Booster mandate plus close contact exemption for key workers

Updated 10/01/2022

All Healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, correctional facility, quarantine accommodation and food distribution workers who are already required to be fully vaccinated must get their third dose before being permitted to work onsite under new pandemic orders coming into place at 11:59pm Wednesday 12 January with an exemption from close contact home isolation requirements to attend their workplace to come into effect from 11:59pm, Tuesday 18 January.

Workers eligible for a third dose on or before Wednesday 12 January will have until Saturday 12 February to get their vital third dose. Workers not yet eligible for a third dose will be required to get it within three months and two weeks of the deadline to receive their second mandatory dose.

The strong recommendations that people work from home if they are able and that patrons in hospitality and entertainment venues opt for seated service will continue. It is recommended that people visiting these venues who can access Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) should use them before attending.  Please continue to monitor your health and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms.

In addition, further visitor restrictions will be applied to hospitals and aged care settings – reflecting the vulnerable nature of patients and residents in these facilities.

Residents at aged care centres will continue to be permitted up to five visitors per day, but visitors must return a negative RAT result before entering. If no RATs are available at the facility, residents will be permitted no more than two visitors.

In a further update workers in emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities, transport and freight will join workers in the food production sector as being eligible for the exemption from close contact home isolation requirements.

Under the conditions of the exemption, the worker may return to work if it is necessary for continuity of operations and if other options have been exhausted. The exemption will apply to attending work only, not any other settings.

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