Lockdown for the eleven local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast is currently due to end at 4pm, Sunday 8 August 2021.
Queensland Health has reconfirmed that the building and construction can continue at this time and we thank industry for continuing to take a common sense approach when considering the restrictions.
A meeting was held to clarify the current situation in Queensland, including how the current restrictions imposed during lockdown are interpreted and applied to the building and construction industry. In particular:
- mask wearing requirements
- building and construction activity – what work is able to continue
- brief discussion regarding compliance and enforcement activities being undertaken by the Queensland Police Service (QPS).
Mask wearing requirements
Part 3 of the Restrictions for Locked Down Areas (South-East Queensland) Direction (No. 4) describes when mask wearing is legally required.
In summary, for the building and construction industry, Queensland Health confirmed that masks are mandatory and must be worn at all times, unless it is unsafe to do so. This applies both inside or outside of a building unless you are eating or drinking or are alone in your car (or with only members of your household).
Where you are alone or can physically distance (from non-household members) on the indoor or outdoor worksite you can remove the mask but should put it back on if you are going to come close to other people on the site.
For example, a window cleaner working alone, or two trades people working in separate areas of the property do not need to wear a mask; however, a builder working on site who is frequently moving around the site and cannot maintain physical distance from other trades people or occupants of the property, must wear a mask unless it’s unsafe to do so.
Remember, you do not need to wear a face mask if it is unsafe to do so, and you should continue to wear masks for all your usual health and safety reasons.
In addition, please remind your members that they must carry a face mask with them at all times, if they live in a locked down area.
Building and Construction activity – what work is able to continue
The building and construction industry is not currently a restricted industry (refer to Schedule 3 of Restrictions for Locked Down Areas (South-East Queensland) Direction (No. 4).
Remembering the purpose of the lockdown is to stop the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, it is important to take a practical, common-sense approach to what building and construction activity needs to continue now.
Work on unoccupied construction sites, both commercial and residential can continue.
Essential work, which means work (both new and in progress) required to make a building and/or property safe, accessible, secure and functional, may occur – in consultation with the owner. This includes occupant safety and accessibility, emergency repairs or essential services on occupied buildings.
Outdoor work in occupied residences may continue subject to the above points.
Otherwise, please consider whether the work can be postponed until after the current lockdown ends. This includes commencing or quoting a new job.
When travelling to and from and working on-site, COVID-safe business practices should be used at all times and contractors and employees should all understand why it is essential to undertake the work.
Compliance and enforcement activities
QPS has an important and at times difficult role in ensuring Queenslanders adhere to the current restrictions.
QPS has reconfirmed that it will continue to do this with tact and common sense, however, unfortunately some Queenslanders have not done the right thing and continue to travel for reasons other than those specified as allowed under the current health directives or by not adhering to face mask requirements.
As a result, the QPS has in the past few days increased its compliance and enforcement activities efforts, for the benefit of all Queenslanders. These heightened efforts may result in your members workers being stopped and questioned. To assist QPS, please encourage employees to take necessary measures for them to be able to
- clearly identify themselves as a building and construction worker and
- confidently explain the reason for their travel (for example to undertake urgent/ necessary repair or service work or to work on a commercial construction site).