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Hospital visitors

Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 16)Protect our most vulnerable

What’s changed from 1am AEST 22 January 2021

  • There are no restricted Local Government Areas.
  • You can now enter a hospital if you have been in Greater Brisbane since 2 January 2021. Certain restrictions continue to apply to hospitals under the Hospital Visitors Direction.

Overview

Patients can have as many visitors as the hospital allows at any one time, for any length of time, within visiting hours.

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

You may enter a hospital if you do not fit into any of the above categories. Each hospital and even wards within hospitals can make decisions around visiting that are in the best interest of the patient. These decisions are based on clinical risk and may change depending on the situation at the time. Please respect each hospital’s visitor rules.

Visitors should:

  • wash their hands before entering and leaving the hospital
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
  • follow requests from the hospital to help keep staff and patients safe.

For more detail, including details of all special circumstances, read the Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 16).

Questions and Answers about this Direction

What Local Government Areas are restricted?

There are currently no Local Government Areas where increased restrictions apply to hospital visitors.

Certain restrictions continue to apply to hospitals under the Hospital Visitors Direction.

Questions about visiting a hospital not in a restricted Local Government Area

Who can visit a patient in hospital?

Patients can have as many visitors as the hospital allows, within visiting hours.

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.

Visitors (unless you are a patient) should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell
  • has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries)
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting to receive the results (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • has 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.

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

Visitors can enter a hospital if they have been in a safe travel zone country in the past 14 days. Visitors who have been in any other overseas destination must be granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer.

Anyone who has been:

  • in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter); or
  • overseas in the last 14 days

must be granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer. 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.

To apply for an exemption for an end of life visit, complete the form online using the COVID-19 Services Portal. Call 134 COVID (13 42 68) if you need help making your application.

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.

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.

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