On the 9th of April 2020, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young issued a variety of restrictions under the Non-Essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No.5) (‘the Direction’) in order to assist in containing the spread of the COVID-19. The direction was made replacing the Non-Essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No.4) made on 31 March 2020. This was done in accordance with emergency powers arising from s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) resulting from the declared public health emergency. The restrictions are to take effect as soon as it was published on the Queensland Health website on 9 April 2020.
One of entities impacted by these changes are churches. In accordance with paragraphs 6 and 8 of the Direction, places of worship (including churches) are prohibited from operating their normal activities subject to the exceptions listed. For churches, an exception may apply if the members are gathering for the purpose of conducting a live-stream. This is limited to a maximum of 5 people including the camera operator with social distancing observed.
If these restrictions have been breached without reasonable excuse, s 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) provides that churches may face penalties of up to 100 penalty units; which equates to a maximum of $13,345.
Have questions about the restriction regarding Church live-streaming?
Authors – James Tan & Ervin Hii (Student Replacement)