Update from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

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10 January 2022

Managing COVID-19 in workplaces

As COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in our community, people who have COVID-19 will visit businesses and workplaces. Guidance for managing COVID-19 in workplaces is available.

Please make sure you are familiar with the latest requirements for confirmed cases and close contacts.

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must immediately isolate, for 7 days from the date you took your COVID-19 test.
  • If you are a close contact of a diagnosed case of COVID-19 you must:
    • if you have symptoms, get tested and immediately quarantine, for 7 days from the date the diagnosed case took their COVID-19 test
    • if you don’t have symptoms, immediately quarantine, for 7 days from the date the diagnosed case took their COVID-19 test. You will need a negative day 6 test to be released from quarantine.
  • Close contacts are household members or household-like contacts of a diagnosed person.
  • A household-like contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar.

The Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 3) provides further information.

What happens when an employee tests positive?

If an employee becomes a diagnosed case, other staff from that business won’t need to quarantine unless they are also a household member or household-like contact of that employee. More information on close contacts quarantine and testing requirements is available.

When do I need to get tested?

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms needs to get tested. You can use a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). You should only get a PCR test if you cannot get a RAT. While RATs may be difficult to access currently, we expect supplies to increase over the coming weeks.

Review the testing requirements and find a testing centre here.

When can an employee finish isolation or quarantine and return to work?

If an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19, they can return to work if:

  • 7 days have passed since undertaking the test, and they haven’t had any symptoms for at least 48 hours; or
  • 10 days have passed since undertaking the test, if they still had symptoms on day 7.
If an employee was a close contact, they’ll need a negative test on day 6 to be able to leave quarantine at the end of their 7 day quarantine period.

Critically essential workers

To ensure critical services can continue to operate in Queensland, critically essential workers who are close contacts will be able to continue to work if required.

Strict criteria will need to be met, and only a limited range of critical industries qualify.

A ‘critically essential worker’ is someone employed in one of the following industries, who must be in the workplace to do their job:
  • health
  • emergency services
  • resource sector
  • power/utilities
  • agriculture and fisheries production
  • freight and logistics
  • public transport
  • teachers
  • essential retail such as supermarkets and stores in remote locations/communities
  • major manufacturing, distribution, and critical supply chains (for example food and petrol).
Employers need to determine if their organisation or business falls under the list of critical industries, then identify which roles within their organisation are critical and cannot be performed from home, before notifying the Queensland Government.

Critical or essential workers who are eligible and are able to work during their close contact quarantine period will need to:
  • be fully vaccinated
  • by asymptomatic
  • travel to and from work in a private vehicle
  • while travelling and working, wear appropriate PPE
  • maintain hygiene behaviours such as regular hand washing
  • undertake regular symptom surveillance
  • undertake a RAT on Day 6, consistent with the requirements for all close contacts.
For more information, including what you need to do if you have a critically essential worker who needs to work during their close contact quarantine period, visit the Queensland Government website.
Stay connected

For further updates please keep checking the Queensland Government website. In addition to this message, you can stay up-to-date with the latest assistance from the Queensland and Australian Governments through the Business Queensland website. You can also follow us at facebook.com/businessqldgov.

This email was sent by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training,
Level 12 | 85 George Street | Brisbane Queensland