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.

Find out more about:

Latest restrictions

Stage 3 restrictions now apply to all of Queensland.

Find out more about the restrictions.

Queensland is open for business, but there are still some things we need to do to keep COVID safe.

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.

All businesses which are restricted under the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction are required to:

  • use the Check In Qld app to collect contact details from patrons
  • encourage staff and customers to observe physical distancing
  • regularly clean and disinfect their business premises, particularly surfaces used by customers and other frequently touched surfaces
  • ensure handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers are available for use by visitors and workers
  • notify visitors, either verbally or through signage, that they should not enter your premises if they are showing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • have COVID Safe management plans (Work Health and Safety) in place which detail how you, your workers and your patrons will stay COVID safe
  • operate under a COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Businesses, which outlines the COVID Safe requirements.

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

All restricted businesses 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 restricted 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 30 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 Direction for Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings (this contains the specific requirements for what information needs to be collected, how it is to be collected and more).

From 17 December 2021, businesses must also check the COVID-19 vaccination status of customers when they enter the premises.

You can find out more about:

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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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COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Businesses

The COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Businesses has been developed to help businesses identify how they can keep their workers and patrons safe and limit the spread of COVID-19 at their premises.

Find out more.

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COVID Safe site-specific plans

In some limited cases, a site-specific plan has been developed by eligible operators that are large in scale, with unique and complex aspects of their business. These include major sports stadiums, casinos and large convention centres etc.

Businesses with an approved COVID Safe site-specific plan must operate in compliance with this plan. Where the site specific plan refers to a requirement that is different to a requirement in the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction, the requirement in the Direction prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

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Determining occupant density

  1. Note—occupant density does not apply to outdoor spaces except for areas used for dancing.
  2. Establish the entire size of the indoor space or dance area in square metres.
  3. 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).
  4. Deduct the non-useable area size from the entire size to determine the useable area.
  5. 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.

Find out more about occupant density.

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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:
19 November 2021