This article was written during the Queensland response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the information available at the date of publication. Please check the Queensland Government COVID-19 webpage for updated information and current health advice regarding COVID-19 in Queensland.
Queenslanders have understood the seriousness of coronavirus (COVID-19) and followed restrictions and directives so well that we have eased restrictions. Queenslanders can now travel freely within the state and stay overnight or longer in accommodation. So, if you’re thinking about getting away, you can. You can stay with friends or family, go camping, stay in a caravan park, hotel or other accommodation within Queensland.
All accommodation providers must follow social distancing guidelines and public health directions. This means that some accommodation providers to have a health management plan in place to reopen. This plan outlines heightened vigilance about the frequency of cleaning the accommodation, particularly high-contact surfaces and communal areas including kitchens and bathrooms. If you are going camping or away in your caravan, make sure you check what facilities are open ahead of arriving at your destination. Some sites may choose to keep sections of their facility, such as playground equipment, closed.
When staying in accommodation, it is a rule of the accommodation provider to screen guests. This means you will be asked a series of questions to understand what locations you have been in the last 14 days and if you have experienced illness of any sort. Personal details, such as your home address, may also be asked to keep accurate records of guests to assist contact tracing efforts in the instance of a confirmed COVID-19 case at the facility.
If you think someone isn’t following a Public health direction where you are visiting, inform management. If you think a business is not following a Public health direction appropriately, firstly have a conversation with management. If you see no change in their action, you can report them to PoliceLink on 131 444 or to their relevant industry regulator.
How to keep your germs to yourself when travelling
While it is great that we’re able to go out and about in our great state, we cannot become complacent. Remember to use common sense and good judgement. If the space you are in is or becomes overcrowded, move elsewhere or choose to return in an off-peak time. Remember also to make hygiene your number one priority when travelling. This is recommended regardless of whether you are staying in a hotel or in a camping ground.
We know that COVID-19 spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs contaminated droplets into the air or onto surfaces that others touch. Developing the habit of not rubbing or touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unsanitised hands or fingers will go a long way towards avoiding infection.
- If you feel sick, stay at home. As disappointing as it may be to cancel your plans, or to not visit your friend, if you or they don’t feel well, stay home to prevent spreading germs. This not only protects yourself from other germs while your immune system may be lowered, but those who you may be visiting and others out in the community.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested. If you’ve travelled and you develop symptoms while you are away, you can find the closest testing facility online.
- If you can, get the flu shot. Though this does not protect you from COVID-19, it is the most effective way to prevent influenza, which presents similar symptoms as COVID-19.
- When in public places maintain physical distance, whenever possible by keeping two big steps away from others and avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes. Use common sense and move to a different space if where you are is overcrowded.
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly with soap and water and use an alcohol-based sanitiser. Pack tissues, hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes with you to use while out and about, so that you can always wash your hands or wipe over shared surfaces before you use them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Pack tissues to take with you wherever you go.
- Keep a mask with you, so that if you get into a situation where you can’t socially distance, you have some added protection.
Maintaining your health when travelling
No matter whether you’re planning a staycation or venturing out a little further within our state, staying healthy is vitally important, especially during this time.
- Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide – sun safety is important all year.
- Maintain a healthy diet by following good nutrition principles.
- Get creative about the way you stay hydrated.
- Plan stretch stops when on a road trip and get some extra steps into your day by making the most of exploring the local areas you visit.
- Pack extra soap, wipes and alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Don’t forget your prescription medicine and make sure you have enough to see you through your trip.
Advice for older Queenslanders
If you are a grey nomad, you can now get out and about in Queensland freely, but must limit your physical contact with others and maintain good hygiene. If you are sick, get tested and stay where you are, whether at home or in the location you have travelled to, until you are well again.
If you are a grandparent or elderly person, be careful about allowing visitors into your home, especially if you are someone with a pre-existing health condition. If you have visitors make sure all visitors maintain the correct social distance (remember two big steps apart) and pay attention to good hygiene, like regular handwashing.
Maintaining your health in the car
Though travelling in the car is a good way to maintain social distance compared to public transport if you’re by yourself, it’s a different story if you must drive other people around.
- Do not drive if you feel sick and avoid ferrying anyone who you believe may have been exposed to the virus or is showing COVID-19 symptoms
- Avoid physical contact with other occupants
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow
- Regularly sanitise your car’s surfaces to prevent the spread of germs
- Maintain good hygiene after stopping at the petrol station where you may have handled a fuel pump, tyre inflators and after handling cash or EFTPOS machines.
Maintaining your health on public transport
Translink have introduced measures to help protect customers and staff when travelling on trains, ferries and buses. This may look like cashless payments, rear door boarding (unless you need assisted boarding) and increased cleaning routines throughout the vehicles and customer touchpoints.
To protect yourself and others, stay home if you are sick, get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms and do not catch public transport. When travelling on public transport, aim to:
- leave a space between you and the person in front as you enter the vehicle
- sit away from other people
- travel outside peak times
- catch an earlier service
- wait for a later service
- use active travel (walking, cycling) between home and work or for part of your journey.
Maintaining your health on planes
Airports are making sure the they are safe for everyone, but all passengers have a role to play also.
- Do not fly if you feel sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild
- Go contactless wherever you can by booking and checking-in online
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow
- Avoid touching your face and wash your hands regularly
- Maintain social distance as much as possible