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Use of Technology to Support Home Quarantine Direction

Summary

Effective from: 6.15pm AEST 11 September 2021

Posted on: 11 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 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.

Guidance

This Public Health Direction affects those who have been required to quarantine at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It requires people who are directed by an emergency officer (public health) to comply with text message compliance checks. The messages also provide an avenue for welfare checks and support to people in quarantine.

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 or directions by an emergency officer (public health) including a direction 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.

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with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.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 Use of Technology to Support Home Quarantine 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 – USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT QUARANTINE COMPLIANCE

  1. This Direction applies to an individual given a direction to stay at or in a stated place, that is a residence, by an emergency officer (public health) under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.

    Example – a person given a direction to quarantine at home as a close contact or secondary contact.

  2. An emergency officer (public health) may require a person mentioned in paragraph 4 to undertake compliance checking via SMS web link messages as a condition of a direction given by the emergency officer (public health) to remain at a particular place under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.

    Example – The Digital Home Quarantine platform is an SMS system that assists with checking a person’s compliance with a direction given by an Emergency Officer (Public Health).

  3. A person mentioned in paragraph 4 must, if requested, provide their mobile phone number to an emergency officer (public health).

  4. The person must activate and keep activated data services and precise geo-location services on the person’s mobile phone and do anything else as directed by the emergency officer (public health) to enable the SMS web link messages to function.

  5. A person in paragraph 4 who has been given a direction with a condition mentioned in paragraph 5 must respond to any compliance check via SMS web link message within 10 minutes of the person’s mobile phone receiving the message unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

  6. A person who fails to comply with paragraph 8 will be referred for a compliance visit by an emergency officer (public health) and may be directed to government-nominated accommodation at the person’s own cost.

    Note – See part 3 – A person to whom the direction applies also commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with this direction.

  7. A person who responds to a compliance check via SMS web link message and the response is outside an acceptable geolocation range will be referred to a compliance visit by an emergency officer (public health) and may be directed to government-nominated accommodation at the person’s own cost.

    Note – See part 3 – A person to whom the direction applies also commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with this direction.

  8. Nothing in this direction varies the requirement of a person in paragraph 4 to strictly comply with the direction given to the person under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.

PART 2 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. A person subject to this Direction must comply with the conditions of a direction given to the person under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005 and all other public health directions made under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005.

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

PART 3 – 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:

  • 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

11 September 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 6.15pm

Schedule 1 – Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

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 officers.

Government-nominated accommodation means a hotel or other accommodation premises at which a person is directed to quarantine by an emergency officer (public health) where government officers such as police officers or health practitioners provide security and health services.

Residence means premises used, or intended to be used, as a dwelling or mainly as a dwelling, where a person lives or resides.

Last updated: 11 September 2021

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for anyone in home quarantine.

Find out more