAGING STUDENT ACCESS TO RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. A student must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility for the purpose of a placement in connection with an enrolled course of study.

    Example: If Cairns is identified as a restricted area, a student cannot enter a residential aged care facility in Cairns for a placement.

    Note: nothing in this Direction prevents a student from entering a restricted residential aged care facility for another reason such as making a permitted end of life visit.

  2. A student must not enter, or remain on, the premises of an impacted residential aged care facility for the purpose of a placement in connection with an enrolled course of study, unless they are a vaccinated student.

    Example: Brisbane is an impacted area. A student, who is not vaccinated, cannot enter a residential aged care facility in Brisbane for a placement.

    Note: A student who is not vaccinated because of a contraindication cannot enter an impacted residential aged care facility.

  3. A student who has been in a restricted area since the date the area was identified as a restricted area, cannot enter a non-restricted residential aged care facility or an impacted residential aged care facility, unless 14 days have passed since they have been in a restricted area.

    Example: If Cairns is identified as a restricted area on 8 August, a student who has been in Cairns on 9 August cannot enter a residential aged care facility in a non-restricted area such as Innisfail for a placement until Cairns is no longer a restricted area or 14 days have passed since they were in Cairns.

  4. A student who has been in an impacted area since the exposure date for an impacted area, cannot enter a non-restricted residential aged care facility outside an impacted area, unless they are a vaccinated student or 14 days have passed since they were in the impacted area.

    Example: Brisbane is an impacted area. A Brisbane-based student, who is not vaccinated, cannot enter a residential aged care facility in Gympie for a placement unless 14 days have passed since they were in Brisbane.

    Note: A student who has been in an impacted area and is not vaccinated because of a contraindication cannot enter a non-restricted residential aged care facility outside an impacted area.

  5. A vaccinated student mentioned in paragraphs 72 or 74 must provide evidence of having received the prescribed number of doses of their COVID-19 vaccination if requested by the operator of a residential aged care facility, or their nominated representative.

    Note: A vaccinated student can provide evidence of vaccination in their immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register. A vaccinated student can obtain their immunisation history statement from the Australian Government using myGov, the Medicare mobile app or by calling the Australian Immunisation Register and requesting a statement to be posted. Information is available at: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register/how-get-immunisation-history-statement.

PART 7— OTHER MATTERS

  1. The Queensland Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate may grant an exemption, with or without conditions:

    1. to allow a resident to leave the restricted residential aged care facility on compassionate grounds; or

    2. to facilitate an end of life visit; or

    3. to allow a person or class of persons to enter a restricted residential aged care facility to provide necessary goods or service to a resident that cannot be provided by the facility.

  2. An emergency officer (public health) can require the operator of a residential aged care facility 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.

  3. A person is taken not to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot under this Direction if the person complies with the transit exceptions in paragraph 6 of the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 26) or its successor.

    Note: under the Border Restrictions Direction a person is taken not to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot if they

    1. arrived in a COVID-19 hotspot by air for the sole purpose of transiting through an approved airport in the COVID-19 hotspot and did not leave the confines of the airport; or

    2. transited through a COVID-19 hotspot by road using private transport stopping only for essential fuel and fatigue management, wore a face mask at all times when stopping and did not stay overnight in a COVID-19 hotspot; or

    3. arrived in a COVID-19 hotspot by road and used private transport to travel directly from their point of arrival to an airport in a COVID-19 hotspot, stopping only for essential fuel and fatigue management, wore a face mask at all times when stopping, to depart the COVID-19 hotspot by air.

  4. Definitions used in this Direction are in Schedule 1.

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 or 6 months imprisonment.

Dr Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer
28 September 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 1.00am AEST 29 September 2021.

SCHEDULE 1 – DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of these directions:

Australia means the Commonwealth of Australia and includes the external territories of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands and Heard and McDonald Islands but excludes the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Authorised person is a person approved or permitted, either locally within a Queensland Health residential aged care facility or centrally within the Department of Health, to access information provided under this Direction in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 and the Public Records Act 2002 and related instruments of delegation.

COVID-19 vaccination requirements for a residential aged care worker see paragraph 29.

Border zone has the same meaning as in the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 47) or its successors https://www.qld.gov.au/health/covid19/travel-declaration-map.

Business Profile mode means the ability for businesses to electronically register by entering customer contact details via ‘Check In Qld Business Profile mode’ listed in the profile section of the app.

Check In Qld app means the app developed by the Queensland Government for contact tracing purposes which, when used by a person, provides the Queensland Government with the person’s contact information and details of the person’s attendance at a residential aged care facility.

Note – Each person should check in individually using the Check In Qld app or have a person in their group or the facility or service check in on their behalf.

Close contact has the same meaning as in the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 3) or its successors.

Contact information means, at a minimum, the name, phone number, email address, and the date and time of attendance of visitors, volunteers and contractors.

Close contact has the same meaning as in the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 3) or its successors.

COVID-19 hotspot means a particular area of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website  https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/declared-hotspots-direction.

Critical workforce shortage means a sustained workforce shortage in a residential aged care facility that the operator of the residential aged care facility considers may impact resident care or the effective operation of the facility.

Example: A critical workforce shortage may be a shortage of more than 10 per cent of staff for a sustained period of 7 days or more, however this will depend on the size of the facility and baseline staffing levels (including consideration of skills mix and rostering).

Diagnosed person has the same meaning as in the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 3) or its successor.

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.

End of life visit means a visit by a person for the purposes of end-of-life support for a resident.

Exposure date for an impacted area means the date specified in paragraph 14 of the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No. 15) (South East Queensland eased restrictions Stage 3) Direction or its successors.

Fully vaccinated means a person has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, or endorsed by WHO-COVAX and the vaccine was received overseas, and two weeks has passed.

Health service employee means an employee engaged under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 in Hospital and Health Services and the Department of Health.

Note: a health service employee who works in a multi-purpose health facility must be vaccinated if they will enter, work in, or perform services in the residential aged care portion of the facility.

Identified start date for a Queensland COVID-19 restricted area has the same meaning as in the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas Direction (No. 26) or its successors

Impacted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published in the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No. 17) (South East Queensland restrictions) Direction or its successors.

Impacted residential aged care facility means a residential aged care facility in an impacted area.

International arrival means a person who arrives in Queensland on a flight that is not a quarantine-free flight or who, in the 14 days immediately before their arrival to Queensland-

  1. has been in a place outside Australia, other than a safe travel zone country; or

  2. arrived in Australia by sea; or

  3. arrived in Australia by air on a flight that is not a quarantine-free flight, regardless of whether the flight originated from a safe travel zone country; or

  4. has been in a place declared a safe travel zone country hotspot.

Interstate area of concern (vulnerable facilities) means a particular area of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website [include link] for the purpose of restricting visitors to vulnerable facilities including residential aged care, shared disability accommodation services and hospitals.

Interstate exposure venue has the same meaning as in the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No. 3) or its successors.

Legal practitioner means an Australian lawyer who holds a current local practising certificate or a current interstate practising certificate.

Nominated representative of an operator is the person identified by the operator as their delegate for the purposes of this Direction. The nominated representative is to be readily identifiable and communicated to all health service employees within a Queensland Health residential aged care facility.

Non-restricted residential aged care facility means any residential area care facility in the State of Queensland, other than a restricted residential aged care facility.

Operator of a residential aged care facility means a person who owns, controls or operates a residential aged care facility, including a restricted residential aged care facility, and includes the Health Service Chief Executive of a Queensland Health residential aged care facility.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) means the relevant personal protective equipment referred to in Queensland Health’s Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance.

Physical distancing includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons where possible.

Public health officer includes an emergency officer (general), a contact tracing officer or an authorised person under section 377 of the Public Health Act 2005.

Quarantine-free flight means a flight that only carries passengers who have declared that in the 14 days prior to the flight’s departure they have only been in a safe travel zone country and have not been in a safe travel zone country hotspot.

Note: Information about quarantine free flights is available from the Australian Department of Home Affairs: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/new-zealand-safe-travel-zone

Queensland COVID-19 restricted area means a Local Government Area identified in the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas Direction (No. 26) or its successors.

Queensland Health residential aged care facility means the following Queensland Health facilities and for a multi-purpose health service, means the aged care portion in which accommodation, and personal 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 Commonwealth Government National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program or Multi-Purpose Services Program:

Hospital and Health ServiceFacility
Cairns and Hinterland Babinda Multi-purpose Health Service
Mossman Multi-purpose Health Service
Central Queensland Baralaba Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service
Blackwater Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service
Eventide Home Rockhampton
Mount Morgan Multi-purpose Health Service
Moura Multi-purpose Health Service
North Rockhampton Nursing Centre
Springsure Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service
Theodore Multi-purpose Health Service
Woorabinda Multi-purpose Health Service
Central West Alpha and Jericho Multi-purpose Health Service
Barcaldine Multi-purpose Health Service
Winton Multi-purpose Health Service
Darling Downs Dr E A F McDonald Nursing Home
Forest View Residential Care Facility
Inglewood Multi-purpose Health Service
Karingal Nursing Home
Millmerran Multi-purpose Health Service
Milton House
Mt Lofty Nursing Home
Texas Multi-purpose Health Service
The Oaks Residential Aged Care Facility
Mackay Clermont Multi-purpose Health Service
Collinsville Hospital
Metro North Gannet House
Cooinda House
Metro South Redland Residential Care Facility
North West Cloncurry Hospital
McKinlay Shire Multi-purpose Health Service
South West Augathella Multi-purpose Health Service
Cunnamulla Multi-purpose Health Service
Dirranbandi Multi-purpose Health Service
Injune Multi-purpose Service
Mitchell Multi-purpose Health Service
Mungindi Multi-purpose Health Service
Quilpie Multi-purpose Health Service
Surat Multi-purpose Service
Waroona Multipurpose Centre
Westhaven Nursing Home
Sunshine Coast Glenbrook
Torres and Cape Cooktown Multi-purpose Health Service
Weipa Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service
Townsville Eventide Charters Towers
Parklands Residential Aged Care Facility
Hughenden Multi-purpose Health Service
Richmond Multi-purpose Health Service
Wide Bay Biggenden Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service
Childers Multi-purpose Health Service
Eidsvold Hospital Multi-purpose Health Service
Mundubbera Multi-purpose Health Service

Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance means the Queensland Health document Pandemic Response Guidance: Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability accommodation services https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/1003633/pandemic-response-guide-ppe-agedcare-disability-services.pdf, or its successor.

Residential aged care facility means a facility, including a Queensland Health residential aged care 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.

Residential aged care worker means any person:

  1. employed or engaged by or on behalf of a residential aged care facility (whether as an employee, contractor or agency staff) to work in, perform duties or provide services for residents at a residential aged care facility on a full time, part time or casual basis; and

  2. includes a health service employee and a person engaged (whether as an employee, contractor or agency staff) to work in, perform duties or provide services at a Queensland Health residential aged care facility; and

  3. for the purposes of Part 2, includes a medical practitioner and allied health professional, including paramedics and emergency services staff. who regularly attends and provides care to residents of a residential aged care facility whether employed or engaged by the resident, residential aged care facility or another person;

    Example: a nurse contracted to fill a staffing shortage and provide care for residents in a nursing home may be a contractor but is also a residential aged care worker; a contractor, such as a mowing service , that is hired by the facility for yard maintenance is not considered a residential aged care worker.

Resident of a residential aged care facility means a person who ordinarily resides at the facility.

Restricted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/queensland-covid-19-restricted-areas.

Restricted residential aged care facility means a residential aged care facility located in a restricted area.

Safe travel zone country has the same meaning as in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 12) or its successors.

Safe travel zone country hotspot has the same meaning as in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 12) or its successors.

Student means a student who:

  1. in connection with an enrolled course of study, is undertaking a placement under the supervision of an employee or contractor at the residential aged care facility; or

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

    Example for paragraph (b): a paramedical student.

Support person means a family member, friend or carer that is visiting the residential aged care facility on behalf of, or to support, a prospective resident of the facility.

Surveillance testing obligation means a requirement under a Public Health Direction or Protocol approved by the Chief Health Officer for a person to be routinely tested for COVID-19, who does not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and is not required to self-isolate while awaiting a test result unless there is another lawful reason for them to isolate.

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.

Vaccinated Student means a student who has received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia or endorsed by WHO-COVAX and the vaccination was obtained overseas.

Note: Information about the World Health Organization COVAX program and WHO emergency use listing is available here: WHO COVID-19 vaccines

Last updated: 30 September 2021