The Northern Territory Government has announced the introduction of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for workers in high risk workplaces.
This includes all in-home and community aged care workers.
Under Chief Health Officer Direction 55, workers must receive a COVID-19 vaccine if, in the course of their work:
- they come into contact with vulnerable people;
- their workplace poses a high risk of infection; or
- they perform work that is necessary for the operation or maintenance of essential infrastructure or logistics in the NT.
The direction lists examples of workplaces that require mandatory vaccination; however, this list is not exhaustive and it does apply to in-home and community aged care workers.
Exemptions are extremely narrow and must be backed up by medical evidence.
Enquiries on exemptions should be directed to the NT Department of Health.
Under the new direction, in-home and community aged care workers must receive their first dose before November 13, 2021, and receive their second dose before December 25, 2021.
Workers who are not vaccinated by November 13, 2021 will not be permitted to attend their workplace, and will face a $5000 fine if they do not comply with the Chief Health Officer Direction.
The CHO Direction includes provisions for workplaces – including all in-home and community aged care providers – to request proof of vaccination from workers, and requires workplaces to keep a register of staff vaccination rates.
It is already a Commonwealth mandatory requirement for providers to keep records and report weekly via My Aged Care on workforce vaccination rates.
PRIORITY VACCINATION FOR NT WORKERS:
In addition to the priority channels for accessing a COVID-19 vaccination, workers in the NT can book online or call the NT COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484.
Walk-ins are welcome at NT COVID-19 Vaccination Centres in Palmerston, Coolanlinga, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Gove.
For more information visit coronavirus.nt.gov.au.