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Exemptions


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have placed restrictions on travel into and around Queensland and on activities. When restrictions are in place in Queensland, protecting public health is our top priority.

It is very unlikely you will be given an exemption unless you are considered to have an extreme exceptional circumstance - this applies to very few people.

Queensland Health receives a very high volume of exemption requests. While time-sensitive requests are prioritised, such as compassionate exemptions, please apply for exemptions ahead of time, as early as possible.

Applying for an exemption

Applying for an exemption to enter Queensland

In extreme exceptional circumstances, you may be given an exemption to enter Queensland, but you will still have to enter by air and complete 14 days of hotel quarantine. These circumstances include:

  • to attend a funeral
  • to visit a dying relative

These examples are NOT extreme exceptional circumstances:

  • visit your holiday house in Queensland for recreation or renovations
  • to attend or participate in a wedding
  • to look after grandchildren
  • quarantine at your own home in a separate building on the property
  • quarantine in an Airbnb or other residence because you have young children, need to cook your own food or usually check in on a relative every couple of months
  • to have your pet accompany you in quarantine.

You will not be given an exemption and therefore cannot enter Queensland.

Applying for an exemption to not complete quarantine in a hotel

In extreme exceptional circumstances, you may be given an exemption to complete 14 days mandatory quarantine at home – this applies to very few people and may include:

  • you are required to travel to a hotspot to access essential medical treatment and you have essential medical equipment set up at home to continue your treatment that cannot be moved into a hotel room
  • where safety may be compromised by the person being in the hotel. For example, a person with impaired capacity who is unable to understand why they are in hotel quarantine.

These examples are NOT extreme exceptional circumstances:

  • you have received a negative test
  • you have received a negative test while in hotel quarantine
  • you are afraid of getting COVID-19 in hotel quarantine
  • attending a funeral
  • to visit a dying relative (in rare circumstances, we may help facilitate leaving quarantine temporarily for a visit)

You will not be given an exemption and you will have to complete 14 days of quarantine in a hotel if you are allowed to enter Queensland.

Applying for an exemption for increasing the number of people at a private event

Exemptions are not granted for increasing the number of people at a private event. This includes weddings and funerals.

Applying for an exemption to drive into Queensland for moving house

Anyone relocating to Queensland must arrive by air at Brisbane or Gold Coast airports and complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.

Exemptions are rarely granted to drive into Queensland when relocating, and usually only for people with medical conditions who cannot fly.

Apply now

Before you apply for an exemption to enter Queensland, it is important that you have read all the information on this website. If you believe you meet these conditions you can apply for an exemption.

Travelling to Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot

Do not attempt to enter Queensland before receiving an outcome on your exemption request.

If you are allowed to enter Queensland, you must arrive by air at a designated entry airport approved by an emergency officer or as stated on a Queensland Border Pass.

You cannot fly to other areas in Queensland. If you do, you may be returned to where you came from on the next flight out.

You cannot drive into Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot.

NSW border zone – essential workers

New South Wales residents should not enter Queensland.

A New South Wales resident who lives in the border zone may only enter Queensland for work if they are deemed an essential worker.

There are exemptions for people not on the list of essential workers but feel their need to be in Queensland for work is essential. Importantly, the need to cross the border must only be for critical reasons.

Essential means that the work to be undertaken is so critical that without that worker, the facility or industry may be unable to continue. It also means that there is no one else in Queensland who can undertake the function or role.

There should always be consideration of whether the work can be performed remotely, or whether the critical worker can instruct someone on the ground from a remote location.

If you believe this is you, you can apply for an exemption through the apply now button below.

Specialist worker exemptions

There are alternative quarantine arrangements for specialist workers entering Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot, who provide time-critical services in Queensland that can’t already be obtained in Queensland.

A specialist work must be endorsed by a relevant Queensland Government Agency, or Queensland Health where there isn’t a relevant agency. Endorsement of a person’s status as a specialist worker will only be provided in line with strict criteria set out in the Border Restrictions Direction.

The employer of a specialist worker must apply for an exemption and submit a Quarantine Management Plan to the relevant government department.

Businesses are urged not to be dependent on specialist worker endorsements being granted.

Specialist or essential worker endorsement applications must be submitted by the employer, government agency or entity that the specialist worker is working/contracting for with evidence of the following:

  • why the services are needed in Queensland
  • why the services need to be provided and cannot be obtained in Queensland
  • why the services must be provided without delay
  • why the specialist worker must be physically present in Queensland to provide the service or perform the duty
  • the employer having a quarantine management plan to manage preventing the transmission of COVID-19 amongst other employees and the community. The plan must comply with the form approved by the Chief Health Officer (DOCX).

If a worker is self-employed, they may apply themselves, with details of their business.

Industry exemptions for alternative quarantine arrangements

Some industries enter into approved alternative quarantine arrangements (also called bubbles).

This involves the industry body submitting an official Quarantine Management Plan that is reviewed and supported by Queensland Health, with the industry applicant responsible for ensuring compliance with the plan.

Bubbles must meet thorough health and safety requirements and are subject to strict compliance, testing and monitoring to ensure they do not put Queenslanders at risk.

They require extensive planning by the industry applicant to ensure all public health risks are mitigated. Bubbles must be equivalent to government-quarantine accommodation, which means compulsory health overlays, 24/7 security, and welfare support. It also means implementing strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as regular COVID-19 testing.

Approved alternative quarantine arrangements are funded by the industry applicant.

Speak to your industry body about alternative quarantine arrangements.

Steps to apply for an exemption online

Queensland Health receives a very high volume of exemption requests. While time-sensitive requests are prioritised, such as compassionate exemptions, please apply for exemptions ahead of time, as early as possible.

Before you apply for an exemption, prepare relevant documentation and evidence to support your application. If you have not provided enough supporting information, we will be in touch to request further information. This may affect how quickly your application can be assessed.

  1. Visit the COVID-19 Services Portal
  2. If you are a first-time user, click Sign up and follow the process to set up an account. A temporary password will be sent to the email address you use to set up the account. If you do not receive the email, check your junk mail folder. If you do not have an email address a temporary password will be sent to the mobile phone number, you provided.
  3. Log in to your COVID-19 Services Portal account using the temporary password provided. You will be prompted to set up a new password for your account.
  4. Select Apply for an Exemption
  5. To complete the exemption application, you will need to:
    • confirm you are applying for an exemption
    • provide contact details
    • provide details about the type of exemption you are seeking
    • provide details about the reason you are applying for the exemption
    • attach a copy of additional information and any supporting documentation.
      Note all files must be in a PDF or image format and all fields must be completed. Incomplete information may also mean that the Chief Health Officer is not able to consider all factors relevant to your situation and you may not be granted an exemption.
  6. Submit your exemption application.
  7. Your application will be assessed, taking into consideration your individual circumstances and other mitigating factors such as the potential risk to public health. You should think carefully about making any travel arrangements that rely on exemptions, as they may not be granted.
  8. We will let you know the outcome of your exemption request.

Related information

Apply now

Before you apply for an exemption to enter Queensland, it is important that you have read all the information on this website. If you believe you meet these conditions you can apply for an exemption.