Traffic light advice rolled out to inform over Covid-19 threat

A NEW traffic light advice system will provide Queenslanders with information on the current COVID-19 threat, including guidance on when and where they should wear masks.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said the COVID-19 traffic light system would simplify health messaging, in an era where living with COVID-19 is the reality and no longer treated as a public health emergency.

“Queenslanders have been dealing with COVID-19 for almost three years now, and all the way through they have shown an eagerness to do the right thing to protect themselves, their families and the community,” Dr Gerrard said.

“This new COVID-19 traffic light system will provide Queenslanders with an easy-to-understand guide to the level of risk posed by the virus and provide advice on when they should consider increasing their personal protective measures, such as wearing masks indoors, or when they can relax things a bit.” Dr Gerrard said there were three levels in the new system – green, amber and red – and these levels would be communicated to the public via the Queensland Health website, social media accounts and through the media.

“When there are low rates of community transmission the traffic light setting will be green,” Dr Gerrard said.

“If you’re asked to wear a mask – for example, by a healthcare provider, or if you’re providing care to a vulnerable person – we ask that you cooperate with that request.

“If community transmission increases to moderate rates, the traffic light will change to amber.

“Queenslanders will be advised to wear masks in healthcare settings, indoors when they can’t socially distance, on public transport, if they are older, immunocompromised or have other health issues, or if they are around people who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Close contacts will also be advised to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) every two days.

“Should we reach the stage where community transmission gets back to high rates, we’ll change the traffic light setting to red.

“When the traffic light is red – the highest of the three levels – people will be advised to follow all the advice for the amber and green colours, as well as wearing a mask while indoors, even when they can socially distance.

The traffic light setting will be reviewed regularly.