Third jab mandates for certain workers

Workers in a range of sectors will be required to get their third jabs. file photograph

Staff writers

Third COVID vaccine deadlines have been imposed in key sectors for onsite workers under new state government pandemic orders coming into effect on Wednesday 11.59pm.

This will apply to workers in healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, correctional facility, quarantine accommodation and food distribution.

Workplaces must sight and record proof of vaccination.

Workers eligible for a third dose on or before Wednesday will have until February 12 to get their third dose.

Those not yet eligible for their third jab will be required to get it within three months and two weeks of the deadline to receive their second mandatory dose.

This means residential aged care workers must receive their third dose by March 1, and health care workers by March 29.

Disability, quarantine accommodation, correctional facilities, emergency services, and food distribution workers will need to receive their third dose by March 12.

Food distribution workers include manufacturing, warehousing and transport workers involved in food distribution. Retail supermarket staff are not included in the mandate.

The mandatory vaccination requirement will not apply to workers who have a valid medical exemption.

Further visitor restrictions will be applied to hospitals and aged care settings

“This is a sensible extension of our existing vaccination requirements – ensuring our critical workers and the vulnerable community members they look after are protected,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“No setting is more vulnerable than hospitals and aged care, and that’s why visitors to hospitals will be required to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or return a negative Rapid Antigen Test.”

Aged care residents can up to five visitors per day with a negative rapid antigen test result before entering.

If no RATs are available, then residents can have no more than two visitors.

Visitors in hospitals must have received two jabs or return a negative RAT result before entering.

Adult visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear an N95 mask during their visit. Standard face masks continue to be mandated for children aged eight and above.

Food sector workers may be exempt from close contact isolation requirements from Wednesday – if necessary to continue operating and other options have been exhausted.

Exempted workers must be asymptomatic, undertake daily RATs for five days and return a negative result prior to attending work.

They can’t enter shared break areas, and employers are being asked to facilitate solo break times.

In addition, face coverings must be worn, using N95/P2 respirators if possible. Both the worker and workplace must consent to the worker’s return.