Current business restrictions for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Queensland

Restrictions changed 17 November 2020

Business restrictions changed from 4pm, Tuesday 17 November 2020, affecting:

  • indoor venues and events
  • outdoor events
  • stadiums
  • weddings
  • funerals
  • gatherings.

Read updated information below for all businesses and specific sectors.

Business restrictions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response ensures your business can reopen and operate in a way that increases business activity but does not compromise the health of customers, staff and the community.

Read the Chief Health Officer's businesses, activities and undertakings directive for more details on business restrictions.

Current business restrictions

All restricted businesses can open, with appropriate COVID Safe planning.

Note: Restricted businesses are those listed in the businesses, activities and undertakings directive (schedule 1).

From 4pm, 17 November 2020:

  • the 1 person per 2 square metre rule applies to indoor restricted businesses and activities
    • accommodation providers can only have 1 person per 4 square metres in sleeping quarters
  • up to 200 people can attend wedding ceremonies and funerals
  • dancing is allowed in outdoor dance areas subject to the 1 person per 2 square metre rule
  • all guests can dance at weddings
  • stadiums and indoor ticketed and seated venues will increase to 100% capacity
  • outdoor events can have 1,500 attendees under a COVID Safe event checklist.

COVID Safe checklists and COVID Safe industry plans continue to apply. If you are following an approved COVID Safe industry plan, the industry group who developed it will make changes to the plan. You will need to review the plan following these changes and adapt your operations.

If your business will offer events and activities over the festive holiday season, you must comply with the requirements of public health directions and COVID Safe events.

Read more about COVID Safe events over the festive holiday season.

Customer limits

All restricted businesses can have a customer 'density' of 1 person per 2 square metres across their venue. This defines the maximum number of people your business premises can hold.

Only include areas of your business that are open to the public when working out your floor space (e.g. for a restaurant, you should count the dining area, but not the kitchen).

Physical distancing rules also still apply. Customers must stay 1.5 metres apart at all times, except if they are in the same group.

Note: Your business must still adhere to customer limits for any fire safety, planning approvals or work health and safety regulations.

Outdoor venues

An outdoor area:

  • has fixed or temporary boundaries but is not fully enclosed
  • is open to the elements
  • has natural air flow.

An outdoor area can include a veranda, balcony, deck, patio or similar structure that might be connected to an external wall of a building and also have a roof, awning or eave. It might also include a rotunda, tarpaulin or shade structure situated in a larger open space.

An outdoor area does not include:

  • atriums that are internal to a building
  • temporary or permanent marquees (except if walls or panels are lifted for the duration of the event)
  • tents (e.g. circus or performance tents).

If you use curtain walls, panel walls or other fittings to fully enclose an area to protect from the elements, it should be considered as indoor. This includes if bad weather means these are used for short periods to partially enclose an area for customer comfort and safety.

If you're in doubt, you should operate the area as an indoor space.

Collecting customer information

You may be required to collect and store information from customers, employees and contractors who visit your business. This information may help authorities trace COVID-19 infections.

You will need to do this if your business is listed in the Chief Health Officer's restrictions on businesses, activities and undertakings direction.

Information you must collect includes:

  • full name
  • email address (or residential address if email not available)
  • phone number
  • the date and time period of visit (time in and time out).

The way you collect and store this information must comply with privacy laws.

You must store this information for at least 56 days, unless otherwise specified. After that period, the information should be deleted.

Read more about collecting and storing customer information, including example documents and templates for download.

If your business is following an approved COVID Safe industry plan, you may be required to collect additional information. Refer to your plan for more details.

Public health rules

All businesses must:

  • ensure there is appropriate distance between staff and customers, and between individual customers or groups (1.5 metres)
  • maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • conduct regular cleaning and disinfection.

Employees must stay home, or be sent home immediately, if they are unwell. If they show any symptoms of acute respiratory disease, they need to get tested for COVID-19.

COVID Safe business planning

To operate your business safely, you must have plans in place that cover COVID-19 risks to ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers.

Read more about COVID safe businesses.

COVID Safe management plan (work health and safety plan)
All businesses that are open or reopening must have a management plan in place.

All businesses must have a COVID Safe management plan (or work health and safety plan) in place. This covers your obligations under work health and safety legislation to keep your customers and employees safe at work.

You do not need to submit this plan to any authority for approval.

You can use the following resources as part of your plan:

We recommend you follow advice from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland when developing your plan. You should also consider Queensland Health directives when putting together your WHS plan, and consult with your staff.

Some higher risk business types require you to complete a COVID Safe checklist as part of your WHS plan. Your industry may also develop a COVID Safe industry plan for you to follow.

COVID Safe industry plans
Your industry peak body or representative group may put together a plan for your business to follow.

Eligible industry groups can lodge a COVID Safe industry plan which allows compliant businesses to offer services to an increased number of customers and provides information specific to your business type or industry.

If you are operating under an approved COVID Safe industry plan, you do not need to complete a COVID Safe checklist.

Find a list of approved COVID Safe industry plans.

Read more about COVID Safe industry plans.

COVID Safe checklists
High risk businesses must complete a checklist to operate safely.

If your business type or industry has been deemed as higher risk by the Chief Health Officer, you must complete a mandatory checklist to operate your business. You must review, sign and display your completed checklist prominently on your premises.

Checklists must be completed before you can reopen your business. You do not need to complete a COVID Safe checklist if your business is following an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

Businesses with a COVID Safe checklist can host a maximum of 50 people. You may be able to host more than that if you are operating under an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

You may need a COVID Safe checklist if you are running an event. Read about COVID Safe events for more information.

Checklists are available for:

Find COVID Safe checklists in other languages.

Checklists cover requirements for:

  • wellbeing of your staff
  • hygiene and cleaning
  • social distancing
  • management of deliveries, contractors and visitors
  • keeping records of all customers and visitors to your business.

Your staff must also complete mandatory COVID Safe training within 2 weeks of your business reopening or them commencing work with your business.

You do not need to submit your checklist for approval to any authority. Enforcement officers may check that you've complied with the checklist, and you may be required to produce a signed copy (including via email).

If you don't complete a COVID Safe checklist, you could face fines.

Employee training

If your industry requires a COVID Safe checklist, your staff must complete mandatory COVID Safe training to help ensure a safe work environment.

Free training programs are available online through TAFE Queensland for:

  • dining in
  • personal appearance services (beauty therapy, nail salons, tanning, tattooists and spas).

Your employees must complete this training within 2 weeks of your business reopening. Staff who commence with your business after this 2 week period must complete the training before they start.

However, you may have options for which training your employees complete.

Your industry peak body may develop specific training, which will be reviewed by the Queensland Government. Contact info@desbt.qld.gov.au for more information.

Approved industry specific training

Industry specific advice

Tourism

Tourism experiences can operate, but you must limit the number of customers according to the capacity of your space, venue or vessel. You can have 1 person per 2 square metres.

This includes:

  • tour operators
  • attractions such as dive boats and fishing charters
  • boat operators who take passengers as individuals or in tour groups (e.g. Cairns to Green Island or Fitzroy Island, and Yeppoon to Great Keppel Island).

You must collect and keep records of all people who attend your premises or tour to help with contact tracing (see 'Collecting customer information' above).

You must also have a plan in place to manage entry and exit to ensure social distancing and density rules are applied.

You must make every effort to adhere to public health measures, including:

  • ensuring staff stay home if they are sick or have flu-like symptoms, no matter how mild, and get tested for COVID-19
  • encouraging customers to rebook if they are sick or have flu-like symptoms, no matter how mild, and encourage them to get tested for COVID-19
  • maintaining 1.5 metres distance between people wherever possible
  • good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

COVID Safe industry plans

A range of approved COVID Safe industry plans are available for businesses in the tourism industry to follow, including:

  • attractions (including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centres, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centres, guest experiences, individual rides, and other entertainment and cultural attractions)
  • food services
  • hotels and clubs
  • outdoor education
  • outdoor recreation activities
  • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service campgrounds
  • tourism and accommodation (and checklists for vehicles and vessels carrying up to 50 people and charter fishing operations)
  • wineries
  • zoos and aquariums.

These plans allow for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all businesses within the sector.

The plans provide a checklist and guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Hospitality

All businesses must limit the number of customers according to the capacity of your space, venue or vessel. You can have 1 person per 2 square metres for both indoor and outdoor businesses.

You should only include areas of your business that are open to or used by the public when determining your floor space (for example, for a cafe or restaurant, you should count the dining area, but not the kitchen).

Social distancing rules also still apply. Customers must stay 1.5 metres apart at all times (except if they are in the same group).

Customers can stand while eating and drinking both indoors and outdoors.

You must keep a record of all customers that visit your business, except for anyone collecting takeaway (see 'Collecting customer information' above).

There is no time limit for how long your customers can stay on your premises.

Buffet self-service is currently not permitted. All food must be served by staff.

Dance floors in outdoor venues are now permitted to operate (with no more than 1 person per 2 square metres), but indoor dance floors must remain closed. You may choose to use your usual dance floor space for dining or drinking.

Customers can provide their own reusable cup when buying takeaway drinks (e.g. a keep cup) if staff can do a 'contactless pour' to reduce the spread of germs.

COVID Safe checklists

Your business must complete the dining and drinking COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 354KB) or food courts COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 450KB) before you reopen to ensure you can do so safely.

Find COVID Safe checklists in other languages.

COVID Safe industry plans

A range of approved COVID Safe industry plans are available for businesses in the hospitality industry to follow. These include:

  • food services
  • hotels, clubs, nightclubs and adult entertainment
  • live performance venues/theatres
  • tourism and accommodation
  • weddings
  • wineries.

These plans allow for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all businesses within the sector.

The plans provide a checklist and guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Takeaway and delivery services

If you are operating a takeaway service, you must ensure customers are still adhering to physical distancing measures. This includes:

  • keeping 1.5 metres between customers
  • allowing 2 square metres per person – including customers ordering, waiting or collecting takeaway
  • taking all reasonable steps to direct customers away from gathering to consume takeaway on, or near, your premises (e.g. removing all tables and chairs).

Any cutlery or utensils you provide with takeaway or delivered food must be single use.

You do not need to record contact details of customers collecting takeaway orders.

Food courts

Food courts can operate with a COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 450KB).

Food court operators do not need to collect customer details.

Food businesses within a food court can also continue to operate on a takeaway basis. Businesses that provide takeaway food must ensure that all cutlery and utensils provided are single use.

Gaming venues

Casinos, gaming or gambling venues must comply with an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

Gaming venues can:

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

You cannot:

  • operate an indoor dance floor
  • serve food in buffets.

Find coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for liquor and gaming licensees.

Hairdressers

Hairdressers and barber shops must keep a record of all clients that visit your store. This includes names and contact details, and will help with contact tracing should a client be diagnosed with COVID-19. See 'Collecting customer information' above.

You must adhere to physical distancing requirements and rules about how many people you can have on your premises (depending on your floor space) – no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.

If your business also provides beauty or nail services, you must complete the personal services COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 460KB). See 'Personal services' below for more information.

Find COVID Safe checklists in other languages.

COVID Safe industry plans

An approved COVID Safe industry plan is available for businesses in the retail, hair and beauty industries to follow.

This plan allows for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all businesses within the sector.

The plan provides guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Personal services (including beauty, nail salons, massage, tanning, tattoo parlours, spas, saunas and bathhouses)

Personal service and personal appearance businesses:

  • can operate with no restrictions about what services you can offer
  • can offer non-therapeutic massage services and water-based spa services such as saunas, bathhouses and floatation tanks
  • may have to limit certain services to a maximum of 50 customers.

You must adhere to physical distancing and customer capacity rules of no more than 1 person per 2 square metres, and keeping 1.5 metres apart from others.

Massage services

If your business offers massage services, including therapeutic massage for the management or prevention of a disease, injury or condition, or non-therapeutic or relaxation massage, you must comply with either:

  • an approved COVID Safe industry plan
  • a COVID Safe checklist (with a maximum of 50 customers for non-therapeutic massage only).

Water-based spa services

If your business offers services such as saunas, bathhouses or floatation tanks, you must comply with either:

  • an approved COVID Safe industry plan
  • a COVID Safe checklist (with a maximum of 50 customers).

COVID Safe checklist for personal services

Your business must complete the personal services COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 460KB) to ensure you can reopen safely.

Find COVID Safe checklists in other languages.

COVID Safe industry plans

An approved COVID Safe industry plan is available for businesses in the retail, hair and beauty industries to follow.

This plan allows for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all businesses within the sector.

The plan provides guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Sport and fitness industry

Read about current restrictions for sport, recreation and fitness organisations.

A range of approved COVID Safe industry plans are available for businesses in the sport and fitness industries to follow, including:

  • aquatic sports
  • dance and physical performing arts
  • field sports
  • fitness facilities
  • indoor sports
  • outdoor education providers
  • outdoor recreation activity providers
  • outdoor sports
  • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service campgrounds
  • racing
  • swimming pools and aquatic centres.

These plans allow for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all clubs and organisations within the sector.

The plans provide a checklist and guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Read the return to play guide for more information for the sporting, recreation and fitness industries.

Accommodation providers

There is no limit on the number of total customers for accommodation providers, however you must only allow the number of people permitted to occupy the premise under a booking to stay overnight. For any additional guests visiting the premise (e.g. an individual apartment or short-term rental), current gathering restrictions apply.

For short term accommodation, you must observe social distancing measures of:

  • 1 person per 4 square metres for shared sleeping areas (e.g. hostels)
  • 1 person per 2 square metres for common areas open to guests.

You must collect customer information (see 'Collecting customer information' above).

Health management plans

You may need a health management plan to reopen your accommodation business. This includes:

  • backpacker hostels
  • bed and breakfasts
  • online hosting platform listings with shared facilities (e.g. if you rent out part of your home and your guests share your kitchen and/or bathroom)
  • campgrounds or caravan parks with shared facilities (e.g. bathrooms or kitchens).

Fully self-contained apartments or houses will not require a health management plan.

A health management plan shows that you are complying with COVID-19 public health directions and describes the measures you can implement to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 amongst residents, workers and people staying at the accommodation facility, and the community.

Read the guideline for developing a health management plan for accommodation and private or charter workforce transportation providers (PDF, 132KB) for more information.

If your business operates solely for permanent residents (e.g. a caravan park with no tourist visitors, or hostels and boarding homes for people living with a disability or mental health issues), you do not need to have a health management plan.

COVID Safe industry plans

A range of approved COVID Safe industry plans are available for businesses in the accommodation industry to follow, including:

  • food services
  • hotels and clubs
  • outdoor education providers
  • outdoor recreation activities (including camping)
  • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service campgrounds
  • tourism and accommodation (and checklist for vehicles and vessels carrying up to 50 people).

These plans allow for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all businesses within the sector.

The plans provide a checklist and guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Real estate

You can run an open house inspection, auction or auction house. The number of people attending depends on the size of the property or venue, with a limit of 1 person per 2 square metres.

You must ensure physical distance is maintained between visitors, as well as hand hygiene and frequent cleaning.

You must also collect and keep contact details of each person that attends for 56 days (see 'Collecting customer information' above).

Encourage visitors at an inspection or auction to avoid touching any part of the property (e.g. doors or cupboards).

Display villages are allowed to open for visitors.

Read about managing COVID-19 risks for the property industry.

Find information to help you support residential rental tenants impacted by COVID-19.

Retail

COVID Safe industry plans

An approved COVID Safe industry plan is available for businesses in the retail, hair and beauty industries to follow.

This plan allows for flexibility on current restrictions on behalf of all businesses within the sector.

The plan provides guidance material for health and hygiene, facility management and physical distancing measures.

Theme parks, zoos and wildlife centres

You must have a plan in place to manage entries and exits to your venue to reduce crowding.

You may also be required to operate for a number of people according to the size of your business. This generally means no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.

You should only include areas of your business that are open to or used by the public when determining your floor space.

Social distancing rules also still apply. Customers must stay 1.5 metres apart at all times (except if they are in the same group).

Unique or large businesses (such as theme parks and zoos) may be eligible to operate under a site-specific COVID Safe plan.

Approved COVID Safe industry plans are available for:

  • attractions (including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centres, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centres, guest experiences, individual rides, and other entertainment and cultural attractions)
  • tourism and accommodation
  • zoos and aquariums.

Arts and entertainment venues (including theatres, cinemas, music venues, nightclubs, casinos, museums and galleries)

Indoor and outdoor concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can operate ticketed and seated events, with up to 100% seated capacity.

Non-ticketed events at indoor or outdoor entertainment venues or major sporting facilities can have no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.

COVID Safe industry plans

Approved COVID Safe industry plans are available for:

  • attractions (including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centres, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centres, guest experiences, individual rides, and other entertainment and cultural attractions)
  • cinemas
  • dance and physical performing arts
  • food services
  • hotels, clubs, nightclubs and adult entertainment
  • live performance venues and theatres
  • tourism and accommodation
  • wineries
  • zoos and aquariums.

Casinos, gaming and gambling venues

Find coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for liquor and gaming licensees.

Casinos, gaming or gambling venues must comply with an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

Gaming venues can:

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

These venues can't:

  • operate an indoor dance floor
  • serve food in buffets.

Retail wagering outlets must:

Nightclubs

Nightclubs are allowed to operate, however indoor dance floors must remain closed. You may choose to use your usual dance floor space for dining or drinking. Outdoor dance floors are able to operate with no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.

Cinemas

Indoor cinemas that are ticketed and seated can have up to 100% capacity.

For non-ticketed indoor cinemas, you must limit your number of customers to no more than 1 person per 2 square metres.

You must:

  • have a plan in place to manage safe entry and exit
  • have social distancing measures in place
  • space seating arrangements to allow for appropriate physical distancing

Drive-in cinema operators must ensure:

  • customers remain in their vehicles
  • physical distancing is observed in common areas and shared facilities.

Customers from different households are allowed to be in the same car.

Wedding operations

Wedding ceremonies can have up to 200 people in venues with a COVID Safe industry plan, regardless of the size of the venue.

Wedding ceremonies held in private homes or public spaces (e.g. a park) can have up to 50 people attending where there is no COVID Safe plan or checklist in place. Check current gathering restrictions information for further advice.

Wedding receptions held at a private home or in a public space (e.g. a park) may have more people attend if a business is engaged to manage the event. The business (e.g. a catering company or event management business) must operate under an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

You must collect and keep records of all people who attend the wedding and reception to help with contact tracing.

Wedding or reception venues with a COVID Safe industry plan can operate a dance floor for all guests. Dance floors do not need to have 1 person per 2 square metres, but guests should still be mindful of physical distancing requirements.

For weddings held at places of worship and function centres (including catering businesses), there is an approved COVID Safe industry plan for these venues.

Funeral operations

Funerals can have up to 200 attendees in venues with a COVID Safe industry plan, regardless of the size of the venue.

Services held in private homes or public spaces (e.g. a park) can have up to 50 attendees where there is no COVID Safe plan or checklist in place. Check current gathering restrictions for more information. However, if a business operating under a COVID Safe industry plan, checklist or event checklist is engaged to manage the service, up to 200 people can attend.

These numbers include any staff who manage or run the service.

The next-of-kin of the deceased person must keep a record of all attendees (including funeral staff) and their contact details for a period of 56 days to help with contact tracing.

For funerals held at places of worship, there is an approved COVID Safe industry plan for these venues.

For other memorial events, such as wakes after the funeral, the number of attendees depends on the location of the event. Events held in private homes or public spaces (e.g. a park) can have up to 50 attendees (per current gathering restrictions). Events held at a business (such as a function centre or restaurant) are managed under that venue's COVID Safe plan, which will determine the number of attendees.

Read the funeral protocol from Queensland Health for more information.

Adult entertainment

Strip clubs, brothels, sex on premises venues and sole operator sex workers can operate with an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

Events industry

Requirements for events depend on the number of people attending and whether the event is held indoors or outdoors.

Read more about planning and running a COVID Safe event.

Contact us

For further details on the eased business restrictions and how they apply to your business, you can contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on:

  • 1300 005 018 (for business obligation queries during COVID-19)
  • 1300 362 128 (for general work-related complaints).

You can also phone 13 42 68 for more information and assistance.

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