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Easing of restrictions on liquor and gaming business closures due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the low number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases over recent weeks, we can begin to ease restrictions on the closures of liquor and gaming businesses.

The Queensland roadmap to easing restrictions outlines 3 stages of how restrictions will be eased. We are currently in Stage 3.

Read about how this affects hospitality and other industries and businesses.

Under Stage 3, all businesses can open in line with the COVID Safe framework. This means you must operate under either:

  • an approved industry COVID Safe plan
  • a COVID Safe checklist or a COVID Safe event checklist, where there is no approved plan for their business.

Read about COVID Safe businesses to learn more about the framework and checklists.

Approved industry COVID Safe plans

An approved industry COVID Safe plan provides advice on how to operate within a  COVID Safe Framework. You do not need to be a member of an industry association to access the plans.

The following plans are available for Queensland’s liquor and gaming industries:

  • Queensland hotels and clubs
  • Queensland wineries
  • Food services.

See the list of approved industry COVID Safe plans.

Once you have the plan specific to your venue, you must:

  • review the plan, implement the necessary controls and complete any checklists
  • complete the statement of compliance and display this at your venue

You do not need to submit any additional plans or checklists for approval, but you must be prepared to show an enforcement officer how you are complying if they visit your venue.

You must also ensure existing employees undertake a free online COVID Safe training course, provided by TAFE Queensland, within 2 weeks of reopening. Employees who start work after this 2-week period must complete the course prior to commencing.

Seating and service requirements

Under Stage 3, patrons can order, pay, eat and drink at the bar. They do not need to remain seated but should practice physical  distancing (1.5m between people, unless from the same household).

Venues are required to manage the risk and numbers of congregated patrons in accordance with their industry COVID Safe plan or checklist.

Changes for entertainment venues

Under Stage 3 casinos, gaming or gambling venues can operate in compliance with an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

This means they can:

  • serve food and drinks
  • provide takeaway food and home delivery
  • operate for gaming, including electronic gaming machines.

They cannot operate:

  • dance floors
  • buffet self services.

Each casino has their own individual COVID Safe site-specific plan.

Adult entertainment can operate under a new checklist in the Queensland Hotels and Clubs industry COVID Safe plan (PDF, 827KB).

Nightclubs can open under a new checklist in the Queensland Hotels and Clubs industry COVID Safe plan.

To prevent unnecessary contact or transmission, nightclub dancefloors must remain closed. This will be re-evaluated by Queensland Health ahead of Stage 4. Nightclubs can use this space for additional seating.

Mandatory ID scanning

As restrictions continue to ease, venues must consider their operational risk of dealing with undesirable patrons, including scanning IDs.

During stage 3, regulated licensees who are authorised to sell alcohol after midnight on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the day before a public holiday, or past 1am on Monday to Thursday nights must either:

  • use their ID scanner to scan IDs from 10pm
  • manually check patrons against a banning list from 10pm.

Remember, if you have a compliant re-entry pass system at your venue, you don't have to scan patron IDs more than once during the regulated hours of any single trading period.

You should also continue to screen patrons on entry to ensure they are not unduly intoxicated, disorderly or a non-exempt minor.

QikID customers are required to engage a new approved operator by 10 July 2020, until then they must use manual ban lists provided to them by the Queensland Police Service.

Learn about approved operators of ID scanning equipment in Queensland.

Hygiene requirements and social distancing

If you are operating your ID scanner, you must ensure the appropriate hygiene measures are in place for both staff and patrons. This includes having adequate controls in place when handling ID documents (e.g. hand sanitiser at the scanning point).

If using a manual list, patrons should present their ID in a way where social distancing is maintained (e.g. presenting it with an outstretched arm).

Read the factsheet for collecting and storing information (PDF, 214KB) during COVID-19.

ID scanners and COVID-19 tracing

The requirement to collect contact records (name, address and mobile phone number) for all guests and staff, and keep them securely for at least 56 days for contact tracing purposes, is separate to ID scanning requirements.

It is up to each venue to determine if they collect this information at the same time as scanning IDs.

Learn more about Stage 3 eased business restrictions for COVID-19, which gives general business advice, including collecting and storing customer information for contact tracing.

Designated outdoor smoking areas (DOSAs)

Under Stage 3, licensed venues can operate their DOSAs provided the following controls are in place:

  • no more than 1 person per 4 square metres if venue is over 200 square metres, or 1 person per 2 square metres are permitted in the DOSA
  • physical distancing is observed
  • existing smoking laws are complied with.

Compliance checks

Compliance officers will be checking that your COVID Safe plan or checklist for the following if they inspect your venue during Stage 3.

Operating under a COVID Safe plan

  • Your compliance statement is publicly displayed.
  • The checklist in your plan is complete.
  • There are no more than:
    • 1 person per 2 square metres (up to a total of 50 people) for venues or spaces of 200 square metres or less
    • 1 person per 4 square metres for venues or spaces of 200 square metres or more.
  • Physical distancing is provided for and managed appropriately.
  • Hygiene measures are in place for patrons and staff (e.g. hand washing and sanitiser).
  • Record keeping is maintained and patron details are not visible to other patrons
  • Your staff have completed COVID Safe training.

Operating under an COVID Safe checklist

  • Your checklist is complete, signed, displayed and followed.
  • There are no more than:
    • 1 person per 2 square metres (up to a total of 50 people) for venues or spaces of 200 square metres or less
    • 1 person per 4 square metres for venues or spaces of 200 square metres or more.
  • Social distancing is provided for and managed appropriately.
  • Hygiene measures in place for patrons and staff (e.g. hand washing and sanitiser).
  • Record keeping is maintained, and patron details are not visible to other patrons.
  • Your staff have completed COVID Safe training.

Regardless of whether you’re operating under a plan or checklist, officers will also, if required, ensure that:

Also consider…


General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

  • Licence and permit enquiries

  • Gaming compliance enquiries

  • Liquor compliance enquiries

  • Media enquiries (07) 3738 8556