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COVID-19 and your witnessing role

The wellbeing of Justices of the Peace (JPs), Commissioners for Declarations (Cdecs) and the broader community is our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recommend following these steps to help ensure you uphold everyone’s safety while witnessing documents.

You can also stay up to date with the current health and safety information.

Before you witness

Do not provide witnessing services if you:

  • are classified as high risk
  • feel unwell
  • are in self-quarantine or isolation.

If you feel you can safely witness documents, make sure your details are up to date and published on our search for your nearest JP or Cdec online register. You can list and update your contact details online.

If you can’t witness documents and your contact details do appear on our online register, please contact us to have your details removed by either:

Unless you are appointed as a special witness under section 5 of the COVID-19 emergency response regulation for documents and oaths, you cannot use video conferencing, email or telephone to witness documents.

Steps for safer witnessing

Your health and safety is paramount, so when you are contacted by a person seeking your witnessing services, ask them if they:

  • are unwell with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath
  • have travelled outside of Queensland in the last 14 days and if it was essential travel (e.g. work)
  • have been overseas in the last 14 days
  • have been in close contact with or a household contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • are in self-quarantine or isolation.

If they answer yes to any of the above, you should either:

  • decline to witness the document and ask them to contact you again once they are well or after the self-quarantine or isolation period
  • assess their situation and take suitable precautions for the associated risks if you decide to witness their documents.

If you agree to meet the person and witness their document you should:

  • Ask the person to bring their own pen.
  • Consider meeting outside in the open air
  • Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub/sanitiser before and after witnessing.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, or use your elbow, not your hands.
  • Do not shake hands or use other physical greetings.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Try to maintain 1.5m from the person as much as possible while reviewing their document(s).
  • Try to limit contamination of documents by using hand sanitiser before and after handling documents as much as possible.
  • Follow the relevant witnessing steps as outlined in your handbook.

If meeting inside is unavoidable, clean and disinfect the surface and equipment (pen, seal of office, stamps, etc.) before and after witnessing.