COVID Safe Businesses

COVID Safe Businesses

Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing Restrictions (the Roadmap) outlines which businesses can operate at which stage, and what patron limits apply on premises. All businesses will need to undertake some planning to ensure they keep their business, their staff and their customers safe.

At all stages of the Roadmap, all businesses should have their Work Health and Safety (WHS) Plan in place, and up to date including strategies to manage COVID-19. This is an existing internal plan that does not need to be submitted to the Chief Health Officer for approval and should be made available when requested.

For restricted businesses that the Chief Health Officer has identified under the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertaking Direction, a mandatory COVID Safe Checklist is required along with mandatory COVID Safe training. COVID Safe Industry Plans continue to apply with revisions to reflect Stage 3 restrictions.

Restricted businesses include restaurants, caf├ęs and personal services (including beauty therapy, nail salons, massage (therapeutic and non-therapeutic), tanning, tattoo parlours, spas, saunas and bathhouses).

More events will also be able to be held, and will be guided under a new addition to the COVID Safe Framework, the Framework for COVID Safe Events.

From Stage 3, the maximum number of patrons for a business at any one time will be determined by the 4 square metre rule, with defined areas no longer required. However, for smaller venues below 200 square metres, businesses can have one person per 2 square metres up to 50 persons at a time.

All businesses listed on the Roadmap must comply with the COVID Safe Business Framework. COVID Safe Industry Plans are required where restricted businesses want to offer their services to more than 50 people at a time.

For guidance see the Framework for COVID Safe Businesses.

If you are unsure what applies to your business, check out frequently asked questions to better understand the COVID Safe Businesses framework.

If the services your industry provides have previously not been restricted by Public Health Directions you can continue to operate as you are now, in line with the health guidance set out by the Chief Health Officer and Queensland Health.

COVID Safe Checklists and factsheets

From Stage 3 easing of restrictions, COVID Safe Checklists continue to apply to restricted businesses which include dining in and personal services, and now extend to non-therapeutic massage, saunas and bathhouses and food courts. These businesses may host a maximum of 50 people with a COVID Safe Checklist, or more if complying with a COVID Safe Industry Plan.

If you do not offer these services, you do not need to complete a checklist. All businesses should, however, be following the work health and safety guidelines.

Some businesses may instead follow a COVID Safe site-specific plan. More information on COVID Safe site-specific plans is provided below.

Checklists

    • You are required to complete and display a COVID Safe Checklist before trading in line with the timing of each stage of eased restrictions.
    • These Checklists tell you what you need to do if you are a business in the above categories to be COVID Safe. The Checklists include input resulting from consultation with key industry stakeholders.
    • You must complete the Checklist to ensure you comply with essential public health requirements to enable you to open and provide a safe environment for your patrons and your staff.
    • You must complete, sign and display the Checklist in a prominent and visible location at your business premises.
    • You are not required to submit this Checklist to Queensland Health, however a relevant enforcement officer can check compliance at any time and/or may ask for a copy of the signed Checklist.
    • Your staff must complete COVID Safe mandatory training within two weeks of your business commencing. Staff that commence with your business after this two-week period must complete this training before commencing. See the COVID Safe mandatory training section below for more details.
    • Record keeping obligations and collecting personal information under the public health directions is required. For further guidance, refer to the Factsheet for storing and collecting information.
  • An online training program has been developed to provide all staff in industries requiring a COVID Safe Checklist with training that will allow them to help ensure a COVID Safe work environment. This training is mandatory and must be completed within two weeks of a business opening/reopening. Staff that commence with your business after this two-week period must complete this training before commencing.

    • Free COVID Safe training programs are available online through TAFE Queensland. You can access the training here: https://tafeqld.edu.au/covid-safe.
    • You can also meet this mandatory training requirement by doing a COVID Safe online course developed by industry and reviewed by Queensland Health and the Office of Industrial Relations. Please contact info@desbt.qld.gov.au to facilitate this review. Please note only the COVID Safe training courses on this webpage meet the COVID Safe mandatory training requirements. You can access a link to a course developed for dining services by Restaurant & Catering Australia here: https://www.covid19hospitalitytraining.com.au/. Food courts can follow this training to ensure they remain COVID-safe.

Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events

More events can be held from Stage 3 guided under a new addition to the COVID Safe Framework, the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events:

  • Fewer than 500 people – no Queensland Health approval needed when following a COVID Safe Event Checklist.
  • 500 to 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by local Public Health units.
  • Over 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Queensland Chief Health Officer.

This Framework sets out key public health principles and event-specific public health strategies that will limit the transmission of COVID-19 at events and help event organisers operate safely and is applicable for all events. The Framework does not alter the existing approval arrangements that apply to events. As an event organiser, you are still required to obtain the relevant approvals/permits from the venue/land owner, local council and/or Queensland Police Service.

Under the Framework, Statements of Compliance are necessary for your completion when hosting an event:

You are required to print and complete the relevant Statement of Compliance for COVID Safe Events and display it in a prominent, visible location at your event.

Fact sheets are available to help event organisers navigate the Framework:

Not all events will need to be covered under an approved COVID Safe Plan. Event organisers should review the Framework for COVID Safe Events to determine what you need to do to host your event.

Find out further information about COVID Safe Events.

COVID Safe Industry Plans

Important notice

Individual businesses don’t need to develop their own COVID Safe Industry Plan or site-specific plan if they are following an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan.

Check the list of approved COVID Safe Industry Plans to see if your industry has already developed a plan your business can use.

Some industry plans require businesses to develop an additional ‘business plan’ and/or WHS plan. Although these plans do not need to be submitted for approval, they must be available for compliance checks.

For businesses that have large, unique and complex sites (e.g. casinos, zoos, convention centres, etc.) please contact your relevant Queensland Government agency before developing a site-specific plan to determine if you need to.

Starting from Stage 3, COVID Safe Industry Plans continue to apply with revisions to reflect Stage 3. Eligible businesses who are following an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan will be able to have the maximum number of patrons for a business at any one time determined by the 4 square metre rule. For smaller venues below 200 square metres, businesses can have one person per 2 square metres up to 50 persons at a time, provided a register of patrons is maintained.

Find out more about approved COVID Safe Industry Plans.

Requirements of COVID Safe Industry Plans and eligible industries

A COVID Safe Industry Plan can be developed by an industry through a representative group or a group of businesses within that industry, in consultation with the Queensland Government.

A Guide for COVID Safe Industry Plans has been created to provide insight into the content that will be assessed when the health authority approves the plan. There is no official template for the plan, the format can be determined by industry whilst following the information provided in the Guide for COVID Safe Industry Plans.

To ensure consistency of safety standards and compliance, Queensland Health will only approve one COVID Safe Industry Plan per industry. Where there are multiple associations within an industry these groups should develop a plan together or select one plan to submit for approval. You should work with other industry stakeholders including relevant unions and workers within your industry as part of this collaboration.

Any revisions to reflect changes commencing from Stage 3 are to be submitted to Queensland Health via a cover letter which details the proposed amendments to the relevant COVID Safe Industry Plan. These may be submitted by email to: COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au.

Businesses should contact their respective industry in the first instance if their requirements are not met in this plan.

Industries eligible to develop a COVID Safe Industry Plan include (but are not limited to):

  • food services
  • personal services
  • concert venues and theatres
  • sports and fitness
  • caravan and camping parks
  • places of worship
  • zoos and aquariums.

The scope of what type of businesses form part of a particular industry should be determined and defined by an industry when submitting an COVID Safe Industry Plan.

Each business is unique. No Public Health Direction or COVID Safe Industry Plan will be able to provide specific instruction on every possible scenario. Queensland Health encourages all businesses – whether they undertake activities that have been restricted or not – to reduce the risk to staff and patrons by following the basic principles of social distancing, hygiene, cleaning and record keeping to support contact tracing. Businesses will know how best to do that in their circumstances.

Requirements for site-specific plans

In some limited cases, a site-specific plan can be developed by eligible operators that are large in scale, with unique and complex aspects of their business..

Businesses considered suitable for COVID Safe site-specific plans are limited to:

  • large outdoor amusement parks
  • zoos
  • convention centres
  • concert venues
  • theatres and auditoriums of seating capacity greater than 1000
  • museums
  • arenas
  • stadiums
  • casinos.

Before commencing the development of a site-specific plan, it is strongly recommended businesses contact their relevant Queensland Government agency to determine if they are, in fact, deemed ‘eligible operators’. Many businesses can follow a COVID Safe Industry Plan (more than one in some instances depending on the nature of the business), rather than developing a site-specific plan.

Businesses eligible for a site-specific plan should use the information contained in the Guide for COVID Safe Industry Plans when developing and submitting their plan.

These businesses should work directly with relevant Queensland Government agencies if further advice is required.

Submitting COVID Safe Plans for approval

Once an industry has developed an COVID Safe Industry Plan (or a business is eligible to submit a site-specific plan) it must be submitted to Queensland Health for approval.

COVID Safe Industry Plans will be considered and approved by the Chief Health Officer. Site-specific plans for eligible businesses must also be submitted to Queensland Health, and may be delegated to a relevant health authority.

When complete and ready for approval, you can submit a plan and supporting information to Queensland Health by emailing: COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au.

Businesses are required to include evidence in your submission that you have consulted with relevant industry stakeholders during the preparation of your plan.

Need more information? Call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

Availability and compliance with COVID Safe Industry Plans

Once approved, COVID Safe Industry Plans will be made publicly available for all businesses within that industry to access (regardless of membership to an industry body).

Each industry plan is different, i.e. no two plans will be the same. Plans will vary based on the size of the venue, type of activity being undertaken and the type of business operating, and multiple industry plans may be relevant.

Any business or organisation in an industry with an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan can follow the plan by:

  • checking this website for an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan relevant to your business. The COVID Safe Industry Plan inform businesses what they need to do to be eligible to follow the industry plan.
  • printing and completing the Statement of Compliance included in the approved COVID Safe Industry Plan and displaying it in a prominent, visible location in your premises. Note, businesses do not need to display the whole plan, only the Statement of Compliance.

Eligible restricted businesses that have completed and displayed a Statement of Compliance with an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan are not  required to complete and display the mandatory COVID Safe Checklist.

A relevant enforcement officer can check the plan at any time and/or may ask for a copy of the signed Statement of Compliance. All businesses should be following the Work Health and Safety guidelines.

Last updated:
3 July 2020