COVID Safe Businesses

During a public health emergency, the Chief Health Officer can issue Public Health Directions to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

These directions may apply to specified Impacted Areas for a set period of time.

Find out more about Impacted Areas, and whether any have been declared and are in force.

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*Outdoor

An outdoor area:

  • has fixed or temporary boundaries
  • is not fully enclosed, i.e. is open to the elements and natural ventilation (significant amount of natural and unrestricted air movement required for most of the time area is in use)
  • can include a veranda, balcony, deck, patio, or similar structure that might be connected to an external wall of a building
  • can have a roof, awning, or eave
  • may include a rotunda, tarpaulin or shade structure situated in a larger open space.

An outdoor area does not include:

  • atriums internal to a building, internal courtyards or similar
  • a temporary or permanent marquee, unless marquee walls are lifted for the duration of the event
  • a tent, e.g., a circus tent or performance tent.

Use of curtain walls, panel walls or other fittings to fully enclose an area to protect from the elements is considered indoors.

Sometimes Queensland weather may require curtain walls, panel walls or other fittings to be used for short periods to partially enclose an area for patron comfort and safety. If a business is in doubt, it should operate as if it is an indoor space.

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COVID Safe Checklists

COVID Safe Checklists relate to seated dining and drinking, food courts, and personal services. These are different to COVID Safe Event Checklists, which allow for 500 attendees (indoors) and 1000 attendees (outdoors) per day at events.

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COVID Safe Businesses

Important

From Friday 17 December 2021, customers will be required to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status when they check into many Queensland locations and businesses that will be restricted to fully vaccinated customers and visitors.

NOTE: The Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction is no longer in effect and has been replaced with the Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction. Under this Direction there remains the requirement for many business settings and activities to operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Checklist.

Find out about the checklist required from 5.00am Friday 17 December 2021.

Find out more about:

Latest restrictions

Stage 3 restrictions now apply to all of Queensland.

Find out more about the restrictions.

On 17 December 2021, restrictions on businesses were eased. However, with the opening of state borders, COVID-19 began to circulate in our community. So that our hospital system is not overwhelmed, restrictions on people who are not fully vaccinated are necessary.

Eased restrictions for businesses

From 17 December 2021, there are no capacity restrictions on businesses that are only permitted to allow fully vaccinated people to attend, including:

  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, pubs, clubs, taverns or bars
  • indoor entertainment venues such as nightclubs, live music venues, karaoke bars, concerts, theatres or cinemas
  • outdoor entertainment activities and venues such as theme parks, tourism experiences, zoos and showgrounds
  • festivals – either indoor or outdoor – such as musical festivals, folk festivals or arts festivals
  • Government owned galleries, museums and libraries.

While unvaccinated people are not permitted to attend the above types of venues and activities, they can enter a hospitality venue to pick up take-away food and beverages.

If anyone attending a wedding is unvaccinated, it is restricted to a maximum of 20 people.

Funerals will not be limited to only vaccinated people. This is because funerals sometimes occur at short notice and often under difficult circumstances making it hard to ensure all attendees are vaccinated. However, funerals will still be required to comply with occupant density limits and caps on attendees to minimise the risk of transmission.

Businesses need to follow the Chief Health Officer public health directions and keep up-to-date with requirements to make your business and customers COVID Safe.

Penalties

Any person found in breach of the Public Health Directions and/or Public Health Act 2005, i.e. to whom a Direction/Act applies, without a reasonable excuse, could face a penalty of up to a maximum of 100 penalty units or 6 months' imprisonment.

On the spot fines can also be issued.

To avoid this, we recommend you check back to this site regularly for updates to the requirements.

Reporting a breach

Individuals with concerns about whether a business is complying with the Public Health Directions and/or Public Health Act 2005 can call 134 COVID (13 42 68).


Collecting contact information

A businesses operator must electronically collect contact information about all guests, patrons and staff at the time of entry unless otherwise specified, by either:

  • the Check In Qld app; or
  • registering guests, patrons and staff through the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app.

If a person is unable to use the Check In Qld app due to language barriers or other reasons, the business must register the guest through the Business Profile mode.

If a business is unable to collect contact information using the Check In Qld app due to unexpected circumstances, the business must collect and keep the contact information using another method.

If the contact information is collected using another method, the restricted businesses must:

  1. Transfer any non-electronic information to an electronic system within 24 hours of collecting the information.
  2. Securely store the contact information, not use for any other purposes, and delete the contact information after not less than 30 days and not more than 56 days.
  3. If requested, provide the information to a public health officer within a stated time.

Any changes to collecting contact information requirements will be detailed in the Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction (this contains the specific requirements for what information needs to be collected, how it is to be collected and more).

Checking vaccination status

For businesses where entry is restricted to vaccinated patrons and staff, business operators must check proof of vaccination or medical contraindication.

Find out more about checking vaccination status of patrons and staff.

Businesses operators must take reasonable steps to inform customers about their obligations before they enter the premises. This can be achieved by:

  • display the vaccination rules at your business premises
  • ask for proof of vaccination from your customers at the time of check-in
  • promote the requirement on your website and social media channels
  • remind customers when they make a booking.

The Queensland Government has developed posters and other resources to assist businesses, including signage to inform customers of COVID Safe requirements.

You can find out more about:

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COVID Safe Checklist for Public Health and Social Measures

Under the Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction there remains the requirement for many business settings to operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Checklist.

The Checklist outlines the control measures that need to be implemented by restricted businesses to keep staff and customers COVID safe and will promote consistency between different industry sectors.

Find out about the checklist required from 5.00am Friday 17 December 2021.

Depending on whether a business can operate only for vaccinated patrons will determine which checklist is required.

Find out what type of checklist applies to your businesses.

Where the Checklist refers to a requirement that is different to a requirement in the Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction the requirement in the Direction prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

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Determining occupant density

  1. Establish the entire size of the indoor space
  2. Determine the size of the non-useable spaces in square metres (for example: space taken up by equipment, storage containers, kitchens, toilets and other impenetrable structures).
  3. Deduct the non-useable area size from the entire size to determine the useable area.
  4. Divide the usable space by 2 to determine how many people can occupy the space based on an occupant density of 1 person per 2 square metres, or
  5. Divide the usable space by 4 to determine how many people can occupy the space based on an occupant density of 1 person per 4 square metres.

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COVID Safe site-specific plans

From 17 December 2021, the requirement for many eligible business settings to operate in accordance with a site-specific plan has been rescinded.

In some limited cases, a site-specific plan was developed by eligible operators that were large in scale, with unique and complex aspects of their business. These included large sport stadiums, convention centres and casinos.

There still remains the requirement in some settings (e.g. theme parks) to operate in accordance with their site-specific plan. These business settings can operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Checklist where there is no COVID safe site-specific plan required for the site.

Where the site specific plan refers to a requirement that is different to a requirement in the Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction the requirement in the Direction prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

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COVID Safe management plans

All businesses in Queensland have obligations and responsibilities under Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation.

Every workplace must have a COVID Safe management plan to help protect its staff, customers and visitors and to prepare for a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your workplace. This plan is your Work Health and Safety plan that all businesses are required to have and maintain. It does not need to be submitted to the Chief Health Officer for approval and should be made available when requested.

This plan must demonstrate how you will meet all requirements set out by the Chief Health Officer. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional obligations for employers and employees.

For further information

Business owners that would like to better understand their WHS duties regarding COVID-19 can call 1300 005 018 or their union or industry association.

Employees with a general work-related complaint can call WHS Queensland on 1300 362 128.

Important resources

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Mental health in business

If your business has been affected by COVID-19, it is important to look after your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. Please visit Queensland Health’s COVID-19 and mental health for practical advice and information from trusted sources and partners to help you stay mentally and physically healthy and well.

You may also find tips and resources to support mental health on the Australian Government website.

These are exceptional times, but we are a resilient society with the strength and capacity to cope with difficult situations.

Ensure you keep well-connected. Support each other and keep up-to-date so that you can help support friends and loved ones.

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Last updated:
14 January 2022