Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW 02) 93190288 [email protected]

Briefing on the article from NSW Health affecting Commonwealth Home Support Programs and COmmonwealth funded aged care programs

From the 25th of October until the 29th of November 2021, in-home and community aged care workers, and anyone providing disability services, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical exemption in order to work.

From 9 am on 29 November, disability workers and in-home and community aged care workers must not provide disability services unless they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (unless they have a medical exemption). 

This update for the exchange hub was provided courtesy of:

  Christine Racar
  Policy & Project Officer
  T: (02) 4256 4333   mob 0428 428 512
  E: [email protected]
  W: communityindustrygroup.org.au
   

Below is an extract from the NSW Health website
For the latest updates and announcements please visit the NSW Health website

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/vaccination
https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/vaccination/requirements-for-workers

 

Requirements for reopening

Since 11 October 2021 when eligible businesses began to reopen, vaccination rules have applied for staff and customers aged 16 years and over. These vaccination rules for business apply to:

  • Entertainment facilities, such as theatres, cinemas, and music or concert halls.
  • Recreation facilities, such as stadiums, show grounds, racecourses and motor racing tracks.
  • Hospitality venues, such as cafes, restaurants, or pubs.
  • Places where a wedding, funeral, or memorial service is held (except for small weddings, small funerals, or small memorial services).
  • Hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours.
  • Indoor recreation facilities, such as gyms, indoor pools, squash club, tennis centre, bowling alley, or ice rink.
  • Public swimming pools.
  • Information and education facilities, such as a museum, art gallery, library or visitor information centre.
  • Retail premises other than critical retail premises.
  • Auction houses 
  • Betting agencies
  • Gaming lounges
  • Markets that do not predominantly sell food
  • Properties operated by the National Trust, or the Historic Houses Trust.

 

If you live in: To go to work at the above businesses:
Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong Local Government Areas From 11 October 2021, you must be fully vaccinated
Regional and rural NSW

From 11 October 2021, you must have had 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

By 1 November 2021, you must be fully vaccinated.

 

Workers who are aged under 16 and who are not fully vaccinated may continue to go to work after 11 October.

Requirements by industry

Education and care workers

From 8 November 2021, the following education and care workers must not enter or remain on the premises of schools, early education and family/day care facilities unless they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have a medical contraindication certificate:  

  • Anyone who carries out work or works at a government or non-government school, including teachers, administration staff, and maintenance workers.
  • Anyone who carries out work or works at an early education and care facility, for example, early childhood educators at a pre-school, day care facility, or family day care premises, administration staff and maintenance workers.
  • Contractors, volunteers or students on student placement performing work at schools or early education and care facilities
  • Workers who provide a disability support service at a government or non-government school or early education and care facility, if a working with children check is required 
  • Authorised persons carrying out work in relation to the registration of children for home schooling
  • Adjudicators and staff working as part of the Higher School Certificate examinations.

Family day care residences must not open unless all adult residents of the premises are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

You must produce evidence of your vaccination for inspection by your employer, the occupier of a premise or the approved provider of education and care service, if asked to do so.

The obligation to be vaccinated does not apply to an education and care worker who is working in an emergency.

Employers of education and care workers

Employers of workers in the categories listed above must take all reasonable steps to ensure the vaccination requirements are complied with. 

Evidence of vaccination or exemption

A person who works in a school, early education or family/day care facility may be asked to produce evidence of their vaccination status by their employer or the occupier of a premise or the approved provider of education and care service.

Evidence of vaccination includes your: 

Evidence of your medical exemption must be from a medical practitioner in the form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer. 

Aged care workers and others who work in or enter aged care facilities  

The following categories of workers and service providers must not enter or remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility unless they have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or produce a medical contraindication certificate (in a form approved by NSW Health):

  • employees such as nursing staff, office staff, receptionists 
  • a person who provides services for the facility for one or more residents (whether or not they are engaged by the facility).  This does not include maintenance contractors, service providers engaged directly by individual residents, or students.   

From 9am on 31 October 2021, a health practitioner or a student who is not included in the categories listed above must not enter or remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility unless they have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or produce a medical contraindication certificate (in a form approved by NSW Health).   

The obligation does not apply to a health practitioner who enters a residential aged care facility to respond to a medical emergency.   

The operator of the residential aged care facility must take all reasonable steps to ensure the vaccination obligations are complied with.   

Evidence of vaccination or exemption  

A person who works in or enters a residential aged care facility may be asked to produce evidence of their vaccination by the operator of the aged care facility.  

Evidence of vaccination can include your: 

Evidence of your medical exemption must be from a medical practitioner in the form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer. 

Health care workers

A health care worker must have received at least one dose of a COVID 19 vaccine in order to work.   

From 30 November 2021, a health care worker must be fully vaccinated, unless the health care worker produces a medical contraindication certificate (in a form approved by NSW Health).   

A ‘health care worker’ covered by the Order is a person who does work for:  

  • a Local Health District;
  • a statutory health corporation (listed in Schedule 2 of the Health Services Act 1997)
  • an affiliated health organisation in respect of its recognised establishments and recognised services  (listed in Schedule 3 of the Health Services Act 1997)
  • the Health Administration Corporation
  • the Ambulance Service of NSW.  
  • Other health care workers are:
    • registered paramedics who transport, or assess whether to transport, persons to or from a hospital or public health facility, including any incidental treatment to a customer
    • Ministry of Health staff
    • any person who works at a private health facility
    • others specified by the Chief Health Officer.      

The obligation for health care workers to be vaccinated covers employees, contractors, visiting practitioners, volunteers and students. It covers both temporary and permanent work.      

The obligation to be vaccinated does not apply to a health care worker who is responding to a medical emergency, or another person who works as a health care worker in response to a non-medical emergency, such as fire, flooding or a gas leak.  

The employer, contracting entity or student supervisor responsible for a health care worker must take all reasonable steps to ensure the vaccination obligations are complied with.  The occupier of premises where the person works is also responsible for taking all reasonable steps to ensure the obligation is complied with (except occupiers of residential premises).    

Evidence of vaccination or exemption  

A health care worker may be asked to produce evidence of their vaccination by their employer, student supervisor, contracting entity or occupier of premises (except occupiers of residential premises).  

Evidence of your vaccination can include an: 

Evidence of your medical exemption must be from a medical practitioner in the form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer.

    In-home and community aged care workers and anyone providing disability services

    In-home and community aged care workers, and anyone providing disability services, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical exemption in order to work.

    Disability services means services provided in person to a person with a disability, including (but not limited to) services

    • funded or provided under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or 
    • funded or provided under the Assisted School Travel Program of the Department of Education. 

    In-home and community aged care workers means people who: 

    • Provide flexible care, home care, or a Commonwealth-funded aged care service  
    • Provide that service outside of a residential care setting 
    • Do so for or on behalf of:
      • an approved provider for whom a flexible care subsidy or home care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 or 
      • a service provider of a Commonwealth-funded aged care service within the meaning of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018, delivering services outside a residential aged care setting 

    From 9am on 25 October and until 29 November, disability workers and in-home and community aged care workers must not provide disability services unless they have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (unless they have a medical exemption).  

    From 9am on 29 November, disability workers and in-home and community aged care workers must not provide disability services unless they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (unless they have a medical exemption). 

    The employer or contracting entity of a disability worker or in-home and community aged care worker must take all reasonable steps to ensure the vaccination obligations are complied with.   

    Evidence of vaccination or exemption   

    Evidence of vaccination can include your:  

    Evidence of your medical exemption must be from a medical practitioner in the form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer. 

    Airport workers

    The following information relates to the NSW Airport and Quarantine Workers Vaccination Program.

    Airport and quarantine workers within the testing and vaccination programs include people providing services to overseas arrivals (whether arriving on international or domestic flights), or providing services in the environment where these arrivals are, or have been including:

    • airport staff
    • airline/freight staff
    • ground handlers
    • caterers
    • cleaners
    • customer service agents
    • ramp workers
    • baggage handlers
    • engineers
    • security and other private contractors providing services to relevant persons (excluding international flight crew members who are not ordinarily Australian residents)
    • health courier services supporting health screening and swabbing staff
    • Australian Defence Force members who provide baggage handling services
    • passport and border control staff
    • biosecurity and law enforcement staff
    • people providing international aeromedical retrieval air transportation services for certain people or who are symptomatic or are suspected of having COVID-19
    • people conducting health screening/swabbing of overseas arrivals.

    If you are an airport worker specified in the program, you must not enter or provide services at an airport unless you:

    • have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
    • have received 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and will get your second dose either within 3 months of having received the first dose, or by 28 September 2021.

    You must produce evidence of your vaccination for inspection by your employer or a police officer if asked to do so.

    Airport worker employers

    If you employ airport workers, you are required to ensure they have complied with the vaccination requirements set out above.

    As an employer of airport workers you must produce the workers vaccination evidence for inspection by a police officer if requested to do so. 

    Airport workers can request a COVID-19 vaccination exemption for medical reasons.

    Quarantine workers

    This information relates to the NSW Airport and Quarantine Workers Vaccination Program.

    The following quarantine workers must comply with COVID-19 vaccine requirements before entering or providing services at a quarantine facility:

    • quarantine staff
    • police officers
    • healthcare staff providing medical treatment or care, including health staff conducting infection prevention and control audits
    • Australian Defence Force members providing service in relation to a quarantine facility
    • people who conduct health screening
    • people who provide courier services in a quarantine facility or for a quarantine facility
    • people auditing security services for a quarantine facility.

    Before providing services at a quarantine facility you must:

    • have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or 
    • have received 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and will get your second dose either within 3 months of having received the first dose, or by 28 September 2021.

    You must produce evidence of your vaccination for inspection by your employer or a police officer if asked to do so.

    Quarantine workers can request a COVID-19 vaccination exemption for medical reasons.

    Quarantine employers

    If you employ quarantine workers you are required to ensure they have complied with the vaccination requirements set out above.

    As an employer of quarantine workers you must produce the workers vaccination evidence for inspection by a police officer if requested to do so.

    Transport workers

    Transport provider workers

    The NSW Government has introduced the NSW Airport and Quarantine Workers Vaccination Program.

    You must comply with COVID-19 vaccine requirements if:

    • your role is specified in the NSW Airport and Quarantine Workers Vaccination Program and
    • you are providing a transportation service to
      • overseas arrivals (whether arriving on international or domestic flights), including directly to or from a quarantine facility or a medical facility, or
      • to and from an airport to a flight crew member’s home. 

    You cannot provide a transportation service to these travelers or flight crew members unless you:

    • have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
    • have received 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and will get your second dose either within 3 months of having received the first dose, or by 28 September 2021.

    You must produce evidence of your vaccination for inspection by your employer or a police officer if asked to do so.

    Transport for urgent medical care or supplies

    If you are providing transport services for flight crew, to or from their residence for the purpose of obtaining urgent medical care or medical supplies, you do not need to have complied with the vaccine requirements.

    Transport workers can request a COVID-19 vaccination exemption for medical reasons.

    Transport provider employers

    If you employ transport providers, you are required to ensure they have complied with the vaccination requirements set above.

    As an employer of transport providers must produce the workers vaccination evidence for inspection by a police officer if requested to do so.

    Book a vaccination

    Find out where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccination.

    Support telephone lines 

    NSW Health Vaccination Support Line 1800 57 11 55

    Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) 131 450 

    Medical exemptions

    Workers in particular industries who have a medical reason for not receiving vaccination must apply for medical exemptions from vaccination through their medical practitioner (such as a GP).

    The person must be unable to receive all approved COVID-19 vaccines to be granted a medical exemption. 

    Evidence of contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination is provided using either: 

    Recovering COVID-19 cases

    If you have not already been vaccinated, you can now receive your COVID-19 vaccination.

    There is no need to delay your vaccination if you have fully recovered. Please talk to your doctor about when it is best for you to get vaccinated.

    The public health orders require some people to be vaccinated. You can get a temporary medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination from your GP.