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Hospital visitors

Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 18)Protect our most vulnerable

What’s changed from 6am AEST 15 April 2021

  • There are no restricted Local Government Areas. You can now enter a hospital if you comply with visitor requirements.

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.

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.

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
  • stay in the patient’s room, outside or in a specific area (avoiding communal spaces)
  • stay away when unwell
  • 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. 18).

Questions and Answers about this Direction

What Local Government Areas are restricted?

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

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

Questions about hospitals

Who can visit a patient in hospital?

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.

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.

You may enter a hospital if you do not fit into any of the above categories.

Visitors should:

  • wash their hands before entering and leaving the hospital
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
  • stay in the patient’s room, outside or in a specific area (avoiding communal spaces)
  • stay away when unwell
  • follow requests from the hospital to help keep staff and patients safe.

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

Visitors who have been overseas (other than a Queensland safe travel zone country) in the last 14 days must be granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer for an end of life visit in a hospital. You must comply with all the conditions given under the exemption.

The hospital must also take reasonable steps to manage your visit in line with the conditions of the exemption. For example, this could mean:

  • the hospital needs to ensure the patient 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 patients, 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?

The Hospital Visitors Direction applies to all hospitals across all regions in Queensland. 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 – 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. Please respect each hospital’s visitor rules.

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.

Questions about close contacts

Who is considered a known or close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case?

The Hospital Visitors Direction states that a person must not enter a hospital if they have had known contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Your local public health unit will tell you if you have been deemed a close contact of someone who has COVID-19. They may direct you to quarantine in provided accommodation, or your own residence for 14 days. If you get sick with any COVID-19 symptoms during that period, even mild, get tested immediately.

A close contact is a person who has:

  • had face-to-face contact for any amount of time or shared a closed space for at least 1 hour with a confirmed case during their infectious period
  • been to a venue or location where the risk of transmission is considered high based on public health assessment.

This contact period is counted from 48 hours before the start of the person’s symptoms.

Are healthcare workers considered to be known or close contacts?

The Hospital Visitors Direction states that a person must not enter a hospital if they have had known contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Hospital workers or healthcare workers or practitioners providing health or medical care may provide care for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. These workers are not considered known contacts for the purposes of the Direction where they have been wearing appropriate PPE (PDF) and followed recommended infection control precautions.

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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.