Coronavirus (COVID-19) Queensland border restrictions for agribusiness, food manufacturing and commercial fishing workers

Travelling from interstate

If you're travelling from interstate, you can enter Queensland from another state or territory, as long as you haven't been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days. To enter, you must:

  • have a valid border pass to enter Queensland (this includes Queensland residents)
  • be prepared to quarantine for 14 days in government accommodation at your own expense.

General declaration pass (G Pass)

Complete the general declaration pass if you are requesting entry to Queensland and do not meet criteria for the freight and logistics, health, or essential activity declaration passes.

It's important to plan your entry to Queensland. You should apply for a border pass at least 3 business days before you plan to travel.

Specialist or essential workers travelling from a COVID hotspot

Specialist or essential worker (S Pass)

A specialist or essential worker is a person who is endorsed as a specialist or essential worker by a relevant Queensland Government agency and provides services that:

  • are needed in Queensland
  • cannot be obtained in Queensland
  • must be provided without delay
  • the person must be physically present in Queensland to provide the service
  • the person's employer or business has a quarantine management plan.

Endorsements are considered on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria. We are unable to discuss individual circumstances and applications.

Employers are strongly encouraged to have resourcing and workforce plans in place and not just rely on specialist worker or essential worker endorsements being granted.

You should allow at least 7 working days for your specialist or essential application to be assessed and a further 3 days once notified of the outcome for processing of your electronic border pass.

Before applying for a specialist or essential worker border pass (S Pass) you must first apply for and receive an endorsement as a specialist or essential worker.

You only need to apply for a specialist or essential worker exemption if you are a farmer or agribusiness worker who is coming from a COVID-19 hotspot.

The status of the person as a specialist or essential worker must be endorsed by the relevant Queensland Government agency before they may enter Queensland.

Specialist or essential worker endorsement applications may be submitted either by the employer, government agency or entity that the specialist worker is working or contracting for or by the worker who is seeking the endorsement with their employer's support.

If a worker is self-employed, they may apply themselves, with details of their business.

An application for a specialist-worker endorsement should be made via the COVID-19 services portal with the following evidence:

  1. A written explanation of the essential activity the specialist worker will be undertaking in Queensland
  2. Documentation that demonstrates why this service is critical to Queensland. It must detail why:
    • these services are needed in Queensland
    • these services cannot be obtained in Queensland
    • these services must be provided without delay
    • the specialist worker must be physically present in Queensland to provide the service or perform the duty.
  3. The application must include as attachments:

If an endorsement is granted, the specialist worker will need to provide the following information on arrival in Queensland:

  1. their border declaration pass (essential activity)
  2. evidence of their status as an approved specialist worker (the letter of endorsement from a Queensland Government agency)
  3. the quarantine management plan.

The specialist or essential worker must carry the letter of endorsement and quarantine management plan at all times, while in Queensland.

Travelling from a declared COVID-19 hot spot in NSW

Class exemption (Z Pass)

If you are a farmer or agribusiness worker, who is a resident of Queensland, or has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in New South Wales, check if you are eligible for a class exemption.

Restrictions are in place to limit people coming into Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot.

People who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in NSW in the last 14 days will only be able to enter Queensland if an exception applies to them, for example they are:

  • a returning or new Queensland resident
  • an essential activity worker
  • an essential health care worker
  • or
  • they have been granted an exemption from the Chief Health Officer (e.g. class exemption for farmers and agribusiness workers).

The class exemption that commenced on 22 August 2020 has been extended until 11.59 pm on 31 December 2020.

The class exemption is for farmers and agribusiness workers needing to move between Queensland and New South Wales hotspots to perform essential agribusiness services or farming activities, such as tending to livestock or crops. The class exemption does not apply to workers involved in picking, packing, sorting and meat processing, or workers from Victoria. These workers can apply to Queensland Health to enter as an essential or specialist worker (see above).

To be eligible for the exemption you must be a:

  • Queensland resident who needs to re-enter Queensland after travelling to a New South Wales hotspot to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities
  • Queensland resident who needs to re-enter Queensland after entering a New South Wales hotspot to access or provide timely veterinary services, or to provide care for livestock
  • New South Wales hotspot resident who needs to enter Queensland to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities
  • New South Wales hotspot resident who needs to access Queensland to access or provide timely veterinary services, or to provide care for livestock.

If you do not meet one of these criteria and you need to enter Queensland to provide services critical to agribusiness operation, you may be eligible to apply for a specialist worker exemption (see above).

How to apply for a class exemption border pass (Z Pass)

You should allow at least 3 working days for your application to be assessed.

To enter Queensland under a class exemption, you must apply for a border pass with the following evidence:

  1. A copy of the Chief Health Officer's class exemption letter dated 13 October 2020 (PDF, 162KB)
  2. Evidence of your identity, which can include a:
    • driver licence
    • Medicare card
    • passport
    • student ID card
  3. Evidence that you reside in Queensland if entering as a Queensland resident (e.g. can include a recent utility bill).
  4. Evidence you are an agribusiness essential worker (e.g. letter of employment, business contract, evidence of property ownership or lease, evidence of agistment arrangements).
  5. Any additional documents required under the Chief Health Officer's border restrictions direction.

Requirements for workers travelling under the class exemption

All agribusinesses must have a plan in place to prevent the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 among workers and the community. You are also encouraged to have a worker-specific quarantine management plan (DOCX, 121KB) showing how you will minimise interactions with the community.

Queensland residents:

  • must travel directly to and from the relevant farm or premises
  • must only exit their mode of transport to access rest-stop facilities, refuelling, and activities directly related to their agribusiness activity, or to meet required regulation activities such as workplace health and safety or fatigue management
  • may stay at overnight accommodation when necessary in order to fulfil fatigue-management requirements
  • must remain isolated, to the extent reasonably practicable, from the general public at the agribusiness or farm in the New South Wales hotspot until they return to Queensland
  • must only remain in the New South Wales hotspot for the time necessary to perform the essential agribusiness or farming activities.

New South Wales hotspot residents:

  • must travel directly to and from the relevant farm or premises
  • must only exit their mode of transport to access rest-stop facilities, refuelling, and activities directly related to their agribusiness activity, or to meet required regulation activities such as workplace health and safety or fatigue management
  • may stay at overnight accommodation when necessary in order to fulfil fatigue management requirements
  • must remain isolated, to the extent reasonably practicable, from the general public at the agribusiness or farm in Queensland until they depart Queensland or for 14 days, whichever period is shorter
  • must only remain in Queensland for the time necessary to perform the essential agribusiness or farming activities.

Transporters of freight and logistics

Exemptions continue to be in place for transporters of freight and logistics to ensure the delivery of essential food and supplies. You do not need to apply for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer to undertake transport of freight or logistics into, from or through Queensland.

The Queensland freight protocol came into effect on Wednesday 23 September 2020.

The protocol applies to heavy vehicle drivers, rail crew and drivers, passenger transport operations, non-heavy vehicle commercial freight operators, logistics and support workers, and any other persons essential to the delivery of freight in the course of a commercial freight movement, if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days prior to their arrival in Queensland.

How to apply for a freight and logistics border pass (F pass)

  • If you are entering Queensland you must have a valid Queensland border declaration pass (freight and logistics).
  • On entry into Queensland, you must be able to access a copy of your employer's or operator's current COVID Safe workplan, where one is required and available.
  • You must remain isolated from the general public in your vehicle or accommodation until you depart Queensland, or for 14 days, whichever period is shorter.
  • You must collect and maintain written records of close contacts while you are in Queensland for 14 days after you arrive in Queensland, or until you depart Queensland if the period if less than 14 days.
  • Queensland residents are required to maintain these records until 14 days have passed since they were last in a COVID-19 hotspot.
  • Non-Queensland residents should only remain in Queensland for the time necessary to complete the freight and logistics activity.

Read more about restrictions on freight and logistics operators entering Queensland.

Collarenebri Road border crossing

If you need to enter Queensland via the Collarenebri Road border crossing, contact the Mungindi Police on 0408 724 506 at least 48 hours before your preferred date to cross, to schedule a time for officers to meet you at the gate and process your documentation.

Note, while every effort will be made to respond to your request as quickly as possible, you may experience a delay while officers travel from Mungindi.

Talwood border crossing for grain harvest vehicles

Talwood border crossing is only open for vehicles associated with the grain harvest. Note: GrainCorp will provide registration numbers of trucks crossing the border at Talwood to Goondiwindi Regional Council. Gates are locked at all other times.

If you wish to use Talwood Border Crossing, contact GrainCorp on 1800 809 482 in the first instance.

Summary of requirements for entering Queensland to work in agribusiness and commercial fishing

  

Outside Australia in the last 14 days

You are required to quarantine in nominated premises for 14 days within Queensland.

Interstate (not a COVID-19 hotspot)

You must complete a Queensland border declaration pass (G Pass).

You are not required to quarantine.

Interstate (not COVID-19 hotspot) and in the last 14 days have:

  • been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • had symptoms consistent with COVID-19

You must complete a Queensland border declaration pass (G Pass).

You are required to quarantine in nominated premises for 14 days at your own expense.

COVID-19 hotspot (no exception or exemption)

You are not allowed to enter Queensland.

Former COVID-19 hotspot You are allowed entry to Queensland once the area you are coming from is no longer declared a COVID-19 hotspot.
Interstate and waiting for COVID-19 test results (unless you are entering for an essential activity) You are not allowed to enter Queensland.

COVID-19 hotspot – existing or new Queensland resident

You must complete a Queensland border declaration pass.

You are required to quarantine in nominated premises for 14 days at your own expense.

COVID-19 hotspot – specialist or essential worker

The status of a person as a specialist worker must be endorsed by the relevant Queensland Government agency before entering Queensland.

You must provide:

  • your border declaration pass (S pass)
  • your specialist worker endorsement letter
  • the quarantine management plan.
COVID-19 hotspot – pickers, packers, sorters, meat processors (also known as seasonal workers)

You can apply as an essential or specialist worker as above. The status of a person as a specialist worker must be endorsed by the relevant Queensland Government agency before entering Queensland.

You must provide:

  • your border declaration pass (S pass)
  • your specialist worker endorsement letter
  • the quarantine management plan.
NSW COVID-19 hotspot – class exemption – farm and agribusiness workers

You must provide:

  • your border declaration pass (Z pass)
  • a copy of the Chief Health Officer's class exemption letter dated 13 October 2020 (PDF, 162KB)
  • evidence of your identity, which can include a:
    • driver licence
    • Medicare card
    • passport
    • student ID card
  • evidence that you reside in Queensland if entering as a Queensland resident (e.g. can include a recent utility bill)
  • evidence you are an agribusiness essential worker (e.g. letter of employment, business contract, evidence of property ownership or lease, evidence of agistment arrangements)
  • any additional documents required under the Chief Health Officer's border restrictions direction.
COVID-19 hotspot – essential activity – transport of freight and logistics You must complete a Queensland border declaration pass (F pass) and meet the requirements under the Queensland freight protocol.
Confirmed case of COVID-19 or have been cleared of COVID-19 (no exemption) You are not allowed to enter Queensland.

More information

Disclaimer

While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.

Contact

General enquiries 13 25 23