COVID Safe Businesses

COVID Safe Businesses

Important: Latest restrictions

If your business is operating under a COVID Safe Industry Plan or a COVID Safe Checklist, you are not affected by the latest restrictions.

You are reminded to ensure that your staff and customers observe social distancing, you collect and keep customer details, and that staff or customers who are showing any symptoms do not enter your premises.

Under the Public Health Directions it is mandatory for some types of businesses to operate under a COVID Safe Industry Plan. For other businesses it is mandatory to complete a COVID Safe Checklist with COVID Safe training.

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 Business Framework

All businesses listed on Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing Restrictions 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.

If you are unsure what applies to your business, check out frequently asked questions.

Events may be held and guided under a new addition to the COVID Safe Framework, the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events. For guidance see COVID Safe Events.

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 physical distancing, hygiene, cleaning and record keeping to support contact tracing. Businesses will know how best to do that in their circumstances.

Patron limits

Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing Restrictions (the Roadmap) outlines which businesses can operate at which stage, and what patron limits apply on premises.

From Stage 3, eligible businesses who are following an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan or site-specific plan will be able to have the maximum number of patrons for a business at any one time is determined by the 4 square metre rule, with defined areas no longer required. 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.

Penalties

Any business found in breach of the Public Health Directions and/or Public Health Act 2005 could face a penalty of up to $6672.50 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 Roadmap, plans and checklists.


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 coronavirus (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 of the requirements set out by the Chief Health Officer. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees.

Important resources

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COVID Safe Checklists

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.

    • 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. Find out more on collecting and storing information.
  • Online mandatory training programs have been developed to provide all staff in industries operating under a COVID Safe Checklist with training to help ensure a COVID Safe work environment.

    This training must be completed:

    • within two weeks of a business opening/reopening
    • by staff commencing with your business after this two-week period.

    COVID Safe training programs are available and can be accessed online through TAFE Queensland or from an approved industry organisation.

    Free online COVID Safe training programs

    • TAFE Queensland for:
      • COVID Safe for dining in – suitable for hospitality
      • COVID Safe for personal services – suitable for beauty, nail, massage tanning, tattoo parlours, spas, saunas and bathhouses.

Checklists

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COVID Safe Industry Plans

COVID Safe Industry Plans are not for use by individual members of the public. These plans are specifically for business use only.

Individual businesses do not need to develop their own COVID Safe Industry Plan (or site-specific plan) if they are following an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan.

For consistency of safety standards and compliance, Queensland Health will only approve one COVID Safe Industry Plan per industry.

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

Each industry plan will be 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.

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

Events may operate in compliance with an approved COVID Safe Plan (if applicable)other than a COVID Safe Event Plan, and if more than 500 people will be in attendance, you must notify Queensland Health a minimum of 10 business days prior to the event taking place by emailing COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au.

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.

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.

Follow the guidance for developing COVID Safe Industry Plans to learn what content is needed and what will be assessed when the health authority approves the plan. Any revisions to reflect changes commencing from Stage 3 are to be discussed with the relevant government department who will submit the amendments to Queensland Health for approval on behalf of industry.

Important resources

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COVID Safe 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 eligible as many businesses can follow a COVID Safe Industry Plan rather than developing a site-specific plan.

If you are eligible, continue to work directly with the respective agency for further advice and guidance in preparing and submitting your plan.

Events may operate in compliance with an approved COVID Safe Plan (if applicable) other than a COVID Safe Event Plan, and if more than 500 people will be in attendance, you must notify Queensland Health a minimum of 10 business days prior to the event taking place.

Important resources

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Submitting COVID Safe Plans for approval

Submissions relating to new COVID Safe Industry Plans, COVID Safe site-specific plans, or amendments to existing industry plans are to be discussed with the relevant government department who will submit the plan or amendments to Queensland Health for approval on behalf of industry.

COVID Safe Event Plans and supporting information can be submitted 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.

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Availability and compliance with COVID Safe Industry Plans

Approved Plans are publicly available for all businesses within that industry to access and follow (regardless of membership to an industry body).

Businesses must print and complete the Statement of Compliance included in the approved COVID Safe Industry Plan and display it in a prominent, visible location in your premises. This is particularly important in helping your customers feel confident and safe being on your premises. Businesses do not need to display the whole plan, only the Statement of Compliance.

By following an Approved Plan you are not required to complete and display the mandatory COVID Safe Checklist. However, all businesses should continue to follow the Work Health and Safety guidelines.

A relevant enforcement officer can check the plan at any time and/or may ask for a copy of the signed Statement of Compliance.

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Mental health in business

If your business has been affected by coronavirus (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 practical advice and information from trusted sources and partners to help you stay mentally and physically healthy and well.

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:
4 September 2020