Information current 27 October 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 

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 which plan they are following, how many patrons, what type of operation they are running, etc:

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

1. In line with baseline restrictions, as per the roadmap - up to a maximum of 50 patrons. Currently, Queensland is at Stage Four of the roadmap. Indoor venues larger than 200 square metres must follow the four square metre rule (i.e. one person per four square metres of useable floorspace) and outdoor venues, as well as indoor venues less than 200 square metres, can have one person per two square metres of useable floorspace. Read more.


2. In compliance with an Industry COVID Safe Plan, which allows for operation beyond the baseline restrictions (including up to 50 people on vehicles or vessels, no matter the square metreage). 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


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 allow for one person per four square metres (indoors) or one person per two square metres (outdoor venues, and indoor venues under 200 square metres) and allowing 1.5m distancing between people. 
  • You are allowed to operate based on the baseline restrictions, without a dedicated COVID Safe Plan, for up to 50 patrons.
  • For tours (e.g. on buses or boats), calculate your useable floorspace and divide by four (or divide by two for outdoor vessels) - that is the number of people (including staff) that you can have on your tour. For example, an indoor 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 with shared facilities a Health Management Plan must be in place.
  • High risk businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, beauty therapies and spas, need to complete a COVID Safe Checklist.

Social distancing is a shared responsibility - 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.

The Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction governs the requirements for restricted businesses (which includes accommodation and tourism experiences). Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the direction and any updates made to it.


Following the Industry Plan

If you want to operate beyond the baseline restrictions (i.e. have more than 50 patrons), 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
  • The Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction governs the requirements for restricted businesses (which includes accommodation and tourism experiences). Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the direction and any updates made to it.

Specific requirements and options:

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. 

Tourism experiences are allowed up to 50 people seated together. When following the 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 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.

  • 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. 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. Anyone travelling to Queensland from these areas will be refused entry. Queensland residents can travel from a hotspot by air but will be required to quarantine at their own expense in government-arrange accommodation. 
  • 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.


As the tourism industry re-opens and 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 (ATEC) 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.

  • Global 'Safe Travels' stamp (optional):

ATEC has aligned with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to become Australia's lead agency in issuing the globally recognised 'Safe Travels' stamp. The stamp has been developed by the global travel and tourism industry body to recognise businesses which adopt standardised health and hygiene protocols and aims to encourage travellers to book recognised businesses with confidence. If you have a COVID Safe Plan in place for your business (ATEC plan, Queensland Health approved COVID Safe Plan or other), you can have access to the WTTC 'Safe Travels' stamp. Simply register for ATEC's Tourism Trade Checklist to access the stamp.

  • 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.