Madeline Walsh and Natalie Clark

New Queensland Aged Care Direction (No.13)

Madeline Walsh and Natalie Clark

November 3, 2020

Aged Care Legislation Updates Retirement Villages

Queensland Aged Care Direction (No.13) (Aged Care Direction) came into force yesterday, effective from 1am on 3 November 2020. The Aged Care Direction supersedes the previous direction made on 16 October 2020.

We summarise the key changes below.

Border zone

The border zone that was in place allowing movement between certain areas along Queensland’s border with New South Wales has been removed under the new Border Restrictions Direction (No.17) (Border Direction) that came into effect from 1am on 3 November.

The Aged Care Direction has also been updated to remove the concept of the border zone, consistent with the new Border Direction.

Movement into Queensland, and entry to aged care facilities in Queensland, is still restricted by reference to COVID-19 hotspots. There are currently 32 listed COVID-19 hotspots in New South Wales (the Greater Sydney area) and all of Victoria is still a hotspot.

Visitors from COVID-19 hotspots and overseas

A person who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot or overseas may enter a residential aged care facility in Queensland, with the permission of the operator, if:

  • the person’s presence is for the purpose of an end of life visit; and
  • the person has been granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer (or their delegate).

If a person enters a facility on this basis:

  • the person must comply with all conditions imposed by the Chief Health Officer under the exemption; and
  • the operator of the facility must take reasonable steps to manage the person’s visit in accordance with the conditions imposed under the exemption, for example, by ensuring the resident visited is in a single room, the visitor wears appropriate PPE, is escorted to and from the room and avoids common areas and contact with other residents, visitors and staff.

Additional changes to entry restrictions for Queensland aged care facilities

The Aged Care Direction also makes the following changes:

  • A new restriction has been included to the effect that a person who has been tested for COVID-19 and is yet to receive the results of that test must not enter an aged care facility in Queensland.
  • Previously, the directions provided that a person with ‘symptoms of acute respiratory infection’ must not enter an aged care facility in Queensland. This has been changed to restrict access for persons with ‘symptoms consistent with COVID-19’. ‘Symptoms consistent with COVID-19’ is a term that is now defined in the Aged Care Direction to mean ‘fever or history of fever, symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat), loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue‘.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the new Queensland aged care direction, please contact a member of our national Health, Aged Care or Retirement Village team.

Authors

Madeline Walsh | Partner | +61 7 3338 7906 | mwalsh@tglaw.com.au

Natalie Clark | Lawyer | +61 7 3338 7961 | nclark@tglaw.com.au