A number of Fraser Coast accommodation venues have received pressure from those in lockdown areas to accept their bookings because of their engagement in “essential work” on the Fraser Coast,

Most have refused the bookings which is the correct course of action to keep the Fraser Coast virus free.

Rules for the movement of people in the 11 lockdown zones of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan and Redlands and the regions of Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Scenic Rim, Somerset, and the Sunshine Coast fall under the following Direction “Restrictions for Locked Down Areas (South-East Queensland) Direction (No. 4)” https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/restrictions-impacted-areas

People, including tradies, are not allowed to leave home unless their work is essential (as defined below). If work is essential and a worker has left the lockdown area to do it, rules of the lockdown areas need to be followed, including the wearing of masks whenever leaving home and in the workplace.

The intent of the direction is that once the essential work is completed, a worker is to go straight home. Exercise and food shopping cannot be undertaken outside the lockdown area. Being outside the lockdown area is only for work purposes, no lunches or other excursions are allowed.

Businesses need to be asking themselves: a) are the workers essential? b) is the work essential? (i.e. for safety reasons).

Below are some relevant Q&As from the Direction and the definitions of essential work and essential workers.

If I live in a locked down area but work outside of a locked-down area, can I still go to work?

Yes, if you live in a locked down area but work outside of a locked down area you can go to work, if your work is essential and you cannot work from home. Special rules apply for people working at a hospital, aged care facility or disability accommodation service.

You must wear a mask while at your workplace and return to your residence after you have completed your shift to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you cannot wear a mask because of a medical condition, you should not attend your workplace unless you are fully vaccinated.

For example, if you live in Noosa but work as a pharmacist in Gympie you can continue to go to work. You must wear a mask when outside of your residence including at work unless an exception applies.

What are essential repairs?/ What is essential construction?

Only essential or emergency repairs/construction should occur at an occupied residence. Essential or emergency repairs include:

· a burst water service or a serious water service leak

· a blocked or broken toilet

· a serious roof leak

· a gas leak

· a dangerous electrical fault

· flooding or serious flood damage

· serious storm, fire or impact damage

· a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply

· a failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the property for hot water, cooking or heating

· a fault or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure

· a fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a tenant

· a serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area of the property that unduly inconveniences a tenant in gaining access to, or using, the property.

If you are in a lockdown area, there is no limit on the number of workers that can come to your home. However, you should ensure that those workers wear face masks and that you maintain physical distancing wherever possible

All other repairs are routine repairs and should be delayed until after the lockdown has finished. If you are part way through a renovation, ensuring that the premises is safe, accessible, secure, and has functioning amenities such as kitchen, bathroom and laundry is considered essential.

Commercial construction at unoccupied premises can continue during lockdown.

Essential work or volunteering refers to work or volunteering that is urgently required for safety reasons, for emergency repairs, or that is necessary to maintain essential services and supplies to the community, or to a part of the community, including but not limited to a nurse, doctor, cook, teacher, healthcare provider, shelf packer, plumber, or electrician. Essential worker or volunteer has the same meaning.

Note – where a person is working at the workplace or volunteer facility rather than from their residence for safety reasons, it is considered they are leaving to attend essential work.

Example – an electrician called out for an emergency repair of a dangerous electrical fault is undertaking essential work as there is a serious risk to safety of the fault is not fixed.