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Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew

Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction (No. 2)

Operational Guidelines for Air Crew (version 1)

Overview

Quarantine for air crew

To protect the health of Queenslanders, air crew must quarantine for 14 days or until their next international work voyage or crew only flight (whichever is shorter). The only exception is air crew arriving from safe travel zone countries on a quarantine free flight – these crew are not required to quarantine.

Currently New Zealand is a safe travel zone country for Queensland.

Queensland-based air crew and Australian Defence Force air crew

Queensland-based air crew from an approved airline and Australian Defence Force air crew are allowed to quarantine at their home residence if they:

  • don’t live with a designated worker
  • can comply with the Operational Guidelines for Air Crew
  • arrive in Queensland as an active member of the operating crew for an inbound flight or have been identified as a member of positioning crew and can provide evidence
  • have not been told by an emergency officer to quarantine elsewhere
  • use their private vehicle or an endorsed transport provider engaged by their airline  to travel directly to and from their residence for a permitted purpose without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • from 21 May 2021, use their private vehicle or a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan to travel directly to and from their residence without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • live within a safe 2 hour driving distance from their port of arrival
  • travel by ambulance when required to leave for essential medical care at a hospital.

Airlines must use a compliance plan that details how their Queensland-based air crew will comply with home quarantine requirements, surveillance testing and other relevant Public Health Directions, and be able to provide the plan if requested by an emergency officer.

Air crew completing quarantine in government arranged accommodation

Air crew completing quarantine in government arranged accommodation must:

  • only open the door to their room for a permitted purpose if everyone inside is wearing a surgical face mask
  • use a transport provider engaged by their airline to travel directly to and from their quarantine accommodation without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • from 21 May 2021, use a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan to travel directly to and from their quarantine accommodation without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • travel in an ambulance if leaving quarantine for essential medical care at a hospital
  • if on a balcony, in government arranged accommodation, you cannot:
    • physically interact with other guests
    • accept or pass over items between balconies
    • enter another guest’s balcony.

Requirements for air crew

Upon arriving in Queensland from overseas, all air crew must:

  • quarantine in their nominated premises for 14 days or until their next international voyage.
  • not leave the premises for 14 days, until their next international work voyage or domestic crew-only flight to travel interstate to board their next international work voyage, except:
    • for essential medical care at a hospital
    • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
    • in an emergency situation
    • as permitted by an emergency officer
    • to undertake a COVID-19 test in accordance with their employer’s arrangements for testing
    • for Queensland-based air crew to carry out face-to-face recurring, mandatory training and assessment to ensure they continue to meet their regulatory requirements.
  • not allow anyone to enter the premises where they are quarantining, unless they:
    • live in the residence (for Queensland-based air crew)
    • are staying in the premises for quarantine reasons
    • enter to conduct a COVID-19 test
    • enter for an emergency and their contact details are recorded.

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas can travel on a domestic crew-only flight (no passengers) if they are immediately departing on an outbound international voyage on arrival.

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas on a freight or ferry flight (transporting freight and essential crew only where no new crew members have boarded the aircraft overseas) are allowed to take a freight on-flight to another destination if they:

  • provide written confirmation, from their employer, of travel on a freight or ferry flight
  • provide written confirmation from the relevant government agency of the receiving state or territory that they have been notified of and accepted the arrival of the freight or ferry flight
  • did not leave the confines of the airport as part of their freight or ferry flight.

Queensland-based and international air crew arriving on an aeromedical flight from overseas are allowed to take an aeromedical on-flight within Queensland if requirements are met.

Testing for air crew

Queensland-based, international and domestic crew servicing crew-only flights that arrive in Queensland from overseas must be given a COVID-19 test as soon as practicable unless they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken in Australia in the last 7 days. After the first test, testing must be repeated on a rolling 7 day cycle until the crew member leaves for their next international work voyage or has been in Australia for 14 days, whichever is shorter.

If air crew do not comply with surveillance testing requirements, they will have to stay in quarantine for an additional 14 days from the end of their quarantine period.

Airlines must keep records of surveillance testing for air crew and provide them to an emergency officer if requested.

Air crew can leave Australia on their next work voyage while waiting for a test result, if they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms.

As air crew, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms you must:

  • get medical attention immediately
  • be tested for COVID-19
  • isolate until you receive a negative test result and have no symptoms
  • follow any other requirements set by your employer airline.

There are no surveillance testing requirements for air crew arriving on quarantine free flights from safe travel zone countries. However, if you are a crew member on a quarantine free flight from a safe travel zone country and arrive in Queensland with COVID-19 symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19 and isolate until you receive a negative test result.

Currently New Zealand is a safe travel zone country for Queensland.

Queensland-based air crew

All airlines must arrange and document their rolling 7 day COVID-19 surveillance testing for all Queensland-based air crew quarantining at their home.

International air crew (based overseas or interstate)

International air crew will be tested in government arranged accommodation on arrival with testing facilitated by Queensland Health

Queensland International Arrivals Registration

All air crew who have been overseas in the last 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland, must complete a Queensland International Arrivals Registration.

You don’t have to complete a registration if you arrived in Queensland on a quarantine free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country.

For full details read the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction (No. 2)

Questions and answers about this direction

Questions about air crew quarantine

What air crew are required to quarantine?

Air crew arriving in Queensland who have been overseas in the last 14 days including all pilots, cabin crew and crew performing essential safety and maintenance functions. This includes Queensland-based, Australian Defence Force and international air crew.

Domestic air crew who in the last 14 days have travelled with crew who have been overseas in the last 14 days must also quarantine on arrival in Queensland.

Air crew arriving on a quarantine-free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country are not required to quarantine.

Currently New Zealand is a safe travel zone country for Queensland.

What are the screening questions which may be asked on arrival to Queensland?

An emergency officer may require any person arriving in Queensland from overseas, including air crew arriving on a quarantine free flight, to answer questions or provide evidence about:

  1. whether the person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  2. whether they have been knowingly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  3. their name
  4. their date of birth
  5. their phone number while in Australia
  6. their intended address while in Australia
  7. their email address
  8. their flight number
  9. their flight seat number
  10. the places the person has been in the last 14 days before arriving in Queensland.

Can I travel on a domestic flight after I arrive?

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas can travel on a domestic crew only flight (no passengers) if they are immediately departing on an outbound international voyage on arrival to another state or territory.

Air crew arriving on a quarantine free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country are allowed to on-flight domestically.

Air crew wanting to stay overnight in Queensland before repositioning to their next destination will require an exemption to leave quarantine.

If I arrive on a freight or ferry flight, can I travel on to another destination?

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas on a freight or ferry flight can take a freight or ferry flight onto another destination if they:

  • provide written confirmation, from their employer, of travel on a freight or ferry flight
  • provide written confirmation from the relevant government agency of the receiving state or territory that they have been notified of and accepted the arrival of the freight or ferry flight
  • did not leave the confines of the airport as part of their freight or ferry flight.

A freight or ferry flight means a flight that is transporting freight and essential crew only, where no new members have boarded the aircraft overseas.

If I arrive on an aeromedical flight from overseas, can I take an aeromedical on-flight within Queensland?

#aeromedical-flight

Queensland-based and international air crew arriving on an aeromedical flight from overseas are allowed to take an aeromedical on-flight within Queensland if the following requirements are met:

  • the first port of arrival is only for a contactless fuel stop or customs
  • the crew comply with testing requirements under the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements (Contact by Health Workers with Cases) Direction
  • no one leaves the tarmac at the first port of arrival unless to use toilets designated for their crew and passengers only
  • on arrival for patient transfer, the crew must not leave the confines of the airport unless required to quarantine in government arranged accommodation before their return flight
  • the return flight must be a crew-only flight with no passengers and no new crew members joining the aircraft.

If I arrive on a quarantine free flight and haven’t been outside a Queensland safe travel zone country in the past 14 days, do I need to quarantine?

Currently New Zealand is a safe travel zone country for Queensland.

If air crew arrive on a quarantine free flight into another state or territory, they will have to quarantine for 14 days or until their next international voyage or crew only flight (whichever is shorter) when they enter Queensland.

Do domestic pilots flying crew only flights need to complete quarantine when they arrive in Queensland?

No. Domestic pilots on crew only flights with Queensland-based, Australian Defence Force and international air crew do not have to quarantine in Queensland if the pilot:

  • remains in the cockpit throughout the flight, unless they are using the restroom
  • has access to a dedicated restroom that is not used by anyone else on board the flight
  • remains separate from the repositioning air crew:
    • during travel to an airport to board the flight
    • in the cabin for the duration of the flight
    • when embarking and disembarking the aircraft.

What are the travel restrictions for air crew in quarantine?

#travel-restrictions

Air crew completing quarantine in government arranged accommodation must:

  • use a transport provider engaged by their airline to travel directly to and from their quarantine accommodation without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • from 21 May 2021, use a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan to travel directly to and from their quarantine accommodation without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • travel in an ambulance if leaving quarantine for essential medical care at a hospital.

Air crew completing quarantine at home must:

  • use their private vehicle or a transport provider engaged by their airline to travel directly to and from their residence without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • from 21 May 2021, use their private vehicle or a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan to travel directly to and from their residence for a permitted purpose without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • live within a safe 2 hour driving distance from their port of arrival
  • travel by ambulance when required to leave for essential medical care at a hospital.

If I am currently in mandatory quarantine due to entering from a country that has since become a safe travel zone country for Queensland, can I leave quarantine?

If you entered Queensland from a location that has since been declared a Queensland safe travel zone country you can leave quarantine.

You must complete the following before you can leave quarantine:

  • declare in writing that you haven’t been in a country that is not a safe travel zone country in the last 14 days
  • provide your contact details and an address where you’ll be residing in Queensland
  • have a negative COVID-19 test while in quarantine.

Questions about air crew quarantine in government arranged accommodation

Is quarantine in government arranged accommodation for all air crew?

All air crew (Queensland-based, Australian Defence Force and international air crew) will be required to quarantine in government arranged accommodation if they have been overseas in the last 14 days and do not have a primary place of residence in Queensland. The only exception is air crew arriving on a quarantine-free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country.

Can I open the door of my quarantine room?

You can only open the door to your room if allowed by a quarantine facility worker or emergency officer for a permitted purpose, and if everyone inside is wearing a surgical face mask. For example:

  • to collect food, laundry, medical supplies or other items left at your door
  • to place laundry, rubbish or other items directly outside your door for collection
  • in an emergency situation and contact details of the other person are recorded
  • for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm)
  • for essential medical care, including a COVID-19 test
  • as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to you by a relevant authority.

What rules must I follow to go on my balcony?

When you go on your balcony you must : practise social distancing, by staying 1.5 metres away from people on other balconies.

You must not:

  • pass food or other items out of your balcony
  • climb out of your balcony
  • allow anyone to enter your balcony
  • accept any other items on to your balcony
  • physically interact with neighbouring guests across balconies.

Who doesn't have to wear a face mask in quarantine?

There are some exceptions to wearing a face mask when opening the door to your quarantine room. These exceptions include:

  • in an emergency situation
  • for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm)
  • anyone who has a medical condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a mask – for example, a person who has breathing difficulties, a serious skin condition on their face, a mental health condition or psychological impacts from experienced trauma
  • as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to you by a relevant authority.

What sort of face mask can I wear?

You can wear a single use surgical mask with a minimum level 1 barrier protection (Australian Standard) that covers your nose and mouth.

You cannot wear a scarf, bandana or face shield.

Can I leave the accommodation during my 14 day quarantine period?

No. You must not leave government arranged accommodation for 14 days or until your next international work voyage or crew only flight, except:

  • in an emergency situation
  • for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm)
  • for essential medical care at a hospital, if allowed by the authority
  • to have a COVID-19 test
  • as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to you by an emergency officer.

If I need to leave quarantine for an essential reason, how do I get to my destination?

If leaving quarantine for essential medical care at a hospital, you must travel in an ambulance.

If leaving quarantine for any other allowed purpose, you must travel in an ambulance, a transport provider engaged by your airline, or an emergency services vehicle.

From 21 May 2021 , travel must be by ambulance, a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan or an emergency services vehicle.

Questions about air crew quarantining at home

Who can quarantine at home?

Queensland-based air crew from an approved airline and Australian Defence Force air crew are allowed to quarantine at their home residence if they:

  • don’t live with a designated worker
  • can comply with the Operational Guidelines for Air Crew
  • arrive in Queensland as an active member of the operating crew for an inbound flight or have been identified as a member of positioning crew
  • have not been told by an emergency officer to quarantine elsewhere
  • use their private vehicle or a transport provider engaged by their airline to travel directly to and from their residence without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • from 21 May 2021, use their private vehicle or a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan to travel directly to and from their residence for a permitted purpose without stopping, while wearing a face mask
  • live within a safe 2 hour driving distance from their port of arrival
  • travel by ambulance when required to leave for essential medical care at a hospital.

Airlines must use a compliance plan that details how their Queensland-based air crew will comply with home quarantine requirements, surveillance testing and other relevant Public Health Directions, and be able to provide the plan if requested by an emergency officer.

If preferred, Queensland-based air crew can also quarantine in government arranged accommodation.

All other international air crew must quarantine in government arranged accommodation.

Approved airlines are listed in a Schedule in the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction.

Who is classed as Queensland-based air crew?

Queensland-based air crew must have their primary place of residence in Queensland and be one of the following, an:

  • air crew member actively servicing an inbound flight to Australia
  • off-shift air crew member who can provide evidence they are a member of positioning crew
  • aeromedical services crew member providing patient transport or emergency medical care to a patient
  • off-shift aeromedical services crew member who can provide evidence they are a member of positioning crew.

Ground crew staff are not included in the definition of Queensland-based air crew unless they are actively servicing an inbound flight to Australia.

Who is considered a member of positioning crew? / What evidence do members of positioning crew need to show?

A member of positioning crew is a person who has documentary evidence of the flight they will be leaving Australia on, and who are identified:

Anyone entering Queensland to undertake mandatory regulatory training cannot be identified as a member of positioning crew. A member of positioning crew must provide an undertaking that they only left Australia for the purpose of servicing an inbound or outbound flight and did not undertake any other activities while in a place outside of Australia, including participating in regulatory training.

Who is a designated worker? / Why can’t I quarantine at home if I live with a designated worker?

#designated-worker

To protect vulnerable Queenslanders, you cannot quarantine at home if you live with a designated worker. If you live with a designated worker you will have to quarantine in government arranged accommodation.

The following people are considered designated workers:

  • people working as:
    • a registered health practitioners
    • an NDIS service providers
  • employees, contractors and volunteers of:
    • hospitals
    • private health facilities
    • multi-purpose services
    • residential aged care facilities
    • disability accommodation services
    • corrective service facilities
    • detention centres.

I have a home in Queensland, can my colleagues quarantine with me?

No. Queensland-based air crew who are quarantining in their home can only do this with people who normally live in their household, or alone.

How should I quarantine if I live with other people?

Air crew cannot quarantine at home if a member of the household is a designated worker.

If you live with other people who are not designated workers, they will not have to quarantine.

Air crew who can quarantine at home must as much as possible:

  • stay in their own room
  • use a separate bathroom or clean the bathroom each time they use it
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others
  • wear a face mask when moving through shared spaces in the house (e.g. when using the bathroom) and stay at least 1.5 meters away from other people.
  • have the house regularly cleaned by someone they live with, who should pay attention to frequently touched items such as door handles, phones and remote controls.

Air crew who can quarantine at home must not:

  • mix or mingle with the people they live with
  • enter common areas
  • prepare food for other people
  • share household items.

Everyone in the household must:

  • get tested if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild
  • wash their hands often, using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • sneeze or cough into their arm or a tissue, then put the tissue in the bin
  • practice physical distancing
  • avoid sharing household items.

Can I have people visit me during home quarantine?

You cannot allow anyone to enter the residence during your 14 day quarantine unless they:

  • live in the residence
  • enter to conduct a COVID-19 test
  • are required to enter for an emergency.

Can I leave my house during my 14 day quarantine period?

No. You must not leave your home for 14 days or until your next international work voyage or crew only flight, except:

  • in an emergency situation
  • for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm)
  • for essential medical care at a hospital
  • to have a COVID-19 test
  • to complete mandatory face-to-face training and assessment to meet regulatory requirements to operate aircraft or ensure the safety of flights
  • to complete mandatory training and assessment as required by the Australian Defence Force
  • as otherwise required or permitted under a direction given to you by an emergency officer.

If I need to leave home quarantine for an essential reason, how do I get to my destination?

If leaving quarantine for essential medical care at a hospital, you must travel in an ambulance.

If leaving home quarantine for any other allowed purpose, you must travel in your private vehicle, an ambulance, a transport provider engaged by your airline or an emergency services vehicle.

From 21 May 2021, you must travel in your private vehicle, an ambulance, a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan or an emergency services vehicle.

What training can Queensland-based air crew leave quarantine for?

Queensland-based air crew (including domestic crew) can leave quarantine to carry out mandatory training and assessment. This training must be required to be undertaken face-to-face within Queensland and is to ensure that air crew maintain licences to operate an aircraft or to ensure the safety of flights. For example, flight simulation training or the components of essential safety and security training.

Australian Defence Force air crew can carry out mandatory training and assessment as required by the Australian Defence Force.

Questions about air crew testing

What are the surveillance testing requirements for air crew?

Queensland-based and international air crew that arrive in Queensland from overseas must be given a COVID-19 test as soon as practicable unless they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken in Australia in the last 7 days. After the first test, testing must be repeated on a rolling 7 day cycle until the crew member leaves for their next international work voyage or has been in Australia for 14 days, whichever is shorter.

Domestic crew servicing crew only flights, excluding pilots who are able to be completely separated from international air crew, must also undertake surveillance testing.

If air crew are unable to be tested 7 days after their last test, they should get a test prior to reaching the 7 day mark.

If air crew do not comply with surveillance testing requirements, they will have to stay in quarantine for an additional 14 days from the end of their quarantine period.

If I have been tested for COVID-19 before entering Australia, do I still need to be tested?

Yes. Any COVID-19 test taken outside of Australia will not be accepted as part of surveillance testing requirements.

If I have been tested for COVID-19 in another state or territory within Australia, do I still need to be tested?

Air crew will not need to be tested on arrival to Queensland if they can provide evidence of a COVID-19 test result undertaken in Australia in the last 7 days.

Are there any testing requirements for air crew arriving in Queensland on a quarantine free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country?

Air crew arriving on a quarantine free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country do not have to undertake surveillance testing.

Any crew member arriving in Queensland on a quarantine free flight with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately get tested for COVID-19 in Queensland and isolate at their accommodation until they receive a negative result.

How should I get tested if I’m quarantining at home?

Where possible, airlines should arrange for your COVID-19 surveillance testing to happen at home.

When this is not possible, you must travel to your airline’s testing location. You must travel in your private vehicle, a transport provider engaged by your airline (only permitted until 21 May 2021), an emergency services vehicle or by a transport provider endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with an approved transport plan.

Questions about endorsed transport providers

Endorsed transport providers

See more information on endorsed transport providers and for answer to commonly asked questions.

Questions about the Queensland International Arrivals Registration

Who has to complete a Queensland International Arrivals registration?

If you have been overseas in the last 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland, you must complete a Queensland International Arrivals Registration.

You don’t have to complete a registration if you arrived in Queensland on a quarantine free flight from a Queensland safe travel zone country.

What is the Queensland International Arrivals Registration?

The Queensland International Arrivals Registration requires you to answer the following questions:

  • What is your name?
  • What is your date of birth?
  • What is your primary residential address in Australia?
  • What is your phone number?
  • What is your email address?
  • When will you arrive in Queensland?

You will need to provide evidence of your identity if asked – this could include your passport, driver licence or Medicare card.

Questions about exemptions

Can I be granted an exemption from the quarantine and/or testing requirements for air crew?

Exemptions may be granted on the basis of extreme exceptional circumstances by the Chief Health Officer. If an exemption is given, the person must comply with all conditions of the exemption.

Questions about face masks

When do I have to wear a face mask?/ Where do I have to wear a face mask

In a locked down area

You must carry a face mask if you:

  • are in a locked down area, or
  • have been in a locked down area at any time since 1am AEST 29 June, unless 14 days have passed since you were there; or
  • reside in the same household as a person who has been in a locked down area at any time from 1am AEST 31 July 2021 until 14 days have passed since those people were in the locked down area (whichever is shorter).

Outdoors

You must wear a face mask at all times when you are outside your home, including on public transport and when doing non-vigorous exercise unless:

  • you are alone in your car or with the members of your household
  • you are alone in an office with the door closed
  • you are eating or drinking
  • you are participating in strenuous exercise
  • it is unsafe to wear a mask.

Indoors

You must wear a face mask at all times when you indoors, including workplaces, even when social distancing is possible, unless:

  • you are at your residence and there is no one   else there except people you live with
  • you are eating or drinking
  • it is unsafe to wear a mask

If you are an essential worker and you cannot wear a face mask due to a medical condition, you are strongly encouraged to stay at home and not go into your workplace, unless you are fully vaccinated.

Remember, if you can work from home, you must work from home.

Masks in schools and childcare facilities

Schools are and childcare facilities are only open for children of essential workers and vulnerable children.

  • High schools – masks must be worn by   teachers, staff and students
  • Prep to Year 12 schools – masks   must be worn by teachers, staff and students in grade 7 and above (even if   the student is under 12 years of age)
  • Primary schools – masks   must be worn by teachers and staff

Exceptions

There are some other exceptions to wearing face masks, including for children under 12 (unless they are at school in Grade 7) and people with particular medical conditions or disabilities.

If in doubt, wear a face mask. You must wear a face mask when leaving your home, if you cannot wear a face mask please do not leave your residence.

Rest of Queensland (outside of South East Queensland locked down areas)

You are only required to wear a mask in some locations such as airports on domestic flights and in stadiums. You do not need to wear a mask if you:

  • have not been in a locked down area at any time since 1am AEST 29 June; or
  • do not reside in the same household as a person who has been in a locked down area at any time from 1am AEST 31 July 2021

We recommend everyone else in Queensland should keep a mask with them so that if you are in a situation where you may not be able to maintain physical distancing, you have some added protection.

Who doesn’t have to wear a face mask?

#exceptions

If you are in a locked down area, face masks do not have to be worn by:

  • infants and children under the age of 12 unless they are at High School or a prep to year 12 school in grade 7)
  • anyone in their homes or in temporary accommodation such as holiday accommodation
  • anyone working alone in an indoor space such as in a closed office
  • anyone travelling alone in their car or only with members of their household
  • anyone engaged in strenuous physical exercise
  • anyone eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • people engaging in work that requires clear communication or visibility of your mouth, for example live broadcasting
  • anyone who has a medical condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a mask, including problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on their face, a mental health condition or experienced trauma
  • anyone who is communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
  • anyone who has past experiences of trauma and is unable to wear a face mask due to psychological impacts
  • anyone whose health and safety would be at risk if they wore a face mask while conducting their work, as determined through Occupational Health and Safety guidelines
  • prisoners of corrective facilities or detainees in detention centres, subject to any policies or requirements of a facility
  • residents of residential aged care facilities or shared disability accommodation services
  • anyone who is being married while in the process of being married
  • people during an emergency.

Rest of Queensland (outside of South East Queensland locked down areas)

There are also some exceptions to wearing a face mask in airports in Queensland, on domestic flights and in vehicles transporting people to and from quarantine hotels.

These exceptions include:

  • children under 12
  • a person eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • where visibility of the mouth is essential – for example, a person communicating to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, a teacher or live broadcasting
  • a person with a particular medical condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a mask – for example, a person who has breathing difficulties, a serious skin condition on their face, a mental health condition or psychological impacts from experienced trauma
  • a person undergoing medical treatment – for example, a person receiving first aid
  • if a person is asked to remove a face mask for identity
  • if wearing a mask creates a risk to a person’s health and safety
  • in an emergency or when required by law – for example, if a customs officer requires a person to remove their mask for a cavity search
  • in any circumstances where it is not safe to wear a face mask
  • if you are an air crew member or an airport worker who is not interacting directly with passengers.

If you remove your face mask for any reason, you must put it back on as soon as practicable.

Do I have to provide a medical certificate to prove I can't wear a mask due to my medical condition?

You do not need a medical certificate to prove you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask.

If a service provider, school or employer requires you to wear a mask when an exception applies, this may amount to unlawful discrimination.

Find out more information about COVID-19 and human rights.

Do I have to wear a mask if I’m in my workplace and have been to a lockdown area?

A person working alone in an indoor space is not required to wear a face mask. For example a person working alone in an office with the door closed.

All other essential workers attending a workplace should wear a face mask at all times unless an exception applies.

If you are an essential worker attending the workplace during the lockdown and are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition you are strongly advised to stay home unless you are fully vaccinated. For example, a supermarket employee working at a check out or in a distribution centre should not attend work if they are unable to wear a face mask unless they are vaccinated.

Questions about face masks at airports and on flights

Do I have to wear a mask if I’m driving a vehicle with no passengers?

No. You do not need to wear a mask if you are driving a vehicle without passengers.

Do I have to wear a face mask if I am not interacting directly with passengers?

Air crew and airport workers who do not interact directly with passengers do not need to wear a mask. If you are in the airport where passengers are present, you must wear a face mask. If you are at an airport in a locked down area, you must wear a mask at all times unless an exception applies

What type of mask can I wear in an airport or on a plane? Will it be provided to me?

You must obtain your own face mask. The best face mask is a single-use surgical mask – you can purchase these at pharmacies. If you are unable to get a surgical mask, any cloth mask with at least 3 layers is permitted.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

How can I wear a face mask if I have a hearing aid or wear garments that cover my head or face?

If you wear a hearing aid we recommend considering wearing a mask that ties around your head, rather than over the ears to ensure the ties do not get tangled in your hearing aid.

There are a range of face masks available that can be worn with traditional and religious garments. These include face masks that are tied around the head, rather than looped over the ears. If you wear a face covering, like a veil or scarf, you should wear your face mask beneath this covering your nose and mouth.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

How do I stop my face mask fogging up my glasses?

Try one of these tips to help prevent your face mask fogging your glasses:

  • make sure your face mask is fitted and pinched on your nose if possible
  • put your glasses on after your mask
  • wash your glasses with detergent and water to create a film to prevent fogging
  • use micropore tape (available at pharmacies) to tape the mask along the bridge of your nose and cheeks, then put your glasses on top
  • put a folded tissue across the bridge of your nose, then put your mask on with your glasses on top.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

How do I wear a mask correctly if I have a big beard?

Ensure the mask covers your nose and mouth, regardless of any facial hair. For non-medical face masks, you do not have to achieve a seal with the mask against the skin of your face.

There are different shapes and sizes of fabric non-medical masks available, some of which may be a more comfortable option if you have facial hair.

Who are air crew and airport workers?

Air crew means a person on a commercial domestic flight landing or taking off in Queensland who is:
  • a pilot or crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member actively servicing a commercial domestic flight
  • an off-shift pilot or crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member travelling to reposition to commence duty in Queensland or another State or Territory
  • an aeromedical services crew member providing patient transport or emergency medical care to a patient
  • an off-shift aeromedical services crew member who is travelling as a passenger on an aircraft to reposition to commence duty in Queensland or another State of Territory.
Airport worker means someone required to perform work in a Queensland airport, including:
  • an engineer or other technical staff
  • a cleaner
  • a baggage handler
  • a person involved in the delivery or removal of food, goods or other things in connection with an aircraft
  • an employee of an airline other than air crew
  • a person providing law enforcement or border security services.

Can I remove my face mask to smoke or use an e-cigarette?

Yes, subject to existing restrictions on smoking in public places in Queensland.

While there isn’t enough evidence to be certain that people who smoke are more likely to be infected by COVID-19, the act of smoking means that fingers are in contact with your lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.

Find out more about smoking and COVID-19.

How will wearing face masks be enforced?

Airlines can stop someone from boarding a domestic flight or flying with the airline (for a period of time determined by the airline) if they refuse to wear a face mask.

Although airlines are not responsible for enforcing compliance with the Mandatory Face Masks Direction, they can report non-compliance to the Queensland Police Service or Australian Federal Police through their current processes.

Queensland Police Service and Australian Federal Police officers may take action if a person refuses to wear a face mask without a lawful reason. A person may be given a move-on direction to not board a flight or to leave the airport for up to a 24 hour period. If someone refuses a police direction to wear a mask, police officers can issue an on-the-spot fine of $206, an infringement notice, or a notice to appear in court.

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Questions and requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

You can apply for an exemption to a Direction online.