Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

Stage 3 eased business restrictions for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Queensland

Stage 3 commenced 3 July 2020

Stage 3 eased restrictions came into effect at 12 noon, Friday 3 July 2020. Read more about Queensland's staged approach to easing restrictions.

Easing of restrictions update

From 1am, 25 September 2020:

Stage 3 of the plan to ease coronavirus (COVID-19) business restrictions ensures businesses can reopen and operate in a way that increases business activity but does not compromise the health of customers, staff and the community.

Stage 3 eased restrictions came into effect at 12 noon on Friday 3 July 2020.

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

Note: On 24 July 2020, restrictions were reinstated for business venues serving food and drink to ensure patrons are seated when eating or drinking. Read the explanation of the businesses, activities and undertakings direction (no. 5) for more information.

If your business has not been required to close, you can continue to operate as planned.

Stage 3 business restrictions

From 12 noon, 3 July 2020, restrictions are further eased for businesses in Queensland.

All business types can now reopen.

In general, the maximum number of customers your business or venue can have at one time is determined by the 4 square metre rule (1 person per 4 square metres). There is no specific customer cap for businesses (unless specifically noted). For businesses with an area less than 200 square metres, you can operate with 1 person per 2 square metres, up to a maximum of 50 people. You must keep a register of customers who visit your business, and store their information securely for at least 56 days.

For both rules, you should only include areas of your business that are open to or used by the public (for example, for a cafe or restaurant, you can count the dining area, but not the kitchen).

You no longer have to create defined spaces or areas for customers on your business premises.

The following businesses and areas can reopen only if you have a COVID Safe Plan:

  • casinos, gaming and gambling venues (including electronic gaming machines)
  • non-therapeutic massage
  • saunas and bathhouses (including floatation tanks)
  • nightclubs
  • food courts.

Office-based workers can return to the workplace, providing you can meet the 4 square metre rule.

Concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can open with up to 50% capacity or 1 person per 4 square metres (whichever is greater).

Weddings and funerals can have up to 100 people attending (in venues with COVID Safe industry plans). You must keep contact details of all attendees for at least 56 days.

Sports, recreation and fitness organisations can now (when following a COVID Safe industry plan):

  • resume activities including competitions and physical contact sports
  • for indoor venues, have 1 person per 4 square metres (with contact details of all attendees kept for at least 56 days)
  • for outdoor venues, have spectators with physical distancing in place (1.5 metres per family group).

COVID Safe checklists and COVID Safe industry plans continue to apply. You can make adjustments to your existing plan to reflect stage 3 changes.

View the Queensland Government's roadmap to easing restrictions.

COVID Safe business planning

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

Read more about COVID safe businesses.

Workplace health and safety (WHS) plan
All businesses that are open or reopening must have a WHS plan in place.

All businesses that are open or reopening must have a WHS plan in place.

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

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

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 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.

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 industries must complete a mandatory checklist to operate safely.

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. You do not need to complete a COVID Safe checklist if your business is following an approved COVID Safe industry plan.

In stage 3 of eased restrictions, you must have a COVID Safe checklist if your business offers or operates in:

  • non-therapeutic massage
  • saunas
  • bathhouses (including floatation tanks)
  • food courts.

In stage 3, 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.

Checklists are available for:

Find COVID Safe checklists in other languages. These are also being updated for stage 3 changes.

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, or choose not to reopen at this stage.

COVID Safe Ambassadors

COVID Safe Ambassadors will be visiting businesses from 5 June 2020 to help you understand your COVID Safe requirements.

The Ambassadors will be able to answer questions you may have about COVID Safe business planning, and help you find the information you need to operate safely.

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

General business advice

Public health rules

All businesses must:

  • ensure there is appropriate distance between staff and customers, and between individual customers or groups (1.5 metres)
  • allow either 2 or 4 square metres per person, depending on what your business is allowed to offer (either indoors or outdoors, in areas open to, or used by, the public)
  • 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.

Collecting and storing customer information

You may be required to collect and store customer, employee and contractor information as a requirement to open your business. This information may help authorities trace any COVID-19 infections if they occur.

Information you must collect includes:

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

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.

If requested, this information must be provided to public health officers within a stated time.

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

Learn more about collecting contact information for COVID-19.

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.

Employees working from home

Employees who have been working from home can return to the workplace, if it suits both you and them.

You may need to make changes to your working arrangements to meet physical distancing requirements between employees and customers (1 person per 4 square metres). This could include:

  • changing work rosters or staggering starting and finishing times
  • managing the number of people in shared spaces, such as lifts, bathrooms, kitchens and staff rooms.

If an employee is unwell with acute respiratory symptoms, they must stay home, or be sent home immediately, and should be tested for COVID-19.

Industry specific advice

Tourism

Official Schoolies Week events are cancelled. Accommodation providers statewide must adhere to additional restrictions between 21 November and 11 December with a maximum of 10 people allowed to gather in residences including holiday units.

Tourism experiences can operate, but you must limit the number of customers according to the capacity of your space, venue or vessel. This capacity can be determined by:

  • the 1 person per 4 square metres rule (for spaces/venues/vessels over 200 square metres)
  • the 1 person per 2 square metres rule, up to a maximum of 50 people (for spaces/venues/vessels under 200 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.

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, which are being updated for stage 3 eased restrictions, 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

Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels may open for seated patrons only. You must adhere to either:

  • 1 person per 2 square metres, up to a maximum of 50 people (for areas under 200 square metres)
  • 1 person per 4 square metres (for areas over 200 square metres).

You must keep a record of all customers that visit your business for seating dining. 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.

Other changes for stage 3 of eased restrictions include:

  • food courts can reopen for seated customers
  • customers can:
    • order, pay and collect food and drinks at the bar or service counter, but must return to their seats
    • eat and drink while seated.

Buffet self-service is not permitted in stage 3. All food must be served by waiters.

Dance floors in venues must remain closed to prevent unnecessary contact between patrons. You may choose to use your usual dance floor space for seated dining or drinking.

COVID Safe checklists

Your business must complete the seated dining and drinking COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 173KB) or food courts COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 336KB) 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

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 2 or 4 square metres per person, depending on the size of your venue – 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 are now able to reopen for seated customers. You must have a COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 336KB) to operate.

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.

In stage 3, gaming venues can:

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

In stage 3 these venues can't:

  • operate a dance floor(s)
  • 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.

You must adhere to physical distancing requirements, including the 1 person per 4 square metre rule, or 1 person per 2 square metre rule (up to a maximum of 50 people), depending on the size of your business.

If your business also provides beauty or nail services, you must complete the personal services COVID Safe checklist (PDF, 347KB). 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)

Under stage 3 of eased restrictions, personal service and personal appearance businesses:

  • can operate with no restrictions about what services you can offer
  • can now 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 requirements, including either:

  • the 1 person per 2 square metre rule (for businesses under 200 square metres in size)
  • the 1 person per 4 square metre rule (for businesses over 200 square metres in size).

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, 347KB) 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 and return to play readiness checklist for more information for the sporting, recreation and fitness industries.

Accommodation providers

Official Schoolies Week events are cancelled. Accommodation providers statewide must adhere to additional restrictions between 21 November and 11 December with a maximum of 10 people allowed to gather in residences including holiday units.

There is no limit on the number of customers for accommodation providers.

You must observe social distancing measures, and collect customer information (see 'Collecting and storing 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 guidelines 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.

For properties/venues of:

  • under 200 square metres, you can have 1 person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people
  • over 200 square metres, you can have 1 person per 4 square metres.

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

You must also keep a record of each person's name, address, mobile phone number and date and time period visited for at least 56 days to help with contact tracing should someone be diagnosed with COVID-19.

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.

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. For businesses with a space of:

  • under 200 square metres, you can have 1 person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people
  • over 200 square metres, you can have 1 person per 4 square metres.

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)

Concert venues, theatres, auditoriums, convention centres and show grounds can operate for up to 50% seated capacity, or 1 person per 4 square metres (whichever is greater).

Museums, art galleries, libraries and historic sites can operate with 1 person per 4 square metres.

Nightclubs can reopen, but may operate with seated patrons only (no dancing is permitted) and must operate in accordance with an Approved Plan.

Venues operating under an approved COVID Safe industry plan or COVID Safe site-specific plan may have more customers than current restrictions allow.

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.

In stage 3, gaming venues can:

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

In stage 3 these venues can't:

  • operate a dance floor
  • serve food in buffets
  • serve food or drink to patrons who are not seated.

Retail wagering outlets must:

  • comply with a COVID Safe industry plan
  • have 1 person per 4 square metres (for premises over 200 square metres)
  • have 1 person per 2 square metres, up to a maximum of 50 customers (for venues less than 200 square metres).

Nightclubs

Nightclubs are allowed to operate, however dance floors must remain closed to prevent unnecessary contact between patrons. You may choose to use your usual dance floor space for seated dining or drinking.

Cinemas

Indoor cinemas can operate for the maximum number of people depending on your floor space:

  • venues less than 200 square metres can operate for 1 person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people
  • venues over 200 square metres can operate for 1 person per 4 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 1 car.

Wedding operations

Wedding ceremonies may have up to 100 people in venues with a COVID Safe industry plan.

Services held in private homes or public spaces are restricted to:

  • 10 people in the Greater Brisbane, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley areas
  • 30 people in the rest of Queensland.

You must collect and keep records of all people who attend the wedding to help with contact tracing. For more information, read 'Collecting and storing customer information' above.

Wedding venues can not operate a dance floor(s). The couple getting married however, may dance with each other (e.g. perform a 'first dance' for their guests) and may also dance with their parents. Their wedding guests may not participate in the dancing.

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 (not wakes or similar gatherings) can occur with a maximum of 100 attendees in venues with a COVID Safe industry plan.

Services held in private homes or public spaces are restricted to:

  • 10 people in the Greater Brisbane, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley areas
  • 30 people in the rest of Queensland.

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 more information, read 'Collecting and storing customer information' above.

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

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. Across all event sizes, you must apply the 1 person per 4 square metres rule to prevent overcrowding.

Events with:

  • up to 500 people must complete a COVID Safe event checklist (PDF, 324KB), with no further approval needed
  • 500–10,000 people must have a COVID Safe event plan approved by the local public health unit
  • more than 10,000 people must have a COVID Safe event plan approved by the Chief Health Officer.

If more than 500 people will be attending the event (under an Industry or Site Specific Plan), the organiser must tell the local public health unit at least 10 business days before the event takes place.

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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