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COVID Safe business

Stage 4 of Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 restrictions is in place , allowing Queenslanders more freedom to travel, participate in more activities and hold more gatherings.

Update - From 4:00 pm Friday 16 October 2020:

  • all of Queensland can gather in groups of up to 40 people in their homes and public spaces
  • up to 40 people can dance at any one time at a wedding with a COVID Safe Plan
  • dancing is permitted at Year 12 formals
  • aged care residents can go on excursions.

Update - Stage 4 from 1:00 am 1 October 2020

Let’s move Queensland outside.

  • Standing eating and drinking: Standing eating and drinking permitted at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID Safe Plan (From 4 pm Friday 2 October 2020).
  • Outdoor density: Outdoor density requirements relaxed for businesses with a COVID Safe Plan to one person per 2m2 (e.g. outdoor dining, beer gardens and theme parks).
  • Outdoor events: Increase the maximum number of people permitted at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Events Checklist from 500 to 1000.
  • Open air stadiums: Increasing the seated capacity of outdoor stadiums and amphitheatres from up to 50% to up to 75% with a COVID Safe Plan.

Current border restrictions from 1 October 2020 continue:

  • the New South Wales border zone was extended
  • the Queensland border zone no longer exists
  • Queensland residents are able to travel anywhere in the New South Wales border zone for any purpose
  • New South Wales border zone residents are able to travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose.

Border closures to Victoria remain until community transmission is under control (including whether there have been any unlinked cases in the previous 28 days).

On this page:

COVID Safe planning

All businesses must:

  1. have a current Work Health and Safety Plan that has COVID Safe strategies in place. This plan does not need to be submitted for approval and should be made available if requested.
  2. Allow for social distancing and encourage your guests to observe social distancing - there is a shared responsibility.
  3. collect contact information for all customers, guests and staff for contact tracing purposes, including name, email address, phone number and the date. Check the contact information fact sheet for businesses for more information.
  4. increase cleaning and hygiene practices, especially on high touch areas such as screens, counter-tops and serving areas, handrails, elevator panels, door handles, trolleys and seats.

All tourism businesses need to plan for COVID safety in order to operate now that restrictions are easing. There are two ways to operate:

Option 1: Operating within baseline restrictions

  • Social distancing requirements include having one person per four square metres (or one person per two square metres for indoor venues under 200m2 and any outdoor venues) and allowing 1.5m distancing between people.
  • For tours (e.g. on buses or boats), calculate your useable floorspace and divide by four (or divide by two for outdoor vessels) - that is the number of people (including staff) that you can have on your tour. For example, an indoor business with a useable floor space of 40 square meters could accommodate a total of 10 people.
  • For accommodation, there is no restriction on the number of rooms that a property can operate. However, individual rooms must allow for one person per four square meters. Businesses should also consider social distancing requirements in common areas such as reception areas. Accommodation with shared facilities (e.g. bathrooms) - including overnight vessel accommodation - must have a Health Management Plan in place.
  • For caravan/camping parks, the entire facility must operate with the one person per four square meters adhered to (including guests and staff). Caravan parks and camp sites with shared facilities require a Health Management Plan in place.
  • Communal swimming pools may open for recreational use. Communal showers and change rooms must remain closed (toilets can be open) and use of communal facilities should be minimised. Swimmers should shower with soap before and after swimming (at home/hotel room, not at the pool).

In all cases, both guests and businesses are responsible for adhering to the 1.5m social distancing guidelines. People from the same household do not need to observe 1.5m distancing from each other, but must keep 1.5m distance from other people/groups of people.

Other requirements

  • Any business that serves food or drink must seat patrons while they consume food or drinks.
  • High risk businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, beauty therapies and spas, need to complete a COVID Safe Checklist.

Option 2: Operating beyond the baseline restrictions

If you want to operate beyond the baseline restrictions, then as well as the above requirements, you need to comply with the relevant approved COVID Industry Safe Plan that your business fits within.

Individual businesses don’t need to develop their own COVID Safe Industry Plan or site-specific plan if they are following an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan.

Check the list of approved COVID Safe Industry Plans  to see if your industry has already developed a plan your business can use.

Accommodation (e.g. hostels, caravan parks, vessels with overnight accommodation) with shared facilities (e.g. bathrooms) must also have a Health Management Plan in place.

There are a number of approved Industry COVID Safe Plans that may apply to tourism businesses including the Queensland Tourism and Accommodation COVID Safe Industry Plan, the Food Services plan, Queensland Clubs and Hotels plan and Queensland wineries plan. See the plans here (including those still under consideration).

Social distancing

  • The listed approved options and principles outlined in the Tourism and Accommodation Industry COVID Safe Plan allow for unique circumstances and for tour operators to operate on the 1.5m basis only, where it may not be practical to maintain the one person per four square metre rule.
  • From stage 3 of the roadmap (from Friday, 3 July) tourism experiences may seat guests together during the tourism experience without distancing (up to a maximum of 50 people). Physical distancing of 1.5m should be in place at all other times where possible. For more details see the COVID Safe plan vehicles and vessels fact sheet (PDF).
  • There is no upper limit on the number of patrons that a business can have if they are following the Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Industry COVID Safe Plan.

Large and unique sites need to develop a Site Specific COVID Safe Plan and submit it to Queensland Health for approval.

To comply with the Industry Plan, you must complete a COVID Safe Plan (there is a template within the plan). There is no need to submit your plan for approval by Queensland Health.

COVID Safe Events

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has approved the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events , which facilitates the resumption of events held by businesses in Queensland under Stage 3 of the Roadmap to easing restrictions .

Everything you need to know about planning your next event safely is available here.

The following resources will help you plan

General business resources

Tourism and accommodation resources


Last updated: 16 Oct 2020