Important update: Easing of restrictions for all of Queensland

by jgrey on April 16, 2021

From QLD Department of Sport and Recreation.

On Thursday 15 April 2021, the Premier made an announcement regarding the easing of restrictions in Queensland following the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Queensland’s COVID Safe Future outlines the current restrictions for Queensland that will reconnect our communities, bring Queenslanders outdoors and keep our economy moving. This is great news for Queensland, as we see a number of restrictions, impacting the sport and recreation industry, ease. 

A notable change for the industry, only applicable to outdoor activities, is that there is no longer the requirement to follow an Industry Plan. Based on the eight Industry Plans currently in place for sport, recreation and fitness, the Plans that fall into this category include: 

  • Field Sports 
  • Outdoor Sports
  • Outdoor Recreation Activity Providers.

Outdoor based organisations and activities must continue to collect contact information, promote physical distancing and ensure enhanced cleaning processes are in place. It’s also important to note that any indoor spaces that are used as part of delivering outdoor activities, such as clubhouses, canteens etc are still required to follow occupant density requirements (e.g. one person per 2 square metres) relevant to that space. For example, a clubhouse at local outdoor sporting field must comply with occupant density requirements, keeping contact information, allowing for physical distancing to the extent possible and adhering to the public health controls including cleaning and disinfection and promoting best practice health and hygiene measures. 

This also means that restrictions for outdoor events, that are not a music or dance festival are no longer required to have a COVID Safe Event Plan or Checklist in place. 

Indoor based activities and organisations are still required to comply with the measures detailed in the Industry Plan. As mentioned above, this includes occupant density requirements (one person per 2 square metres or 100 per cent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating, (whichever is greater), collection of contact information, promotion of physical distancing to the extent possible and adherence to the public health controls. 

In addition, events at indoor spaces operating under a COVID Safe Event Checklist or COVID Safe Event Plan will need to operate within the following conditions, depending on the number of people in attendance (or number of people per-day for multi-events): 

  • Fewer than 500 people: must comply with a COVID Safe Event Checklist; no further approvals required 
  • Between 500 and 10,000 people: must comply with a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the local public health unit via the COVID Safe Event Plan Portal a minimum of 20 business days prior to the event taking place.
  • Over 10,000 people: must comply with a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Chief Health Officer via the COVID Safe Event Plan Portal a minimum of 20 business days prior to the event taking place.

Lastly, while face masks are no longer mandatory, you are encouraged to continue to:

  • wear a mask when travelling on public transport, in a taxi or rideshare or in shopping centres
  • wear a mask in any indoor or outdoor space when physical distancing is not possible.

As a result of the changes, the COVID Safe Industry plans for sport, recreation and fitness will be reviewed. Sport and Recreation will amend the current COVID Safe Industry Plans where necessary, and submit to Queensland Health for approval and publishing. Until such time, the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (the Direction) will take precedence over the Industry Plan. 

Over the past 12 months, the COVID Safe Industry Plans have played a vital role in helping to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your members to participate in sport, recreation and fitness activities. Our compliance as an industry has helped put Queensland in a position to continually relax restrictions. 

The measures detailed in our Industry Plans have become a part of our day-to-day routine, so we should continue to promote these messages, even if your organisation is no longer required to follow an Industry Plan. As a reminder this includes:

  • promoting physical distancing 
  • promotion of good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • continued collection of contact tracing information
  • regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and equipment.