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Superseded - Restricted Access to Remote Communities Direction

Summary

Effective from: 12 June 2020

Posted: 11 June 2020

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 17 August 2020 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following direction 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

  1. 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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.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 Restricted Access to Remote Communities Direction.

Revocation

  1. The Public Health Direction - Quarantine within Designated Areas Direction given on 1 June 2020 is revoked.

PART 1 — DIRECTION – RESTRICTING ACCESS TO CERTAIN REMOTE COMMUNITIES (DESIGNATED AREAS)

  1. The purpose of this Part is to restrict, or place conditions upon, entry to a designated area that has been subject to the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements for Remote Communities) Determination 2020 (Cwlth).
  2. This direction applies to a designated area from the time that the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements for Remote Communities) Determination 2020 (Cwlth) no longer has effect for the designated area.
  3. This direction will remain in effect until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless this direction is revoked or replaced.

Entry to designated areas

  1. A person must not enter a designated area unless one of the following apply:
    1. the person is a member of the Australian Defence Force and is entering in the course of a member’s duty;
    2. the person is an official performing functions under an Australian law relating to public health or biosecurity;
    3. the person is entering to avoid injury or escape harm; or
      Example: escaping a risk of harm related to sexual or domestic and family violence
    4. the person is entering primarily for an essential activity and:
      1. if the person is entering from outside of the declared travel zone for a designated area, the person has a Queensland risk management plan; or
      2. there is an urgent need for the person to engage in an essential activity or transport a person to engage in an essential activity; or
    5. the person is transiting through the designated area to a place beyond the area and the person’s journey;
      1. is the most direct practicable route; and
      2. does not involve another person in the designated area being exposed to the person, other than a person travelling with the person on the same journey; or
    6. the person is a resident of a designated area and is travelling between designated areas or parts of a designated area where the following conditions are met:
      1. the journey starts and ends in a designated area whether the start area is the same as, or different from, the end area;
      2. the journey passes through an area that is not a designated area;
      3. on the journey the person was not exposed to a person who did not start the journey with the person;
      4. if the journey involved use of a conveyance, the same conveyance was used for the whole journey; or
    7. the person is a resident or a new resident of the designated area to which the person is seeking entry; or
    8. the person is visiting the designated area to visit a family member; or
    9. the person has been granted an exemption from the Chief Health Officer under paragraph 13 permitting the person to enter.
  2. A person otherwise permitted to enter under paragraph 7(d), (e), (f), (g) or (h) must not enter a designated area if any of the following apply:
    1. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person has arrived in Australia from a place outside Australia;
    2. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person has had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19;
    3. the person has had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the 14 days immediately preceding the entry;
    4. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person has been to a COVID-19 hotspot.

Quarantine requirements for designated areas

  1. A person who is permitted to enter a designated area under paragraph 7(a), (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) does not have to quarantine upon entry.
  2. A person who is permitted to enter a designated area under paragraph 7(g) or (h) must quarantine unless they are:
    1. a resident returning from travelling to a declared travel zone for their designated area for any purpose; or
    2. a resident of a declared travel zone for the designated area who is entering to visit a family member; or
    3. a resident returning from receiving health care outside of the declared travel zone for their designated area, or a carer or support person who is accompanying the person; or
    4. a resident returning from attending the Prep, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11 or Year 12 of schooling at an educational institution outside their declared travel zone, or a parent, guardian or carer who is required to travel with the person; or
    5. a resident returning after release from a corrective services facility, youth detention centre or supervised community accommodation; or
    6. a resident returning after accessing an approved community transport arrangement; or
    7. a new resident who immediately before moving to the designated area (new area) was:
      1. a resident of another designated area; or
      2. a resident of the declared travel zone for the new area; or
    8. a person who is directed otherwise by an emergency officer (public health).

Quarantine within a designated area

  1. A person who is required by this direction to quarantine may only quarantine within the designated area if a suitable place is available.
  2. A person who is required to quarantine:
    1. must travel directly, or in a manner instructed by an emergency officer (public health), from their point of entry to a suitable place and reside in the suitable place for 14 days;
    2. must not leave the suitable place for the 14-day period, except:
      1. for the purposes of obtaining essential medical care or medical supplies where alternative delivery arrangements to the person are not reasonably practicable; or
      2. to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm; or
        Example – escaping a risk of harm related to sexual or domestic and family violence; or accessing support from a domestic and family violence support service
      3. in the event of an emergency situation; or
      4. as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); and
    3. must not permit any other person to enter the suitable place unless that other person:
      1. resides in the suitable place; or
      2. enters the suitable place to provide emergency or medical care to a person residing in the suitable place; or
      3. as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).

Exemptions

  1. The Queensland Chief Health Officer may grant an exemption to part or all of these directions to a person because the Chief Health Officer determines:
    1. they have compassionate or other grounds such that exclusion from the designated area would lead to an unusual or disproportionate hardship; or
    2. they are essential for the proper functioning of the designated area; or
    3. other exceptional circumstances exist that merit the person being granted access to the designated area; or
    4. their entry into the designated area would not pose an unacceptable risk of the spread of COVID-19 within the designated area because they have not in the preceding 28 days been in a place where community transmission has occurred or a place declared a COVID-19 hotspot in the preceding 28 days.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

  1. Approved community transport arrangement means travel arrangements approved by an emergency officer (public health) that comply with the requirements of the Chief Health Officer.
  2. Queensland risk management plan means a plan to manage preventing the transmission of COVID-19 that complies with the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer and is carried by the person at all times when they are engaging in an essential activity in a designated area. This includes a plan agreed with a human biosecurity officer (Biosecurity Risk Management Plan) under section 5(3)(b)(ii) of the (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements for Remote Communities) Determination 2020 (Cwlth) and which remains relevant to the person’s performance of an essential activity.
  3. COVID-19 hotspot means a particular area of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Health website.
  4. Declared travel zone for a designated area means the areas described in Schedule 1 consisting of the local government areas whose names and boundaries are provided for by the Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld).
  5. Designated area means an area specified as a designated area in Schedule 1 consisting of the local government areas whose names and boundaries are provided for by the Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld).
  6. Emergency officer (public health) means an emergency officer appointed under the Public Health Act 2005.
  7. Essential activity means one of the following, or to transport a person to or from the area to provide one of the following:
    1. health care;
    2. education;
    3. services relating to prevention of, or recovery from, domestic violence;
    4. services relating to child protection;
    5. policing services;
    6. emergency services;
    7. essential services of a kind typically provided by local government, such as rubbish collection;
    8. services, benefits, programs or facilities that the Chief Executive Centrelink has the function of providing;
    9. correctional services in relation to one or more persons in the area;
    10. funerary services in the area;
    11. conducting, or taking part in, a sitting of a court or tribunal in the area;
    12. operating, maintaining, repairing or replacing equipment for providing electricity, gas, water, medical services, telecommunications services or broadcasting services or other essential infrastructure in the area;
    13. delivering food, fuel, mail or medical supplies in the area;
    14. obtaining medical care or medical supplies in the area;
    15. continuing the construction in the area of housing or transport infrastructure that was in progress immediately before the commencement of this public health direction;
    16. carrying out mining operations, or operations ancillary to mining operations, in the area for an employer who has a health plan that complies with the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer;
    17. transporting freight to or from a place in the area;
    18. carrying out commercial primary production including agribusiness or commercial fishing in the area for an employer who has a health plan that complies with the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer;
    19. services, benefits, programs or facilities provided by any federal, state or local government or agency;
    20. new construction;
    21. legal services;
    22. social work, counselling or support services;
    23. research activities;
      Note all other relevant approvals, such as the approval of the local authority, must be in place.
    24. duties and functions carried out by a federal, state or local government elected official;
    25. providing religious or cultural services including conducting a wedding or funeral or other religious ceremony;
    26. providing services reasonably necessary for the proper functioning of the designated area, including hospitality services, mechanical repairs and retail services.
  8. New area see paragraph 10g.
  9. New resident means a person who is moving to a designated area to make the new area their principal place of residence.
  10. Resident means a person who ordinarily resides in the community.
    Note: Family or kinship customs or cultural obligations may have the effect of a person ordinarily residing across multiple residences.
  11. Quarantine means quarantine in accordance with a direction given by an emergency officer, or if no direction is given, means the person must for a period of 14 days be isolated from the general public.
    Note: guidelines for self-quarantine are available online at :https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/self-quarantine
  1. Suitable place means:
    1. a private residence inside the designated area where physical distancing can be observed; or
    2. other premises as directed by an emergency officer (public health).

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 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 Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer

12 June 2020

Published on the Queensland Health website 11 June 2020 at 5:30 pm

Schedule 1

Designated areas and Declared Travel Zones for the Restricted Access to Remote Communities Direction

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Section 362B

Note:

Declared travel zone – see paragraph 17.

Designated area – see paragraph 18.

An area described below consists of the local government areas whose names and boundaries are provided for by the Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld)

Designated Area Declared Travel Zone
  • Cherbourg
  • South Burnett
  • Gympie
  • Noosa
  • Toowoomba
Designated Area Declared Travel Zone
  • Palm Island
  • Townsville
  • Hinchinbrook
Designated Area Declared Travel Zone
  • Yarrabah
  • Cairns
  • Tablelands
  • Mareeba
  • Douglas
  • Cassowary Coast
Designated Area Declared Travel Zone
  • Woorabinda
  • Rockhampton
  • Central Highlands
  • Banana
  • Livingstone
Designated Area Declared Travel Zone
  • Burke
  • Mornington
  • Doomadgee
  • Mount Isa
  • Cloncurry
  • Carpentaria
Designated Area Declared Travel Zone
  • Torres Strait Island
  • Torres Shire
  • Northern Peninsula Area
  • Mapoon
  • Napranum
  • Aurukun
  • Pormpuraaw
  • Kowanyama
  • Lockhart River
  • Cook Shire
  • Hope Vale
  • Wujal Wujal
  • Weipa Town Area - being the areas excluded from the Cook local government area under the agreement made under the Commonwealth Aluminium Corporation Pty. Limited Agreement Act 1957 (Qld)
  • Cairns
  • Carpentaria
  • Mareeba
  • Tablelands
  • Douglas
Last updated: 26 June 2020