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Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.2)

Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.2)

Summary

Effective from: 9pm AEST 28 April 2021

Posted: 28 April 2021

Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency

Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 2)

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Section 362B

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 29 June 2021 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following directions pursuant to the powers under s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Guidance

This Public Health Direction affects those who have been informed that they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and must quarantine for 14 days from the day they last had close contact with that person unless an exception applies.

Separately from the requirements under Public Health Directions, under sections 362G and 362H of the Public Health Act 2005, a person may be given a direction by an emergency officer (public health) to stay at or in a particular place for up to 14 days if the emergency officer believes it is reasonably necessary to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Preamble

  1. This Public Health Direction is to be read in conjunction with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Management of Close Contacts Direction (No 2).

Revocation

  1. The Management of Close Contacts Direction made on 26 April 2021 is revoked from the time of publication of this Direction.

Commencement

  1. This Direction applies from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless revoked or replaced.

PART 1 — CLOSE CONTACTS OF A PERSON DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 MUST QUARANTINE

  1. The purpose of this Part is to require persons who have been informed they are a close contact of a diagnosed person to quarantine in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Requirements for quarantine

  1. A person who is informed that they are a close contact must quarantine until the end of the fourteenth day after the day on which the person last had close contact or until an earlier or later time as an emergency officer (public health) specifies in a direction under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.

    Example: a person who is informed they had close contact on 1 May (day 0) must quarantine until the end of 15 May (day 14).

    Note: a person may be informed in writing or orally – see Definitions

  2. A person who is informed that they are a close contact must immediately travel by private transport or by transport arranged by a government authority directly to their home or place of accommodation or other suitable premises to quarantine as until further instructions are provided by Queensland Health or a direction is given by an emergency officer (public health) under section 362G or 362H of the Public Health Act 2005.

  3. A close contact must provide the address of the premises they are quarantining at and a contact telephone number, email address and their date of birth to a public health officer.

  4. A person who is informed that they are a close contact and instructed to enter government-nominated accommodation must immediately travel by private transport or by transport arranged by a government authority directly to the relevant government-nominated accommodation unless otherwise directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  5. A close contact required to quarantine under this part or by a direction of an emergency officer (public health) will be quarantined for a further period of 14 days from the end of the quarantine period if the person is not tested for COVID-19 when requested to do so by an emergency officer (public health).

    Note: Under sections 362G and 362H of the Public Health Act 2005, an emergency officer (public health) can give a direction to a person to stay at or in a particular place for up to 14 days if the emergency officer believes the direction is reasonably necessary to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

  6. A close contact must not leave the premises or government-nominated accommodation, except:

    1. for the purpose of obtaining a COVID-19 test if permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health); or

    2. to avoid immediate injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm; or

      Example — escaping a risk of harm related to sexual or domestic and family violence.

    3. in the event of an emergency situation; or

      Example — a person leaving quarantine to go to a hospital for emergency medical treatment or due to an emergency at the premises such as fire or flood.

    4. as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).

  7. A close contact must wear a face mask:

    1. whenever directed to do so by a public health officer; and

    2. when leaving quarantine as permitted under paragraph 11,

    unless it is not practicable because of the emergency situation or the need to avoid immediate injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.

  8. A close contact must not permit any other person to enter the premises or government-nominated accommodation unless that other person:

    1. usually resides at the premises or is residing at the premises or government-nominated accommodation for the purpose of quarantine; or

    2. is required to enter the premises or government-nominated accommodation in an emergency; or

    3. as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).

  9. Any travel by a close contact quarantining at a premises under paragraph 11 must be by:

    1. ambulance service; or

    2. emergency services vehicle; or

    3. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    4. private transport.

  10. Any person transporting a close contact must wear a face mask at all times when transporting the close contact.

    Example: A friend or household member who is transporting a close contact in a private vehicle.

  11. Any travel by a close contact quarantining at government-nominated accommodation under paragraph 11 must be by:

    1. ambulance service; or

    2. transport arranged by a government authority; or

    3. an emergency services vehicle in emergency or serious situations as permitted or allowed under a direction given to the person by an emergency officer (public health).

PART 2 — END OF QUARANTINE FOR CLOSE CONTACTS

  1. For a close contact subject to part 1, the quarantine period ends:

    1. at the time specified in the quarantine direction as given under paragraph 6 or as varied under paragraph 19; or

    2. if the quarantine direction given to the person is revoked, at the time the revocation takes effect under paragraph 19; or

    3. if no quarantine direction is given under paragraph 6, until the end of the fourteenth day after the day on which the person last had close contact with the diagnosed person; or

    4. if the person becomes a diagnosed person following a test for COVID-19, when the diagnosis is communicated to the person; or

    5. for an air crew member, when they leave Queensland in accordance with paragraph 18.

  2. Note: a close contact who becomes a diagnosed person must then isolate in accordance with the Self-isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4) or its replacement or successor or as directed by an emergency officer (public health).

  3. An air crew member who is identified as a close contact is permitted to leave Queensland before completing 14 days of quarantine if the following conditions can be met:

    1. they are asymptomatic; and

    2. they leave Queensland on a crew-only flight to travel to a place outside of Australia and all crew on board the flight wear a face mask for the duration of the flight; and

    3. they travel directly to embark the crew-only flight to leave Queensland using private transport or transport arranged by the airline operator.

  4. Note: an air crew member who is identified as a close contact who must apply for an exemption becomes a diagnosed person must then isolate in accordance with the Self-isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4) or its replacement or successor or as directed by an emergency officer (public health).

PART 3 – OTHER MATTERS

  1. An emergency officer (public health) may review a quarantine direction given under paragraph 6 and, if satisfied it is appropriate, vary or revoke the notice given to the close contact and must notify the close contact.

  2. The Queensland Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate may grant a person an exemption from the requirements of this Direction if extreme exceptional circumstances exist.

  3. The Queensland Chief Health Officer, Deputy Chief Health Officer or delegate may grant an exemption to allow an air crew member who is identified as a close contact to leave Queensland before completing 14 days of quarantine on a passenger flight travelling to a place outside of Australia in extreme exceptional circumstances, where appropriate risk mitigation is in place.

PART 4 – PENALTIES

A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.

Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 provides:

Failure to comply with public health directions

Dr Jeannette Young

Chief Health Officer

28 April 2021

Published on the Queensland Health website at 9pm

SCHEDULE 1 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

Air crew member means Queensland-based air crew, international air crew or Australian Defence Force air crew as defined under the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction or its successors.

Airline operator means the person, business or entity that owns, controls or operates an aircraft arriving in Queensland from a point of origin outside of Australia.

Close contact means:

  1. a person who has been determined to be a close contact of a diagnosed person by a public health officer and has been, or has advised they will be, provided with a quarantine direction under the Public Health Act 2005; or

    Note: notification from the Queensland Government may be through SMS, email or telephone call.

  2. a person in Queensland who has been determined to be a close contact or a casual contact of a diagnosed person by an interstate government authority.

Crew-only flight means an outbound flight from Queensland that carries air crew members only and has no passengers on board.

Diagnosed person means a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Emergency officer (public health) means an emergency officer (general) or emergency officer (medical) appointed under the Public Health Act 2005.

Note: emergency officers appointed under the Public Health Act include public health officers, Queensland and local government officers and police.

Face mask means a surgical mask or a cloth mask with three layers that covers the nose and mouth (but does not include a face shield).

Government-nominated accommodation means the allocated room within a hotel or other accommodation premises at which the person is directed to quarantine by an emergency officer (public health).

Hospital has the same meaning as in the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Hospital and Health Service has the same meaning as in the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Informed means given oral or written notice by a public health officer or a government authority in another jurisdiction, irrespective of whether that oral or written notice is correct.

Example: a public health officer may inform a person by SMS, email or telephone call.

Premises has the same meaning as in Schedule 2 of the Public Health Act 2005 but excludes vehicles, and for premises that are a hospital, means the person’s allocated room or ward within the hospital.

Private transport means:

  1. a private vehicle operated by the person identified as a close contact, a household member of the close contact or a friend or family member of the close contact; or

    Example: a close contact may drive themselves in their own car or be transported in a car driven by one of their household members or friends.

  2. if travel by (a) is not available, a taxi with a protective shield between driver and passenger or a taxi van that allows for physical distancing between the driver and passengers; or

  3. if travel by (a) and (b) is not available, a taxi or ride share sitting in the back seat on the passenger side.

Public health officer includes an emergency officer under section 315 of the Public Health Act 2005, a contact tracing officer under section 90 of the Public Health Act 2005 or an authorised person under section 377 of the Public Health Act 2005.

Note: an emergency officer under the Public Health Act includes an emergency officer (general) and emergency officer (medical).

Last updated: 28 April 2021


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