Information current 11 August 2020

On this page:

+ Quick one page guide

Requirements for all businesses

Understanding how to operate your tourism business safely

Operating within the baseline restrictions

Operating beyond the baseline restrictions

Tourism experiences on vehicles or vessels - allowed up to 50 people

Resources to assist your COVID Safe planning

+ Managing travellers who may be unwell

Assuring travellers of a safe travel experience

Safety resources for your business

+ Questions


See all the vital information on COVID Safe business operation summed up in one page with our Quick Guide to being COVID Safe.


All businesses must do the following, no matter whether operating in line with the baseline restrictions, or in compliance with an approved Industry Plan:

All businesses must

  1. Allow for social distancing, and encourage your guests to observe social distancing - there is a shared responsibility.
  2. Have a current Work Health and Safety (WHS) Plan in place including strategies to manage COVID-19 to protect both staff and customers. This includes taking into account social distancing requirements. The WHS Plan is an existing internal plan which does not need to be submitted for approval and should be made available if requested.
  3. Collect contact information for all customers, workers and contractors and retain for a period of at least 56 days for the purpose of assisting authorities in tracing infections of COVID-19 if they occur. More information can be found in the Fact Sheet: Collecting and storing customer information during COVID-19.
  4. Increase cleaning and hygiene practices, especially on high-touch areas such as screens, counter-tops and serving areas, handrails, elevator panels, door handles, trolleys and seats.
  5. Ensure you are familiar and compliant with the details of relevant Public Health Directions.


All tourism businesses need to plan for COVID safety in order to operate now that restrictions are easing. There are two ways to operate:

Two ways to operate

  • In line with baseline restrictions, as per the roadmap. Currently, Queensland is at Stage Three of the roadmap, allowing businesses to have the maximum number of customers that the four square metre rule allows, or one person per two square metres for smaller venues up to 200 square metres. Read more.


  • In compliance with an Industry COVID Safe Plan, which allows for operation beyond the baseline restrictions. For Queensland’s tourism and events industry, one or more Industry Plans may apply, pending the complexity of the business. Find approved Industry Plans here. Read more.


If you are operating as per the guidelines in the roadmap, then you are considered to be operating within the baseline restrictions. You must complete the basic 'must-do' requirements and follow the baseline social distancing and capacity requirements:

  • In Queensland, social distancing requirements include having one person per four square metres (or one person per two square metres for venues under 200 square metres) and allowing 1.5m distancing between people. 
  • For tours (e.g. on buses or boats), calculate your useable floorspace and divide by four - that is the number of people (including staff) that you can have on your tour. For example, a business with a useable floor space of 40 square meters could accommodate a total of 10 people.
  • For accommodation, there is no restriction on the number of rooms that a property can operate. However, individual rooms must allow for one person per four square meters. Businesses should also consider social distancing requirements in common areas such as reception areas. Accommodation with shared facilities (e.g. bathrooms) - including overnight vessel accommodation - must have a Health Management Plan in place. 
  • For caravan/camping parks, the entire facility must operate with the one person per four square meters adhered to (including guests and staff). Caravan parks and camp sites with shared facilities require a Health Management Plan in place.
  • Communal swimming pools may open for recreational use. Communal showers and change rooms must remain closed (toilets can be open) and use of communal facilities should be minimised. Swimmers should shower with soap before and after swimming (at home/hotel room, not at the pool).
In all cases, both guests and businesses are responsible for adhering to the 1.5m social distancing guidelines. People from the same household do not need to observe 1.5m distancing from each other, but must keep 1.5m distance from other people/groups of people.

Other requirements:

  • Any business that serves food or drink must seat patrons while they consume food or drinks.
  • High risk businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, beauty therapies and spas, need to complete a COVID Safe Checklist.


Following the Industry Plan

If you want to operate beyond the baseline restrictions, then as well as the basic 'must-do' requirements, you need to:

  • Comply with the relevant approved Industry COVID-Safe Plan that your business fits within. There are a number of approved Industry COVID Safe Plans that may apply to tourism businesses including the Queensland Tourism and Accommodation plan, the Food Services plan, Queensland Clubs and Hotels plan, the Queensland wineries plan and more. See all approved plans here
  • Accommodation (e.g. hostels, caravan parks, vessels with overnight accommodation) with shared facilities (e.g. bathrooms) must also have a Health Management Plan in place. 

For a summary of the Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Industry COVID Safe Plan, please see this fact sheet.

Tourism experiences on vehicles or vessels - allowed up to 50 people

From Stage Three of the roadmap (i.e. from Friday, 3 July), as part of the updated Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Industry Plan, tourism experiences may seat guests together during the tourism experience without physical distancing (up to a maximum of 50 people). These tourism experience operators must:

  • Ensure physical distancing of 1.5m is in place at all other times possible. 
  • Complete and comply with the checklist that has been added to the Industry Plan (it is at the end of the document). 

Tourism experiences include: tours, trips, boat trips, charter boats, hot air balloons, scenic flights, bicycle tours, gondolas and bus tours. 

Read the fact sheet about this new easing of restrictions for tourism experiences, including which experiences are not included, and what options there are for experiences with greater capacity.

Unique operations:

In some limited cases, a site-specific plan can be developed by eligible operators that are larger in scale due to the unique aspects (complexity and size) of their business.


More details on the above, as well as the COVID Safe Framework which outlines what you need to have in place, is available on the Queensland Government's COVID-19 website

There are also the following dedicated tourism resources:


It is important to remember that we are all in this together, and that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19. We need to rapidly respond to outbreaks by testing and self-quarantining, so we can stop the spread.

Hotspot declarations and border restriction changes are made regularly – the best way to keep up to date is to visit the Queensland Health Border Restrictions page. Current COVID-19 hotspots are listed here.

  • As part of your COVID Safe plan protocols, you should be asking guests to provide information about their previous travel through your pre-screening process.
  • You have the right to refuse service and must insist that anyone with symptoms will not be able to participate in your tourism experience. This should be advised to guests as part of the booking process and prompted with signage at check-in/the entrance of your business.

From 1am, Saturday 8 August 2020, all areas of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria are declared hotspots. Anyone travelling to Queensland from these areas will be refused entry. If they arrived in Queensland:

  • From regional NSW before 1am, 8 August, and are showing symptoms of COVID-19, they should be denied participation and urged to be tested.
  • From Greater Sydney before 1 August, they must have quarantined for 14 days. If they are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19, they should be denied participation and urged to be tested.


As the tourism industry re-opens and the travellers begin to return to hotels, tours and destinations, ensuring that your business delivers on new traveller expectations will be vital for longer term success. Consumer research highlights the need for tourism experiences to consider how they can clearly and effectively communicate the efforts they are making to protect public health. 

The below options can help you communicate that your business is operating safely.

Good to Go Stamp (optional marketing tool):

A core message of TEQ’s Good to Go campaign is built on the premise that Queensland's tourism industry is open, ready to welcome visitors and is following COVID Safe practices. Queensland's tourism businesses can display the Good to Go stamp in their marketing, on their website and through their communications channels to assure travellers that they are offering a safe travel experience. With the above required COVID Safe documentation in place, you can download the 'Good to Go' stamp from our campaign webpage.

COVID-Clean (optional business module):

QTIC has also worked with the industry’s national organisation, the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) to create an optional, online, COVID-19 CLEAN business module, based on the Quality Tourism Framework platform. Completing the checklist will give access to a national COVID-clean logo for tourism operators. The intention is to reassure travellers of our industry’s ability to provide safe experiences as travel restrictions are eased.

ATEC's COVID Ready Program (optional program):

The Australian Tourism Export Council has developed a tourism-friendly set of tools to assist businesses to open with clarity and ensure safety for the business, staff and customers. Once complete, businesses can display a COVID Ready badge and be listed in a trade directory. Read more.

Displaying accreditation via ATDW:

Log into ATDW Online, navigate to the 'Accreditations' section and select the COVID Safe programs you have completed: COVID Safe documentation in place, COVID Clean module completed or COVID Ready Program completed. By ticking one (or more) of these options, the Good to Go stamp will appear on your listing on

Good to Go stamps displayed on

Prioritise trust

Prioritise building trust with customers. This short blog has some very practical ideas for a range of businesses, and this one provides solid principles on building and maintaining customer trust.

Assuring visitors during their stay:

The below resources include a range of posters and other signage that you can display throughout your business to remind visitors how to keep safe while staying and/or travelling with you.



If, after reading through all the information on our pages, you still have a question, you can contact the Queensland Government's dedicated hotline for questions specific to their business. 

Phone: 134 COVID (134 268)



The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) are leading the development of industry plans which will form the basis of individual business plans.

There are also resources available from Work Safe Australia and Work Cover Queensland, as well as tips and a comprehensive planning tool available on the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission's website which may assist businesses in preparing their plans.


The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) are leading the development of industry plans which will form the basis of individual business plans.

There are also resources available from Work Safe Australia and Work Cover Queensland, as well as tips and a comprehensive planning tool available on the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission's website which may assist businesses in preparing their plans.