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Border restrictions and exemptions for COVID-19

Entry into Queensland is restricted to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Under the Chief Health Officer's Border restrictions Direction there are exemptions for the resources sector.

Hotspot declarations

On 10 April, 2020 the Chief Health Officer issued a further update to the Border restrictions directive as a result of COVID-19 hotspots being declared in NSW.

Directive no.4 does not create any further restrictions on your essential staff or contractors, who already qualify as exempt persons under the Chief Health Officer's directive. Exempt persons are not currently required to self-quarantine, even if they've recently travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot.

Exempt critical resources employees

As per the Border restriction direction issued by the Chief Health Officer, an exempt critical resources sector employee means a person that satisfies one of the following criteria:

1. Positions required under legislation

To meet this criterion, the person is required:

  • to be appointed to a role required under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 (CMSH Act), the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 (MQSH Act) or the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004
  • and
  • in a position included in the list of positions (critical resources sector employees).

2. Critical resources sector workers

Some workers perform critical functions which require significant experience and expertise. These functions may not be suitable for temporary workers. In these instances it is necessary to allow these employees to enter Queensland.

Interstate resources sector workers are considered 'critical resources sector' employees if they cannot work remotely (from an interstate location), cannot be replaced by local workforce, and:

  • are essential to the safety of the workforce
  • or
  • are essential to operations
  • or
  • their absence from the site would result in a significant impact to production
  • or
  • must undertake time-critical work.

Examples of critical resources sector employee exemptions may include:

  • workers required to conduct safety maintenance and safety compliance activities
  • persons identified in the management structure for a mine under section 50 of the MQSH Act or section 55 of the CMSH Act
  • workers involved in the implementation of an emergency response – this could include any person who is a member of the Emergency Response Team of a resource operation (e.g. fire and rescue or paramedic) or the Mines Rescue Team of an underground coal mine
  • workers who must hold a competency to undertake a task at a resources operation as required by the Coal Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee and Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee. The roles are published as:
  • workers employed in the technical operation, maintenance and repair of plant and infrastructure, essential construction and repairs, warehousing and logistics, and specialist technicians (e.g. electrical specialists to run power stations)
  • nursing/medical service workers.

Application process

Note the following.

  • If you hold a statutory position included in the critical resources sector employees list you do not need to apply. Your employer will identify your position, and provide you with a letter confirming you as an exempt critical resources sector worker. This letter can be presented to border authorities when entering Queensland.
  • Resource companies need to identify their critical resources sector workers that they would like to be considered as exempt, and then follow the process below.

How to apply

Please note: Applications can only be made by mine or gas field operators. If you are a contractor or individual you will need to have the operator apply on your behalf.

View the application documents on Queensland Health's website.

To apply for a critical resources sector employee exemption:

  1. The mine or gas field operator must complete the 'Critical resources sector employee exemption' application. The details of relevant employees must be provided and attached to the application.
  2. Email your application and supporting documentation to resources.sector@health.qld.gov.au and cc rsandp@dnrme.qld.gov.au.
  3. Your application will be assessed against the criteria outlined above.
  4. If approval is given, a letter will be sent to the company advising that the employee(s) have qualified for exemption.
  5. The company will provide a copy of the letter to the relevant worker. This letter can be presented to border authorities when entering Queensland.

Ensure that you are aware of your requirements to protect the health of your workers as detailed by Queensland Health.

Contact us

For help and information email: resources.sector@health.qld.gov.au and cc rsandp@dnrme.qld.gov.au.

Contact

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)