Queensland two-person rule now in force

The Queensland Government has made the Home Confinement Direction, becoming the first Australian govenrment to enact restrictive laws prohibiting a person from leaving home except for “permitted purposes”. Any person who is permitted to leave home may only be in the company of one other person, or in the company of persons (unlimited in number) from their own household.

For the purposes of the Direction, “household” is defined to mean “persons who ordinarily live at the same residence, including if family or kinship customs or cultural obligations have the effect of a person living across multiple residences.”

Although one of the “permitted purposes” is work-related, it is restrictively expressed so as to enable a person only “to perform work on behalf of an employer that is engaged in an essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence.” There is no broader work-related permission that would authorise non-employees (such as self-employed doctors, barristers, even Judges and Parliamentarians) to leave home.

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