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Hospital visitors

Protect our most vulnerableHospital Visitors Direction (No. 7)

What has changed from 1am 3 November 2020?

  • The list of COVID-19 symptoms that stop someone from entering a hospital has been updated
  • If you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result you will not be allowed to enter a hospital
  • Clarify that support workers and informal carers can enter a hospital in a restricted area to provide disability support (currently there are no restricted Local Government Areas)
  • Clarify that you can apply for an exemption to visit someone who is near their end of life if you have been overseas or in a COVID-19 hotspot.

Up to two visitors can see a patient in hospital at any one time, for any length of time, within visiting hours. More than two visitors continue to be allowed to provide end-of-life support to a patient.

It is recommended that you contact the hospital directly to confirm their visitation rules and visiting hours, before leaving home.

You can protect yourself and others by following this advice, and by:

  • practising physical distancing, keeping two big steps between yourself and other people
  • using good hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water, or alcohol-based sanitiser.

For more detail, including details of all special circumstances, read the Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 7).

Questions and Answers about this Direction

What Local Government Areas are listed?

Local Government Areas where restrictions apply to hospital visitors are listed on the Queensland Government website. Currently there are no restricted local government areas.

Certain restrictions continue to apply to hospital visitors under the Hospital Visitors Direction.

Questions about hospital visitors not in Listed Government areas

Can I visit a patient in hospital?

Yes. Hospital patients can have two visitors at any one time, for any length of time, within visiting hours. More than two visitors continue to be allowed to provide end-of-life support to a patient.

It is important to know that hospitals may have their own rules for visiting patients. It is recommended that you contact the hospital directly to confirm visitation rules before attending the hospital.

You may not visit a patient, if you have:

  • been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • been asked to self-quarantine
  • had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting to receive the results
  • COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

What if the patient is nearing their end-of-life?

More than two visitors continue to be allowed to provide end of life support at all times. Please discuss this with the patient’s treating team.

Can I visit someone who is near their end of life in a hospital in Queensland if I have been overseas or in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days?

You must have been granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer. If you wish to visit the person before your 14 days quarantine has ended you will also need to be granted an exemption to leave and return to quarantine. You must comply with all the conditions given under the exemption.

The hospital must manage your visit in line with the conditions of the exemption. For example, this could mean that:

  • the hospital needs to ensure the resident you are visiting is in a single room
  • you wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • you are escorted to and from the room
  • you avoid common areas and contact with other residents, visitors and staff.

Can I visit someone with COVID-19?

You will not be able to visit a patient with COVID-19. If end-of-life support is required, you will need to discuss this with the patient’s treating team.

I’m pregnant. How many people can I have with me during my labour?

You can have two people with you during your labour. This includes a patient’s partner and/or support person/s. There is no limit on how long these visitors can stay.

Example: A pregnant patient’s partner and the patient’s support person may visit at the same time during the patient’s labour.

As some hospitals will have their own visitation rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is always best to check with your hospital ahead of time.

Can my other children visit me and the baby in hospital?

Yes, but they will count as one of your two visitors. Your children can take turns with other adult friends or family members to visit immediately after the birth.

It is important to know that hospitals may have their own rules for visiting patients. It is recommended that you contact the hospital directly to confirm visitation rules before attending the hospital.

How many visitors can I have in hospital once my baby is born?

Up to two people may be with you at the same time, including your partner and/or a support person/s. There is no limit on how long these visitors may stay with you. It is important to know the hospital you are at may have changed their rules about who can come and visit you and your baby, and when they are allowed to come. Check with your hospital about what is allowed.

I am having elective surgery and would like someone to be with me at the hospital, is this allowed?

Yes, you can have a visitor or support person with you at the hospital. You can have two visitors at any one time, for any length of time, within visiting hours.

Will visitation rules differ across hospitals and regions?

This Direction applies to all hospitals across all regions in Queensland. Some hospitals and even wards within hospitals will have different rules regarding visiting patients. These decisions are based on clinical risk and may change depending on the situation such as the number of cases in the community, a visitor’s travel history and whether the patient is a vulnerable patient or not.

Visiting hours may also differ across hospitals.

Does this Direction relate to health professionals or hospital workers too?

No, this Direction is for a person visiting a patient who is not:

  • an employee or contractor of the hospital
  • a person providing health, medical or pharmaceutical goods or services to a patient
  • a person providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the hospital
  • a person required for the purposes of emergency management or law enforcement.

However, any person (other than a patient of the hospital) must not enter a hospital if they are prohibited from doing so, including if they are unwell, subject to a self-quarantine requirement or have been overseas in the last 14 days.

Are there penalties if I don’t comply?

Yes. If you don’t comply you may receive an on the spot fine of $1334, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment.

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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).

To apply for an exemption to a Direction please complete the online form.

Submit your request online