How to follow the new rules & safely wear a mask

Developed by Queenslanders with Disability Network

Current as of 11 January 2021

New mask rules

  • The new rules are in place for the next 10 days through to 1am, Friday 22 January in the Greater Brisbane region
  • You must carry a mask at all times when outside
  • Masks must be worn in indoor places including shopping centres, gyms, places of worship, on public transport, and in taxis
  • Masks must be worn in workplaces if social distancing isn’t possible and it’s safe to do so
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask in private vehicles, while outdoors at a safe distance from other people, or if you’re doing exercise
  • A person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability may be exempt from wearing a mask under Queensland Health exemptions
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask inside your home, however, a carer or support worker must wear a mask when working in your home
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask when communicating with those who are deaf or where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication

Source: Queensland Health


How to wear a mask safely

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before touching the mask
  • Check the mask for any damages or dirt
  • Cover your mouth, nose, and chin with the mask
  • Adjust the mask so there are no gaps on the side
  • Avoid touching the mask once you’ve put it on
  • Clean your hands before removing the mask
  • Use the straps to remove the mask and pull it away from your face
  • Wash fabric masks with soap or detergent, preferably with hot water, at least once a day
  • Clean your hands after removing the mask

Source: World Health Organization and Council for Intellectual Disability






Latest information on Greater Brisbane Region Lockdown

QDN office closure

To do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, QDN has made a number of changes to how we work in line with Queensland Health directives.

The QDN office will be closed from 5pm today, Friday 8 January 2021. Be assured you can still contact QDN staff who will be working from home during business hours. However, please have patience if we are a little slower responding to you, given the circumstances.

At this stage, we plan to reopen the office on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, however, this decision will be finalised based on Queensland Health directives and we will let you know if anything changes.

The QDN team and your Local Support Groups Convenors will continue to work remotely and we are available via our usual telephone, email, website and social media contacts.

We will continue to work hard on the issues impacting our members and Queenslanders with a disability more broadly. More than ever, we know that it is critical to make sure there is nothing about us without us.

QDN will be regularly updating you via email and on our Facebook page. We encourage you to keep up to date with the latest news and keep in touch with us by:

Phone: 1300 363 783 or (07) 3252 8566

We thank you for your support as we work together to ensure people continue to stay safe, healthy and with up to date information about this health pandemic.

The latest on Queensland Health directives

General restrictions

From 6pm tonight, Friday 8 January, until 6pm Monday 11 January people in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be required to stay at home except for the following reasons:

  • Essential work
  • Providing healthcare for a vulnerable person
  • Essential shopping
  • Exercise in your local neighbourhood

You can find more detailed information from Queensland Health on the Greater Brisbane 3-day lockdown here.

QDN will continue to update the COVID-19 information on our website, which can be found here.

Disability Accommodation Services, Aged Care and Hospital Directives

Queensland Health has released updated public health directions for Aged Care  (No 18) and Disability Accommodation Services (No 9).

The major change is that visitors are not allowed in hospitals and aged or disability accommodation services in the following Hospital and Health Service regions:

  • Metro North
  • Metro South
  • West Moreton

Importantly, people providing health, medical, therapeutic, social work, essential disability support or pharmaceutical services to residents of accommodation services are not considered visitors and can continue to work, as usual, wearing personal protective equipment as required.

If you need to attend hospital, there is an exemption in place that allows a support person to go with you – this can be support worker, informal carer, family member or friend. It’s a good idea to talk to the hospital you are planning to go to about this before you arrive. The Hospital Visitors Direction (No 12) is available here – (see Part 1, 11h) and more information on understanding the direction is here.

QDN developed a guide called “Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19″, which can be found here.

Easy English Guide to COVID-19 Greater Brisbane lockdown

QDN has developed an Easy English guide on the Greater Brisbane three-day lockdown rules.

A word version of the Easy English guide can be found here.

The Word document will be seen at either top of bottom of your browser page. Click on the document to open and then print using your computer’s printing settings.

A PDF version of the Easy English guide can be found here.

You can find general QDN Easy English guides on COVID-19 on our website here.

Information on the mask mandate

QDN has received additional information throughout the day on the mask mandate that is currently in place during the three-day lockdown period.

Everyone in the Greater Brisbane area is required to wear a mask whenever they are outside their home during the lockdown period. Masks are not required while eating and drinking or if an exemption applies. A person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability may be exempt from wearing a mask under Queensland Health exemptions.

If your health circumstances make it difficult to wear a mask, you do not require formal documentation or evidence and if questioned by police or any other government officials, you should explain that you have a medical condition or disability that means you meet the requirements of the health exemption.

You do not need to wear a mask when inside your home. However, a carer or support worker must wear a mask.

You can watch a great video on how to wear a mask explained by Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan here.

e-blast: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Greater Brisbane Region Lockdown 8 January 2021

This morning, the Queensland Premier announced that the greater Brisbane area will enter a three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight (8 January 2021) to stop the spread of the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.

This means that from 6pm tonight until 6pm Monday (11 January 2021), people in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be required to stay at home except for:

  • Shopping for essentials, food and necessary supplies
  • Medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements
  • Exercise with no more than one other person, unless all from the same household
  • Providing care or assistance to an immediate family member
  • Work, or volunteering, or study if it is not reasonably practicable to work or learn remotely

When doing any activity outside your house during this period you must wear a mask.

Masks are not required while eating and drinking or if an exemption applies. For example, a person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability is not required to wear a mask.

QDN is in contact with government to clarify this exemption for people with health conditions and will update members as soon as more information is available.

During the lockdown period, no more than two visitors can visit a household per day (in addition to anyone else currently staying in the household). This limit does NOT include care workers.

The restrictions also mean no visitors to aged care facilities, hospitals, disability accommodation services or correctional facilities. Queensland Health has indicated that a support person can accompany people with disability attending a hospital. A support person can be any person providing care or support to a person required to attend a hospital. A support person may be an informal carer or family member of a person with a disability.

For a full list of restrictions and answers to many frequently asked questions, Queensland Health has developed a useful information page that you can find here.

If you have no means of getting food or essential items, you can call the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349. The hotline is also available to support vulnerable people who have no other means of support.

A reminder that QDN has also developed some practical tools and information to help you think through how to make a plan for your own individual needs during this COVID-19 situation. Your emergency plan for COVID-19 can be found here or by clicking the below link:  

QDN COVID-19 Planning Tool
QDN will keep you updated as more information becomes available. Please note the QDN office will be closed Monday, 11 January and Tuesday, 12 January, but we will still be working via phone (1300 363 783) and by emailing

e-blast: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Public Health Directions 6 January 2021

General COVID-19 Health Directions

Over the last few weeks, there have been several changes to Queensland’s COVID-19 health directions and border controls. You can view current health directives here.

Key Facts:

  1. If you’re feeling sick get tested today and stay home and isolate until you get the results and your symptoms resolve. You can find your closest testing centre here.
  2. If you’ve been in Victoria on or since 21 December get tested right away and isolate until you get the results.
  3. Effective from 1:00am Monday 21 December all of Greater Sydney, plus the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast, was declared a hotspot. Non-Queensland Residents seeking to enter from those regions will be unable to enter without a permitted exemption and if granted will be required to undertake hotel quarantine.
  4. Queensland residents returning to the state from Greater Sydney and surrounds after 1:00am Tuesday 22 December are required to quarantine in a hotel.

Disability Accommodation Services Health Direction

The Queensland Public Health Direction – Disability Accommodation Services (No. 7) has been in place since 1:00am on 19 December 2020 and is available to view on the Queensland Health website.

The direction applies to shared disability accommodation services with four or more residents with disability in Queensland.

Key Facts:

  1. The direction requires disability accommodation services to ensure:
    • A person does not enter a disability accommodation service if the person has:
      • returned from overseas in the last 14 days, or
      • visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days, or since the start date identified for the COVID-19 hotspot, whichever is shorter, or
      • had known contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or
      • a fever (37.5 degrees or higher), or
      • symptoms consistent with COVID-19, which means fever or history of fever, symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat), loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue, or
      • been tested for COVID-19 and they have not received their test result
    • Stronger physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place, including providing hand sanitiser and Personal Protective Equipment to staff and increased cleaning procedures.
    • Employees, contractors, students, volunteers and support persons who have been in Victoria on or after 21 December 2020 may only enter a disability accommodation service facility if the individual obtains a negative COVID-19 test in Queensland after returning from Victoria. The person may be requested to provide evidence of the negative COVID-19 test when entering the facility.
  2. Importantly for Queenslanders with disability living in shared disability accommodation services this direction:
    • Does not limit residents from leaving the service
    • Does not limit residents’ ability to access any areas of the service to which they normally have access
  3. The Australian Human Rights Commission (PDF) has produced guidelines on the rights of people with disability in health and disability care during COVID-19 to ensure human rights considerations inform decisions by workers when supporting people with disability.

The Queensland Government has developed a fact sheet on the direction, which you can view here

Make Disability Count 2020 State Election Virtual Forum: Priority Policy Areas

An inclusive Queensland is important for all Queenslanders.

Eight state-wide organisations are hosts of this forum to make sure disability counts in Queensland at this 2020 state election. These organisations include Queenslanders with Disability Network, ADA Australia hosting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland Advocacy Inc., Health Consumers Queensland and the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education.

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