Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for QTU members
The QTU will continue to work with the department and the Queensland Government and the Queensland Chief Health Officer to ensure that safe school operations for the beginning of the 2021 school year are in place.
For more information please contact QTAD on 1300117823.
Brendan Crotty | Deputy General Secretary
New COVID strains and resumption of school, updated 13 Jan 2021
On 11 January 2021 the QTU contacted Doctor Janette Young, the Queensland Chief Health Officer seeking up-to-date information about the impact of the emergence of new strains and information accumulated from investigation on the risks and protocols around the re-opening of schools to students on 27 January, noting that teachers are required to attend school (public health directions permitting) from 21 January.
- Restrictions for impacted areas direction no.2 This Direction was revoked on 22 January 2021, and is no longer in effect.
- COVID-19 operating guidelines for Queensland state schools
- Queensland Education COVID-19 Industry Plan 2021 — State schools
- School and Early Childhood Service Exclusion Direction
Back-to-school advice from Department, 12 Jan 2021
Summary of advice from the Acting DG, Department of Education12.24 pm, Tuesday 12 January 2021
Back to school in the Greater Brisbane area
Some restrictions remain in place for the Greater Brisbane area until 1am on 22 January 2021.
Back to school outside the Greater Brisbane area
If you have been in the Greater Brisbane area on or since 2 January, and you are returning to your school prior to 22 January, these restrictions still apply to you.
If you’re in Greater Brisbane or you have visited Greater Brisbane since 2 January, you should have a mask with you at all times, and if physical distancing is unable to be maintained, your mask should be worn.
When working with children, school and early childhood education and care staff are not required to wear a mask.
If you have any symptoms at all, get tested immediately and quarantine at home until you receive a negative result.
The new COVID normal
Whether you have visited, live or work in the Greater Brisbane area or not, it’s crucial that we all continue to follow the Queensland Health advice and:
- maintain physical distancing (1.5 metres)
- wear a mask when distancing is not possible (particularly in enclosed spaces)
- maintain good hand hygiene
- stay at home when sick and gest tested
- obey any travel restrictions and quarantine requirements if you’ve travelled from a COVID hot spot.
No more than two people are permitted in a fleet vehicle at any time or in any location, as physical distancing must be considered.
Hand sanitiser should be used by all occupants of the vehicle prior to entry and the operator of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring high touch points are cleaned after vehicle use.
Occupants of vehicles could open the windows and turn air conditioning off. Air conditioning should be set to external airflow, not recirculation.
Within the Greater Brisbane area (and for recent visitors to Brisbane), face masks must be worn if there is more than one person in the vehicle. In all other workplaces, face masks are an option and recommended when there’s more than one person travelling.
Check your emails for communications/advice from the Department.
Advice from TAFE Q, 11 Jan 2021
Summary of advice from Acting Chief Executive Officer, TAFE Queensland
A number of protection measures, will remain in place for residents of the Greater Brisbane Area until 1.00am Friday, 22 January 2021.
USE OF MASKS ON CAMPUS
If you are in a TAFE Queensland setting where you are unable to physically distance, that is, you are unable to be 1.5 metres away from others, you will be required to wear a mask. This applies to educational and non-educational delivery settings in the greater Brisbane area affected by the lockdown.
You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
In simple terms if you are unable to physically distance while at work you need to wear your mask. If you are able to physically distance and still want to wear a mask, wear your mask. When in doubt during the period of eased restrictions, wear your mask. For more information on wearing a mask please visit the Queensland Health website.
ON-CAMPUS EDUCATIONAL DELIVERY FROM 12 JANUARY 2020
With the announcement that the lockdown will end as planned, campuses in the Greater Brisbane Area will once again be operational from 12 January 2020 with the lower level restrictions in place.
On-campus classes scheduled this week are expected to proceed as planned. Any necessary changes to planned delivery will follow normal processes for prior approvals and student communication. This should be limited as much as possible.
During the eased restriction period there will be no non-essential travel between campuses impacted in the Greater Brisbane Area. This includes travel to campuses inside and outside of the Greater Brisbane Area. Please contact your manager if you have any questions regarding your individual circumstance.
Queensland Health has continued to work hard on contact tracing. During the lockdown, a number of contact tracing sites were added to the register. It is vitally important that if you were in an area listed you get a test. If you are getting a COVID-19 test, please notify your manager. For more information visit the Queensland Health website.
SHOULD I GET TESTED?
If you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of the severity of those symptoms, you should arrange to get tested and follow the advice of Queensland Health. If you are getting a COVID-19 test, please notify your manager.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
While the restrictions are in place until 1.00am Friday, 22 January 2021. During this time, we expect a business-as-usual approach to work. Remote work arrangements are encouraged where possible in negotiation with supervisors.
It is recommended that you monitor the Queensland Health website and read your emails, or check SPOT to ensure you are kept up-to-date.
Advice from DoE, 11 Jan 2021 re: Easing of restriction in greater Brisbane area
Summary of advice from Craig Allen, Acting Director-General, Department of Education
Easing of restrictions in the Greater Brisbane area
The lockdown in the Greater Brisbane area will be lifted at 6pm today.
Given we are able to physically distance at work, from tomorrow, Tuesday 12 January, we will resume our new-normal workplace arrangements, noting that some restrictions will remain in place for the Greater Brisbane area until 1am on 22 January 2021.
If physical distancing is unable to be maintained, masks are to be worn.
Outside the Greater Brisbane area
People in Greater Brisbane, as well as those who have been in Greater Brisbane since 2 January 2021, are permitted to be outside their homes or accommodation for any purpose, subject to the restrictions below.
However the restrictions still apply even if you leave or have left the Greater Brisbane area.
If you have any symptoms at all, get tested immediately and quarantine at home until you receive a negative result.
Staff professional development days
With the usual professional development days for school-based staff commencing next week, it is important to note that the same mask and physical distancing requirements apply in Greater Brisbane school locations and other venues where professional development sessions will be held during this time.
Physical distancing must be maintained or masks are to be worn if distancing is not possible.
Start of the school year
Further information, resources and checklists will be provided to principals ahead of the first school day on 27 January to assist in their preparation for the return of students and COVID-normal school operations.
Anyfurther updates from the Department will be summarised here. Members should check their email accounts for information/advice from the Department.
Advice from TAFE Q, 11 January 2021
Summary of advice from the Acting Chief Executive Officer of TAFE Queensland
Over the weekend, Queensland Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 in Queensland. While the weekend was a positive sign, the decision on whether the lockdown is lifted will be determined in-part by the today’s results.
Until the lockdown has finished, please be reminded that restrictions remain in place.
Employees due to work today, Monday 11 January 2021 within the lockdown area and during the period must work remotely. There are a small number of identified employees who will work on campus under a COVID-19 safe plan.
Advice from Department 8 Jan 2021
2.20 pm, Friday 8 January 2021 : Advice from Craig Allen Acting Director-General Department of Education
Greater Brisbane will be entering a 3-day lockdown, from 6pm tonight until 6pm Monday 11 January for residents in the local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan and Redlands.
The Queensland Health website has up-to-date information on the 3-day lockdown, including all restrictions, maps of affected areas and frequently asked questions.
Please continue to monitor the Queensland Health website. If you have been to any of the following locations, please monitor your health carefully:
- Train from Altandi station to Roma Street - Saturday 2 January at 7 am
- Train from Central Station to Altandi station - Saturday 2 January at 4 pm
- Woolworths Calamvale North - Sunday 3 January from 11 am to 12 pm
- Coles Sunnybank Hills - Tuesday 5 January from 7.30 am to 8 am
- Newsagent at Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town - Tuesday 5 January from 8 am to 8. 15 am
If you develop any symptoms at all, please come forward for testing immediately.
The Leave Guide during a health pandemic is up-to-date and advises the applicable leave types for this scenario.
Employees should discuss any concerns or queries about work arrangements with their manager.
Managers and Directors within the Greater Brisbane Area will need to enact their Business Continuity Plans, which will include contacting any employees who are not present and ensure they are aware of this email.
It is expected that all non-essential staff will not be working within the Greater Brisbane area, from 6 pm 8 January to 6 pm 11 January, and that employees are either working from home or alternate locations in which the department has access.
While flexible work arrangements continue to be an option, any staff working from home should complete the Telecommuting safety self-assessment if they haven’t done so already.
There are resources to support the safe return to work of vulnerable people on OnePortal.
General health advice
If you develop any symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek the advice of your GP and call ahead before you visit.
Well-being resources are available for staff on OnePortal including podcasts and detailed information on a range of related topics. There are also resources for students and families on our Education website.
Further up-to-date Queensland Government information including contact tracing, symptoms of COVID-19 and when to seek medical advice and prevention, can be found via the COVID-19 website.
These restrictions are part of a nationally agreed approach from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee so it’s important we adhere to the lockdown guidelines.
Please remember to continue to follow the COVID safe principles, including washing your hands regularly, wearing a mask, stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing.
*Advice provided by Department 5 January 2021
(check your inbox for A message from the Chair, Executive Response Team to all DoE staff: COVID-19 response update, 4 pm, Tuesday 5 January 2021)
Further extension of declared public health emergency
As published on the Queensland legislation website on 18 December 2020, the Public Health (Further Extension of Declared Public Health Emergency – COVID-19) Regulation (No. 6) 2020 has been extended by a further 90 days to 31 March 2021.
The Employment Arrangements in the Event of a Health Pandemic Directive 01/20 remains current as a result of the further extension.
Important information for staff who have travelled or plan to travel to Victoria or New South Wales can be found on the Queensland Government border restrictions website.
Reconsider non-essential travel to these states and be mindful of quarantine requirements when returning to Queensland. Employees who choose to travel and are required to quarantine on their return need to access their own accrued entitlements to recreation or long service leave to cover the 14-day quarantine period. Please refer to the Leave Guide for further information about leave entitlements.
Queensland residents returning from New South Wales who have visited a declared hotspot in the last 14 days need to apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass. They can only enter by air and will be directed to quarantine in government arranged accommodation at their own expense.
Queensland residents returning from New South Wales who have not been in a declared hotspot in the last 14 days must apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass and can enter Queensland by any mode of transport.
As at 25 September 2020, there are no Local Government Areas listed as Queensland COVID-19 restricted areas.
Health advice for people with a high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms is unchanged. Human Resources information for staff, including leave entitlements and flexible work options, also remains unchanged.
Any questions? Speak to your principal or manager in the first instance or contact the HR Advisory Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links to latest Government updates on Covid -19
|Queensland Government website|
|Queensland Health website|
|Australian Government website|