The government's new home-confinement requirements – and what it means for Queensland residents

The government’s new home-confinement requirements – and what it means for Queensland residents

With rules differing from state to state, the ongoing government announcements and restrictions can be tricky to navigate. On Sunday March 29, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young established new directions under the state’s home-confinement requirements for residents of Queensland to help slow the spread of COVID-19. What does it mean? Can you leave your house? Should you be working? Who can you visit? Here’s a breakdown of the state-specific directions and how it relates to you, as a resident and member of the workforce. 

The new directions, which took effect from 11:59 pm from Sunday 29 March, outline that Queensland residents must not leave their principal place of residence, except for permitted purposes. So, you may leave your house to obtain essential goods or services (like grabbing what you need from the supermarket, or getting fuel or medical supplies), or to obtain medical treatment or other heath care services. If you’re able to work from home, you must – you’re only exempt from the home-confinement directions if your work cannot reasonably be performed at your principal place of residence.

Queenslanders can leave their home to engage in physical exercise. So, you can get sweaty alone or in the company of no more than one other person – though, you’re permitted to exercise with the people who would ordinarily live in the same household. Compassionate grounds also come into play – you can leave your home to visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral (which are subject to further restrictions from the federal government), or to provide assistance, care or support to an immediate member of your family. Those required to attend court or comply with court orders are also exempt from the home-confinement directions, as are residents required to attend a childcare facility, school, university or other educational institution in instances where care or instruction cannot reasonably be obtained in your principal place of residence.

If you leave your household for one of the permitted purposes, you’re able to be accompanied by members of your household (yes, you can go to the shops with your family, or go for a jog around the neighbourhood with your roommate) but if you’re out doing essential things, you’re not permitted to be with more than one person who is not in your household. You can view the Queensland Government’s Home Confinement Direction here. It’s pretty black and white now – unless you need to go out, you’re required by law to stay home. Yep, penalties will apply to if you do not comply to these new restrictions. Queensland’s Home Confinement Direction will remain enforceable until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless revoked sooner.

Here at The Weekend Edition, we’re continuing to keep you updated on the day’s top coronavirus stories through our Quick Quarantine Updates. We know the government’s bulk announcements can easily send you into information overload, so for a more digestible rundown on the latest announcements and restrictions, our dissecting SCOMO updates will help.

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