Easing of Queensland business restrictions for coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Queensland Government has developed a plan to ease coronavirus (COVID-19) business restrictions to ensure businesses can reopen in a way that increases business activity but does not compromise the health of customers, staff and the community.
These Stage 1 eased restrictions came into effect at 11.59pm on 15 May 2020.
Read the Chief Health Officer's non-essential business, activity and undertaking closure directive for more details on current restrictions.
Changed business restrictions
From 15 May 2020, restrictions are eased across a number of business areas including:
- retail shopping
- 10 people permitted at any one time for:
- dining in (with COVID SAFE checklist): restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars (for food service and takeaway alcohol only), registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels – no gaming
- open homes and auctions
- beauty therapy and nail salons (with register of clients and COVID SAFE checklist).
In outback regions, restrictions will be limited to:
- dining in (with COVID SAFE checklist): restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars (for food service and takeaway alcohol only), registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels (maximum 20 people) for locals only (must show proof of residence) – no gaming
- recreational travel (500km within the outback if you live in the outback).
Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed for:
- outdoor, non-contact activity
- personal training (outdoors only and including the trainer/s)
- pools (indoor and outdoor)
- public spaces and lagoons (e.g. South Bank Parklands, Cairns, Airlie Beach)
- funerals (maximum 20 people indoors or 30 people outdoors).
Your staff (except for personal training businesses) are not included in the total number of people allowed in your business premises at one time.
COVID SAFE business planning
To reopen and operate your business safely, you must have a workplace health and safety (WHS) plan in place that covers COVID-19 risks to demonstrate the actions you are taking to ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers. This WHS plan, or a summary of it, should be displayed to show that your business is operating safely.
You do not need to submit your WHS plan to any authority for approval.
We recommend you follow advice from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland when developing your WHS plan. You should also consider Queensland Health directives when putting together your WHS plan, and consult with your staff.
Some higher risk industries require you to complete a COVID SAFE checklist as part of your WHS plan. Your industry may also develop an Industry COVID SAFE plan.
Industry COVID SAFE plans
From stage 2 of eased restrictions, certain eligible industries, such as restaurants, pubs and clubs, will be able to lodge an Industry COVID SAFE plan. If approved by the relevant health authority (e.g. Queensland Health), this plan will allow compliant businesses to offer services to an increased number of customers.
COVID SAFE checklists
If your industry has been deemed as higher risk by the Chief Health Officer, you must complete a mandatory checklist as part of your WHS plan. You must review, sign and display your completed checklist prominently on your premises.
Checklists must be completed before you can reopen your business.
Checklists are available for:
- beauty therapists and nail salons (PDF, 275KB)
- restaurants and cafes (PDF, 273KB) (including pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels).
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.
If you cannot viably operate your business under the conditions of the checklist, you can still continue to provide services under previous restrictions (e.g. home delivery and takeaway services), or choose not to reopen at this stage.
If your industry requires a COVID SAFE checklist, training is currently being developed for staff to help ensure a safe work environment.
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.
You may have options for which training your employees complete.
Training programs for dining services and beauty therapy are available online through TAFE Queensland.
Your industry peak body may develop specific training, which will be reviewed by the Queensland Government.
Any industry-specific training developed by peak bodies will be reviewed by the Queensland Government. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Approved industry specific training
General business advice
All businesses must:
- ensure there is appropriate distance between staff and customers
- allow 4 square metres per person (either indoors or outdoors)
- maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene
- conduct regular cleaning and disinfection.
You may choose to operate your business from outdoors instead of indoors, if restrictions permit your business to reopen in this way.
Always consider your business registration, licence conditions and insurance details before making a change to your operations.
Employees who have transitioned to working from home should continue to do so, if it suits both you and them.
If your employees are returning to your workplace, you may need to make changes to your working arrangements.
You must consider physical distancing requirements to ensure your workplace allows enough space between employees and customers (1 person per 4 square metres).
You may need to change work rosters or stagger starting and finishing times to meet these requirements.
Consider how you will manage shared spaces, such as lifts, bathrooms, kitchens and staff rooms to ensure you meet social distancing requirements.
Special consideration has been given to areas of Queensland that have had no cases of COVID-19.
Read more about the local government areas given special consideration.
Industry specific advice
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.
You must adhere to physical distancing requirements, including the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.
If your business also provides beauty or nail services, you must complete and display the beauty therapy and nail salon COVID SAFE checklist (PDF, 275KB). See 'Beauty therapy and nail salons' below for more information on allowed services. You do not need to comply with the limit of 10 people in your salon at one time, if your salon can safely accommodate more.
Beauty therapy businesses can operate to provide personal appearance, beauty therapy and nail services as before restrictions came into effect.
Allowed beauty therapy services include:
- facials, exfoliations and wraps
nail services (including manicures, pedicures and nail painting)
- lash services (including lash extensions)
- makeup services
- hair removal (including waxing, laser, tweezer and threading)
- cosmetic injections (only if provided by a health practitioner registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009)
- therapeutic massage (only for the management or prevention of a disease, injury or condition and provided by a qualified massage therapist).
Your business must complete the beauty therapy and nail salon COVID SAFE checklist (PDF, 275KB) to ensure you can reopen safely.
Beauty services that are not allowed under the eased restrictions include:
- spray tans
- other water-based spa services, such as non-therapeutic hydrotherapy tubs, whirlpool tubs, steam rooms, steam cabinets and Vichy shower
- non-therapeutic massage (e.g. for relaxation purposes rather than for the management or prevention of a disease, injury or condition and provided by a qualified massage therapist)
- services where skin penetration is used (e.g. cosmetic tattooing, laser tattoo removal) unless they are provided by health practitioner registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009
- any other services listed in the relevant Queensland Health directives as not being permitted.
Spas, tattoo parlours and non-therapeutic massage parlours are currently not allowed to reopen.
Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels can open for dine in service with a maximum of 10 customers.
Your business must complete the restaurant and cafe COVID SAFE checklist (PDF, 273KB) before you reopen to ensure you can do so safely.
You must allow 4 square metres per customer. For example, a business with an internal usable floor space of 20 square metres could accommodate 5 people.
The 10 person limit applies across your entire premises, even if you have separate outdoor and indoor areas, or multiple dining areas. You can only have a maximum of 10 customers on your premises at one time.
You may choose to have multiple seatings during your trading hours, as long as you only have a maximum of 10 customers at one time.
You must keep a record of all customers that visit your business. This includes names and contact details, and will help with contact tracing should a customer be diagnosed with COVID-19.
There is no time limit for how long your customers can stay on your premises.
The customer limit does not include staff, or customers visiting to order or collect takeaway.
If your business is in an Outback region, you can have a maximum of 20 customers on your premises, if you have space to accommodate this under the 4 square metres per person rule.
Takeaway and delivery services are still permitted. 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 4 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 (for example, removing all tables and chairs).
Food court businesses remain closed for seated customers. You are only allowed to operate for takeaway.
Gaming rooms and floors also cannot open due to the increased risk of transmission from touching machines, chips, etc, and being unable to accommodate social distancing around gaming tables.
You are allowed to run personal training services outdoors only.
Up to 10 people (including the trainer/s) are allowed to attend per session, but you must ensure there is space for 4 square metres per person.
Shared equipment must be disinfected between each use. Encourage customers to bring their own equipment where possible.
You can run an open house inspection or auction house for up to 10 people at one time. You must ensure physical distance is maintained between visitors.
You must also keep a record of each person's name and contact details to help with contact tracing should someone be diagnosed with COVID-19.
Sole operator sex workers can continue to provide online or phone services only (e.g. video streaming or phone chat services).
Restrictions on strip clubs, brothels, sex on premises venues and sole operator sex workers will not be removed until after stage 3 of eased restrictions.
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).
- Read more about Queensland's roadmap to easing restrictions.
- Learn about the COVID SAFE business framework (PDF, 631KB) and read the framework's supporting information (PDF, 238KB).
- View the range of coronavirus (COVID-19) business health and safety resources, including posters for your business or workplace.
- Read industry-specific health and safety advice from Safe Work Australia.
- Last reviewed: 13 May 2020
- Last updated: 26 May 2020
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