On 29 January 2020 the Health Minister declared a public health emergency in respect of the whole of the state of Queensland. Queensland passed a number of public health directions that imposed strict restrictions on the freedoms of individuals, including limiting the size of public gatherings and the reasons people could go out in public. Starting on Monday 1 June 2020 these restrictions will be eased in Stage Two of a three-step plan outlined by the Prime Minister last month.
More businesses to reopen
From the 1st June, restrictions on non-essential business will be further relaxed, allowing for restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs and hotels to have a maximum of 20 people in attendance at any time. Businesses offering accommodation, such as motels and caravan parks, are now allowed to reopen. Cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and zoos may now open with a maximum of 20 people in attendance. Retail outlets and beauty salons will be allowed to have a maximum of 20 people present at one time.
There are no longer different restrictions for the outback and for the city.
Travel restrictions eased
Travel within Queensland will be permitted from 1 June. Queenslanders may now travel unlimited distances within the state, including overnight stays.
From the 1 June, gatherings of up to 20 people will be permitted where the gathering is for outdoor, non-contact activities. Pools, lagoons, playgrounds, skateparks, gyms, places of worship and libraries will be allowed to open with a maximum of 20 attendees at any time.
Weddings will be allowed to have up to 20 participants and funerals will be allowed to have up to 50 attendees.
The self-isolation directive remains in place. This requires anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay at home until cleared from self-isolation.
A person in self-isolation may leave the premises only to obtain essential medical care or medical supplies or in an emergency and may do so only by private vehicle or by taxi or rideshare with the person wearing a protective mask. The person is self-isolation must not permit another person to enter the premises unless that person also lives there or for medical or emergency purposes.
Public health directions put in place on 26 March 2020 continue to apply to Queensland’s borders. Anyone arriving in the state is required to quarantine for 14 days unless they are an exempt person, such as persons transporting food, emergency and health workers and some classes of FIFO workers.
Persons arriving by aircraft must provide details of where they intend to stay while in Queensland and any travel they have done in the last 30 days (unless an exemption applies).
The classes of persons who may access aged care facilities are still limited to prospective residents, staff, providers of goods and services, for health care, end of life support, emergency and law enforcement. All other visitors are limited to one care and support visit per day per resident.
Hospital visitors are still limited to one visit per day per patient with a maximum of two visitors for a maximum duration of two hours. However, if a patient is under 18, disabled, or admitted for an emergency or pregnancy, they may have a support person with them at all times.
Penalties for breaching public health directions
Failing to comply with any of these public health directions is an offence and attracts a penalty of a fine of 100 penalty units ($13, 345).
If you require legal advice or representation in relation to public health directions or in any other legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.