Current Queensland border restrictions
Updated 4 November 2020
Border Restrictions Direction 17 came into effect as of Tuesday 3 November.
The class exemption for farmers and agribusiness workers that commenced on 22 August remains in place until 11.59 pm on 31 December unless otherwise advised.
Transporters of freight and logistics - the validity of a Queensland Border Declaration Pass has been extended from 7 days to 14 days.
Residents of New South Wales, except those from the 32 Local Government Area hotspots, are now allowed to enter Queensland. Victoria is still regarded as a hotspot. If an area is removed as a hotspot, a person may enter Queensland as soon as the area is no longer a hotspot, even if the person had been in the hotspot in the 14 days prior to entry to Queensland.
Updated 21 September 2020
On Saturday 19 September the Chief Health Officer issued a letter advising that the class exemption for farmers and agribusiness workers will be extended for one month from 21 September 2020. A copy of the class exemption letter can be accessed here. All directives under this extended exemption remain the same as below.
The extension does not apply to seasonal workers.
More information is available via the Business QLD website, and the latest COVID-19 Bulletin. You can subscribe to recieve the COVID-19 Bulletins directly here.
Updated 25 August 2020
From 1 am Saturday 8 August Queensland borders are closed to New South Wales, ACT and Victoria residents. All three states are now considered COVID-19 hotspots.
People who have been in a hotspot during the past 14 days will only be permitted to enter Queensland if they are:
a) a returning Queensland resident;
b) required to enter for a limited range of essential reasons as per the Chief Health Officer's Border Restrictions Direction 12. Activities deemed essential include military and police work, health and emergency services, and freight and logistics. Under general freight, log haulage and forest products transport remains an essential activity.
Under this Direction, the section on specialist worker exemptions (see below) includes agribusiness which Timber Queensland has been able to advocate for and confirm with the State Government includes the forestry industry. Timber workers would also be covered under the manufacturing exemption.
Agribusiness (including forestry & timber industry operations) exemptions were in place under the Specialist worker category of Border Direction 11.
Essential farm and agribusiness workers
On 22 August the Chief Health Officer issued a class exemption under the Border Restriction Declaration (No.12) for farmers and agribusiness workers needing to move between Queensland and New South Wales to perform essential agribusiness services or farming activities, such as tending to livestock or crops (until 22 September 2020).
People covered by the exemption include people who are:
Queensland residents who need to re-enter Queensland after travelling to New South Wales to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities; or
Queensland residents who need to re-enter Queensland after entering New South Wales to access or provide timely veterinary services, or to provide care for livestock; or
New South Wales residents who need to enter Queensland to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities; or
New South Wales residents who need to access Queensland to access or provide timely veterinary services, or to provide care for livestock.
See more details here.
Agribusiness, commercial fishing and food manufacturing are considered essential activities in Queensland. A specialist worker can only enter Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot if they are providing a service critical to Queensland (for example, critical agricultural operations necessary to maintain food supply). Exemptions will be considered on a case by case basis and will be very limited.
A business or company seeking an exemption to bring specialist workers into Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot must provide evidence that:
the services can’t be obtained in Queensland;
the services must be provided without delay (or in a specified time critical period;
the person needs to be physically present in Queensland to complete the duty;
the company or service provider has a plan in place that follows the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer to manage risks associated with COVID-19 (for example a workplace health management plan).
Upon arrival in Queensland, an exempt specialist worker will need to provide the following information:
1. their status as an approved specialist worker; and
2. name of employer; and
3. that they are entering Queensland to go directly to work; and
4. the location of the worksite; and
5. the location of where they will be accommodated in Queensland while performing the essential activity.
The status of the person as a specialist worker must be approved by the Chief Health Officer through the exemption process. Timber Queensland has confirmed that agribusiness includes forestry and timber production activities. We have been advised that a forestry tab will be provided on the application website. In the meantime, forestry and timber workers have been advised to use the agribusiness category.
To apply for a specialist worker exemption:
1. Complete the application for specialist worker exemption form;
2. Your application will be assessed against the criteria outlined in the industry applicants guidelines;
3. If approval is given, a letter will be sent to your business/company advising that the specialist worker(s) has been granted an exemption from the Chief Health Officer;
4. The business/company should provide a copy of the letter to the relevant specialist worker to support their Border Declaration Pass on entry to Queensland.
Further information on these current arrangements including a list of frequently asked questions can be accessed here. As well as obtaining assistance from TQ, members can contact DAF directly for any queries via email.
From midday 10 July 2020, there are no entry requirements, quarantine requirements and travel restrictions for Queensland’s remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The whole of Queensland now operates under Stage 3
The full details can be viewed on the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships website.
The full roadmap to easing restrictions and details of each stage can be accessed here.
New COVIDSafe guidelines for business
The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has created an online planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead.
For many businesses and industries, it will be imperative to implement a COVIDSafe plan in order to recommence operations.
The Home Confinement, Movement and Gatherings Direction for Queenslanders outlines the current restrictions and permissions in place for leaving the home. It also outlines directions around leaving home for work.
View the Direction here.
Public Health Directions
Queensland Health's CHO public health directives can be accessed here. This includes restrictions around: