Update from QTIC on COVID Safe Planning and Requirements

The easing of COVID restrictions over recent weeks is providing vastly improved conditions for operators. Importantly, we can now be more confident that drastic border closures are a very unlikely future government response to potential individual cases. Along with others, we have called for a more measured and targeted approach for some time and we welcome the Premier’s recent, reassuring comments on this issue. Meanwhile, it is important to remember that the health and economic risks are still present and all operators should ensure to comply with the regulation as it stands. The update below gives a timely summary of where various aspects of COVID restrictions stand.

Also worth pointing out that consumers’ expectations regarding ‘safe’ and ‘healthy’ destinations and businesses are likely to be a long term COVID-legacy. Operators can put themselves in a strong position by completing the COVID Clean business practices module online and confidently display the internationally recognised brand and logo.

                      


The information below has been supplied by the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport. 

Queensland Health is continuing to actively respond to the declared public health emergency in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).  On 17 March 2021, the Border Restrictions Direction was revoked. This means there are currently no COVID-19 hotspots in Australia, and you are free to enter Queensland from any Australian state or territory for any purpose. Border restrictions or operational protocols may be reinstated in the future if a COVID-19 hotspot is declared.

Further information regarding recently amended restrictions can be found below.

Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction

  • Outdoor events with fewer than 500 people per day can occur without:
  • A business may allow one person per two square metres or up to 100% of seated venue capacity where patrons are ticketed and in allocated seating.
  • Caravan and campgrounds are no longer a restricted business, activity or undertaking and can now operate without occupant density requirements or an Industry Plan. However, they must continue to collect contact information and increased cleaning of shared facilities is encouraged.
    • Camping in national parks and forests is very popular, so visitors wanting to camp should book at spot at Queensland National Parks.

Movement and Gathering Direction

  • Up to 500 people may gather in public outdoor spaces – previously 100 people.
  • Up to 100 people may gather at private properties including residences – previously 50 people.

COVID Safe outdoor seated venues

  • Open air stadiums can have 100% seated capacity (with COVID Safe plans in place, and where patrons are ticked and in allocated seating).

COVID Safe Checklist for businesses operating vehicles and vessels up to 50 people

  • While there are no physical distancing requirements on vessels, passengers must be informed of this as they have the right to choose not to board the vessel.
  • The coaches for shore excursions will need to adhere to this checklist if they wish to carry more than one passenger per four square metres.

Boats, Buses and Trains over 50 passengers

Boats

  • The protocol for maritime crew members joining or signing off a vessel in Queensland can be found here.
  • Point-to-point private ferries will be required to operate under the same COVID safe requirements as public ferries provided the private ferry service is under three hour travel time. For clarity, these private ferries may operate as: • 100% of indoor seated capacity provided patrons are in ticketed and allocated seating • Passengers on day trips are to return to the same seat for the return journey • Mask wearing is encouraged • Recommended that only one person per two seats unless sitting in a household or social group.
  • Round trip day vessels will be required to operate with: A capacity of one person per two square metres based on accessible indoor and outdoor space provided the outdoor space offers protection when inclement weather is expected (e.g. from the sun and rain). OR Up to 100% of indoor seated capacity provided passengers are in ticketed and allocated seating to allow for inclement weather, except the kiosk (e.g. food and beverage kiosk) where passengers must maintain 1.5m physical distancing from these areas. Operators must also manage the outdoor space to maintain one person per two square metres in these areas.
  • Live-aboard marine vessels are able to operate for 1 person per 2m2 in sleeping areas, for up to 50 people.

Buses/Coaches

  • Up to 100% of seated capacity provided passengers are in ticketed and allocated seating. Operators must also manage the outdoor/shared spaced to allow for 1.5 metres physical distancing to the extent possible, this would include arrival/departure areas, group staging areas. Mask wearing is encouraged.

Trains

  • Up to 100% of indoor seated capacity provided passengers are in ticketed and allocated seating, except the kiosk (e.g. food and beverage kiosk) where passengers must maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing in these areas. Operators must also manage the outdoor/shared spaces to allow for 1.5 metres physical distancing to the extent possible, this would include arrival/departure areas, group staging areas.

I encourage you to review the Check in Qld app  recently released by the Queensland Government for use by Queensland Businesses to collect COVID-19 contact information for patrons and staff at your business.

Tourism and events businesses can continue to operate under COVID Safe Industry Plan for Queensland Tourism and Accommodation and further information about existing or revoked Public Health Directions is available on the Queensland Health website.

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