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.
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From 4pm Saturday 31 July to 4pm Sunday 8 August 2021, areas in South East Queensland are subject to new restrictions, including those for business, activities and undertakings. If you, or a member of your household, is in, or has recently been in, South East Queensland, please refer to Restrictions for Locked Down Areas – South East Queensland for more information.
There are no density restrictions for venues that operate only outdoors. All indoor settings can have up to 1 person per 2 square metres or 100 per cent capacity if patrons are in ticketed and allocated seating. Stadiums with a capacity of 20,000 people or more will be required to reduce capacity to 75 per cent.
Restricted businesses must:
Previously, only hospitality businesses had to use the Check In Qld app for contact tracing.
Tell the venue staff immediately if you do not have a smartphone or have difficulties providing your information electronically. They can record your details for you or will have alternative measures in place to record your details.
We all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and others safe, and to support businesses to operate safely.
Keep your space
Keep in contact
For full details read the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No.23).
Questions about density
What's the difference between the 2 square metre rule and physical distancing of 1.5 metres?
Physical distancing (also called social distancing) is one way to help slow the spread of viruses and can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
The 1 person per 2 square metre rule describes the maximum number of people who can occupy an indoor premises at the same time - the ‘density’ of people at a restaurant or café. For example, the 2 square metre rule is the measure that a business should use to plan how many people can occupy an indoor venue safely.
We are also asking everyone to keep a physical (social) distance of 1.5 metres away from other people. This is about each of us being responsible for how close we get to others, wherever we are – for example, at the train station, in the supermarket or at a party.
As a business, do I need to do both? That is, make sure there is 2 square metres per person and physical distancing of 1.5 metres?
Physical distancing of 1.5 metres should be encouraged to the extent possible. The 1 person per 2 square metre rule does not determine the distance between people. It’s important to be mindful of arranging traffic flows in your business to ensure that wherever possible patrons and staff are each at least 1.5 metres apart.
What is outdoors?
An outdoor area has fixed or temporary boundaries but is not fully enclosed. It is open to the elements and has natural air flow. To reduce the risk of COVID-19, there should be as much natural and unrestricted air movement as possible for most of the time the area is in use.
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 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. A temporary or permanent marquee is not considered an outdoor area except in the circumstances where walls/panels are lifted for the duration of the event. A tent, like a circus tent or performance tent, is not considered an outdoor area.
When curtain walls, panel walls or other fittings are used to fully enclose an area to protect from the elements, it should be considered as indoor. Sometimes Queensland weather means that curtain walls, panel walls or other fittings are used for short periods to partially enclose an area for patron comfort and safety. If a business is in doubt, it should operate as if it is an indoor space.
My business has indoor and outdoor areas, what rules do I need to follow?
You must follow the requirements for indoors and outdoors in the different areas. Patrons must check in for both the indoor and outdoor sections of your business.
Indoor areas can have 1 person per 2 square metres or 100 per cent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating. Outdoor areas can have an unlimited number of people.
Both indoor and outdoor dance areas can only have 1 person per 2 square metres. Dance areas include the areas near and in front of performance stages.
How many people (occupant density) can be in a venue at any one time?
All restricted businesses can have 1 person per 2 square metres indoors. If the venue is providing patrons with tickets and allocated seating, it can allow up to 100 per cent of seated capacity – even if this means more than 1 person per 2 square in the venue.
Stadiums with a capacity of 20,000 people or more must reduce capacity to 75 per cent. Spectators must be in ticketed and allocated seating.
There are no occupant density limits for outdoor venues, in this Direction, unless the venue has dancing or is hosting a music festival.
What is ticketed and allocated seating?
This means a person is given a ticket with their seat number on it and will remain (as much as possible) in their allocated seat while at the venue. These venues can operate at up to 100 per cent capacity as any potential COVID-19 transmission risk is minimised by the reduced amount of movement of people. For example, a school auditorium hired by a dance studio for an end of year concert may use up to 100 per cent of seated venue capacity when spectators are in ticketed and allocated seating.
I can change my business over to a ticketed event. Does that mean I can then have 100% capacity again?
If you are able to have a seating plan and sell tickets with allocated seats, you are able to have 100% capacity. An example would be a fund-raising lunch at a restaurant.
A patron must remain in their assigned seat to the extent possible while they are present at the venue or event. In the event of a COVID-19 transmission event, you must be able to provide contact information for the person who occupied the assigned seat to a public health officer.
Remember - in addition to these requirements, the Check in Qld app will also need to be used and you need to follow the COVID Safe Checklist.
What restrictions do stadiums need to follow?
Stadiums with a capacity of 20,000 people or more will be required to reduce their ticketed and allocated seating capacity to 75 per cent.
Spectators attending stadium events must wear a mask at all times, except for when eating or drinking while they are seated, or if they have a permitted reason not to.
What are the occupant density rules for caravan and camping parks?
Caravan and camping parks have no occupant density rules. Guests should continue to practice physical distancing by staying 1.5 metres away from others. Remember, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested, stay home and isolate until you get the results and your symptoms resolve and don’t go camping.
How many people can I have at a wedding ceremony?
Wedding ceremonies held indoors can have whichever is greater:
Indoor wedding ceremonies held indoors must have a COVID Safe Checklist in place and collect contact details via the Check In Qld app.
Outdoor wedding ceremonies held outdoors have no limit on the number of people who can attend and do not have to collect contact details.
How many people can attend a funeral?
Indoor funerals can have whichever is greater:
Indoor funerals must have a COVID Safe Checklist in place and collect contact details via the Check In Qld app.
Outdoor funerals have no limit on the number of people who can attend and do not have to collect contact details.
Do density rules apply to camps?
Occupant density requirements for indoor spaces do not apply to camp operators that provide short term accommodation for groups of school aged children. This is not exclusive to school camps, for example school aged children participating in a scout camp may exceed the occupant density in dining, bathroom and sleeping spaces.
Groups should continue to practise social distancing where possible.
Do density rules apply to tourism vehicle and vessel operators?
Tourism vehicles and vessels with up to 50 patrons do not have to follow occupant density requirements. Tourism vehicles and vessels with more than 50 patrons must follow the 1 person per 2 square metre density rule or can operate at 100 per cent capacity if patrons are in ticketed and allocated seating.
Questions about contact information requirements and Check In Qld App
When do businesses need to collect contact details?
Businesses must make all reasonable efforts to collect contact information using the Check In Qld App about all people who enter the premises (including staff), unless an exception applies.
Businesses do not need to request information from:
Contact information does not need to be collected if it presents a risk to someone’s safety, for example, a risk of violence to staff or other patrons.
What businesses must use the Check In Qld app?
The Check In Qld app will be required by a large number of new businesses to collect contact information.
All businesses are outlined in this Direction and include (but are not limited to):
More businesses may be required to use the app over time.
What is a retail store?
Retail stores must collect contact information using the Check In Qld app.
A retail store is any business that members of the public can purchase or access retail goods and services. This does not include goods or services that are supplied via a drive through or at someone’s place of residence.
Examples of retail stores include, but are not limited to:
If a retail store is located within a shopping centre, customers must check in using the Check In Qld app when they enter the shopping centre and at the time they enter each business in the centre.
What if a customer cannot use the Check In Qld app or does not have a smartphone? / What if a customer has trouble checking in?
If your customer is having trouble with the QR code, ask them to enter the 6 digit number on your QR code poster.
If patrons do not have access to or cannot use the Check In Qld app, businesses can enter customer contact details via the business profile mode of the Check In Qld app to check them in.
What if customers don't want to use the Check In Qld app?
It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure they have checked in at different locations.
If businesses are able, they can have staff available to encourage and assist people to check in on the app when they arrive at their business.
Some members of the community may require additional support - don’t forget, family members or friends can check someone in on their behalf.
What is the Check In Qld app?
The Check In Qld app is a contactless, free, secure and convenient way for customers to sign into Queensland businesses. The app helps protect the community by assisting with faster contact tracing. Find out more about the Check In Qld app (Opens in new window) (Opens in new window).
Why is the Check In Qld app important?
The use of the Check in Qld app is being expanded to help Queenslanders and Queensland businesses stay COVID Safe. In the event of a community outbreak, the app allows contact tracers to rapidly identify close contacts, track and trace faster, and minimise any further risk to the community and impact on business.
It will make it easier for businesses to meet the requirements for the collection of customer contact details and is easy for customers to use. The check-in automatically captures a person’s contact details, and the date, time and location.
What if I can't collect contact details using the Check In Qld app due to an internet outage or other unexpected circumstances?
If you can’t collect contact information using the Check In Qld app due to unexpected issues with your internet service, because your business is located in a place that does not have mobile internet data connection, or because a patron is unable to use the electronic system (for example, because of age, disability or language barriers), you must collect this information using another method such as a paper-based form.
For each visitor, this information must include:
You must also use best endeavours to transfer this information to an electronic system within 24 hours and comply with the requirements for collection and storage. If asked, this information must be provided to a public health officer within the stated time.
I already have an electronic system in place to collect records. Do I have to change my system?
Yes. If you operate a restricted business, activity or undertaking, you must now use the Check In Qld app.
Other businesses are also welcome to use the Check in Qld app or they can continue to use their current electronic processes.
Where do I need to put the QR code poster?
Your customers and staff are required to check in when they enter your business. You should do what is practical for your business to help them meet this requirement. You may wish to place QR codes at a number of different locations in your business to remind people to check in.
My business has multiple locations – do I need to set up multiple codes?
Each Check In Qld QR code is assigned to a physical address so each location/venue of a business will require a separate registration and QR code. Each physical address/location must also have a unique descriptor as duplicate display names cannot be processed. For example:
My business is a very large venue – do I need to set up multiple codes?
A business may have multiple codes. This may be useful if your business is very large such as a stadium, shopping centre or a business where customers only go to certain areas, not the whole venue. For example. a stadium may choose to have a code for the north section, one for the south section, one for the east section and one for west section, as they have many patrons and this would help to break down who was possibly in contact with a COVID case.
How can I tell if a customer has checked in?
Your customer should display the successful check in screen to you on entry to your venue. You can approach the patron and ask to see their check in history in the app to verify that their check in was successful.
I run my business from home. Am I required to have customers check in?
Mobile businesses are not be required to use the Check in App, unless they are specifically listed in the Direction as restricted (for example, a mobile hairdresser). The registration form for the Check in Qld app has an option for restricted mobile businesses.
Do my staff have to check in everyday on the app?
Yes, your staff should check in everyday through the Check in Qld app. This will help ensure that they are included and quickly contacted if any contact tracing takes place.
What happens if I don’t have a smartphone or can’t provide my information electronically?
Tell the venue staff immediately if you do not have access to the Check In Qld app. They can record your details using the business profile of the Check In Qld app.
Why do I have to provide my details?
You must provide your current contact details to the venue you are visiting so public health officials can contact you in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in Queensland. If you provide false or misleading information, officials will not be able to contact you and the health of all Queenslanders will be at risk.
Do schools and childcare centres need to use the check in app?
No, schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, after school care etc do not have to use the Check In Qld App as they are not restricted businesses. All education centres for children should have clear visibility of who is attending through student information and visitor logs.
However, schools should use the Check In Qld App for events like fetes and graduations as these are outside of the business-as-usual activities.
Do I need to check in unaccompanied minors during a school excursion or birthday party?
No, but all adults chaperoning/escorting the children must check-in at the venue. Children are not required to be individually checked-in as the organiser, e.g. school, scout troop, club sport team, will maintain details of the children who are attending.
Do staff have to check in again after having a break?
Staff do not have to check in using the Check In Qld app when they go on break if they don’t leave the work premises. If staff do go offsite they will be required to check in again when they return.
Do I need to check into government buildings?
You only need to check into public-facing government services – such as customer service counters that provide licensing and registration services for example. This excludes public transport, police stations, watch houses, courthouses, correctional facilities and detention centres.
If you are entering a government building that does not service members of the public, for example administration or office buildings, then you do not need to check in. However, if a QR code has been made available when entering the building, we strongly encourage you to check yourself in to assist our contact tracers in the event of an outbreak.
Questions about COVID Safe Checklists
Where can I get a COVID Safe Checklist?
The COVID Safe Checklists are available for download at:
Can I run major events like marathons, expos and cultural festivals?/ What are the rules for events?
Yes, the key principle in staging and participating is to avoid overcrowding. Organisers for indoor events must apply the 1 person per 2 square metre rule in indoor spaces.
Organisers for indoor events also need to have a COVID Safe Event Checklist in place to protect attendees.
Outdoor events, such as marathons that are not a music or dance festival or are not operating a dance area, do not need the COVID Safe Event Checklist. Outdoor event organisers do not need to collect contact information.
Organisers of outdoor music festivals, dance festivals and events with dancing need to comply with the COVID Safe Checklist and must collect contact information.
My event has both indoor and outdoor areas – do I need a COVID Safe Event Checklist?
You must follow the requirements for indoor and outdoor events, depending on the number of people attending and if there will be dancing. You will need a COVID Safe Event Checklist for the parts of your event that are held indoors or if your event is outdoors with dancing.
What is a music festival or dance event?
Any event that will include dancing is considered a dance event and will need to follow the requirements for events/sessions that have dancing. For example, this could include music festivals or art festivals that have a live music component with dancing.
All dance areas can only have 1 dancer per 2 square metres. Dance areas include the areas near and in front of performance stages. Dancers must maintain physical distancing and not form mosh pits.
A dance event does not include dance classes held in a dance studio or a performance by a dance group (for example, a professional, school or community group).
Do protests need a COVID Safe Checklist?
Protest organisers who are protesting outside do not need a COVID Safe Checklist.
What is a site specific plan?
COVID Safe Site Specific Plans are plans that take into account consideration of the complexity and size of specific venues (for example, theme parks, zoos and aquariums) to ensure operators are keeping Queensland safe. Operators of these businesses have the option of using a site specific plan or the COVID Safe Checklist.
Questions about enforcement
Are there penalties if I don’t comply?
Yes. If you don’t comply you may be given an on-the-spot fine of $1,378 for individuals and $6,892 for corporations, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,785 or 6 months' imprisonment.
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.