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8am to 4:21pm, 7 days a week
More information

Mandatory vaccinations

It is mandatory for workers in certain settings across the Northern Territory to get the COVID-19 vaccination and show evidence of this to their employer to continue working in the same role.

Booster vaccinations - high risk places

All workers aged 18 years and over in high risk places are required to be fully vaccinated having had your third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Workers in high risk settings are required to have had their third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 11 March 2022.

High-risk workplaces include:

  • Hospitals
  • Residential aged care facilities
  • Disability residential facilities
  • Custodial correctional facilities
  • Youth detention centre
  • Renal hostels, family violence shelters, homeless shelters and sobering up shelters.

Mandatory vaccination for workers

You are required to be fully vaccinated, having had at least three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine  to enter your workplace, if in the course of your work:

  • You come into contact with vulnerable people
  • Your workplace poses a high risk of infection
  • You perform work that is necessary for the operation or maintenance of essential infrastructure or logistics in the Territory

A vulnerable person is defined as a person who:

  • Is under five years of age
  • Has a certificate issued by the Commonwealth that certifies that they have a permanent or temporary contraindication to all approved COVID-19 vaccines
  • Is at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for medical reasons, such as being immunocompromised or suffering from chronic illnesses

In order to enter the workplace, all workers covered by the Direction must be fully vaccinated by Friday 22 April. Employees who do not meet this deadline will not be permitted to attend their workplace and will face a $5,000 fine if they do not comply with the Chief Health Officer Direction.

Workers who have had COVID-19 can get their booster dose three months after the date of their infection, however, they can defer it up to four months. Prior infection of COVID-19 is not a contraindication to vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available from NT Vaccination Centres, Aboriginal health clinics, respiratory clinics and participating GP clinics and pharmacies.

Read more information about booking your vaccination.

Temporary exceptions

The CHO Direction recognises that some workers may have been unable to receive their third dose. This means that in some circumstances workers can continue to enter a high risk workplace by the specified dates if:

  • It is less than 16 weeks since a person received their second vaccine dose.
  • It is less than 16 weeks since a person was infected with COVID-19.
  • If a person was unable to get their booster dose because they were a close contact in isolation and less than two weeks has passed. Proof of isolation is required.

Exemptions

Workers are exempt from the requirement to have a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if they are under the age of 18 or they have a certificate issued by the Commonwealth that certifies they have a permanent or temporary medical contraindication to all approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Evidence

A worker must produce evidence of vaccination, exemption or delay to the person in charge of their high risk workplace. Examples of evidence include, but are not limited to:

  • Vaccination certificate
  • Commonwealth contraindication certificate
  • PCR test result
  • Online positive RAT declaration.

Every worker entering the premises of a high risk place must submit to the compliance measures established by the person in charge.

If your occupation falls under one of the categories below, you are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in line with the CHO Direction, even if it is not directly specified.

Workers Requiring Vaccination 

Category 1

A worker who is likely to come into contact with people who are at risk of severe illness from COVID or who works with people who cannot be vaccinated due to age or a contraindication to all vaccines.

People who work with children aged under 5 years

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Teachers
  • Child care workers
  • Tutors
  • Coaches
  • Dancing teachers
  • Swimming instructors

People who work in health care and ancillary health care services

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Health care workers in hospitals and emergency departments
  • Police and emergency service workers
  • Workers in quarantine facilities & border control workers
  • GP clinics, respiratory clinics, pharmacies

People who work in customer-facing roles

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Retail
  • Finance
  • Hospitality
  • Veterinary services
  • Gyms
  • Beauty

People who work with vulnerable people

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Disability care workers
  • Personal carers
  • Legal service providers

People who work in the community services sector

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Community stores
  • Regional councils
  • Art centres
  • Police
  • Cleaning contractors
  • Tradespeople
  • Domestic and family violence services
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Youth services
  • Faith based leaders

Category 2

A worker who is at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19

People who work in high risk settings where COVID-19 transmission or an outbreak may occur

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Correction and detention facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Mine sites
  • Schools
  • Food processing distribution
  • Cold storage facilities including abattoirs
  • Cruise ships

Category 3

A worker who performs work in essential infrastructure, food or essential goods security or supply, or logistics in the Territory.

People who work in essential infrastructure and logistics

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Essential infrastructure including electricity, gas, water, sewerage, telecommunications, roads and remote infrastructure
  • COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre

Volunteers

Volunteers are defined as a worker, as per Section 7 (1) of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 and if the direction applies to you, you must have had your third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you’re not sure if the Direction applies to you, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. In my volunteer work, do I come into contact with vulnerable people?
  2. Does my volunteer work put me at a higher risk of infection?
  3. Does my volunteer work include infrastructure or logistics that are critical to the Territory?

If your answer is 'maybe', or 'I don’t know', you need to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If your volunteer work includes interacting with members of the public, then you need to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Responsibility of collecting vaccination status

The employer or workplace operator is required to collect information about a worker’s vaccination status, and keep a register of this. The employer must also record that they have sighted evidence of vaccination. These records will need to be provided to an authorised officer upon request.

If a worker has not complied with the requirement to get vaccinated against COVID-19, they must not attend their normal workplace. The employer must take reasonable steps to make sure this happens.

An employer or workplace operator is able to make alternative arrangements for a worker who has not complied with requirement to get vaccinated including working at an alternative location or in a manner which complies with the CHO Direction.

This includes a location where the worker is not likely to:

  • Come into contact with a vulnerable person
  • Come into contact with a person or thing that poses a risk of infection by COVID-19
  • Be exposed to a high risk of infection by COVID-19.

NT Health mobile vaccination teams are available to provide information sessions on the COVID-19 vaccine for businesses and staff. They can also establish a pop-up vaccination clinic in the workplace to vaccinate eligible staff. For more information please contact the NT Health vaccination team at COVID.MobileVaccination@nt.gov.au

It is the responsibility of the employer to check and keep a register of the vaccination status of their employee.

  • Example 1. The owner of a bakery must keep a register of the vaccination status of their employees. The bakery subcontracts AA Delivery & Co to distribute their cakes to local supermarkets. It is the responsibility of AA Delivery & Co to keep a register of their employees’ COVID-19 vaccination status, not the owner of the bakery.

It is the responsibility of the organisation a volunteer belongs to, to check the volunteer’s vaccination status.

  • Example 2. Mr Smith is a volunteer referee for Kickers Soccer Club Inc. Mr Smith referees at Boomers Soccer Club Inc for the weekend. Boomers Soccer Club Inc does not need to check the vaccination status of Mr Smith, but they may choose to. It is the responsibility of Kickers Soccer Club Inc to keep a register of the vaccination status of their employees and volunteers.

Businesses and incorporated associations must keep a register of their employees’ COVID-19 vaccination status.

A business, organisation or incorporated association is not required to check the vaccination status or keep a register of the people outlined in the below categories:

This includes:

  • a volunteer who does not work directly for the organisation, business or incorporated association
  • a contractor or subcontractor
  • an employee of a contractor or subcontractor
  • an employee of a labour hire company who has been assigned to work at the business or incorporated association.

For more information visit the COVID-19 vaccine page

Questions about proof of COVID-19 vaccinations

Medical contraindication exemption

COVID-19 vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and effective and as such are recommended for all Australians aged 5 years and over. There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and as such, medical exemption are rarely required.

Exemption to the CHO Direction mandating vaccination for a range of workers across the Northern Territory is strictly limited to people with a medical contraindication to all available COVID-19 vaccines. If a person has a medical contraindication to one brand of COVID-19 vaccine, they may be able to have an alternate vaccine brand.

Temporary exemptions due to an acute medical condition may be provided for up to six months. If the condition persists beyond this time, the person will require review by an appropriate medical practitioner. If the cause of the medical contraindication persists, a new medical exemption form will need to be completed.

People who believe they have a medical reason for not receiving vaccination must apply for a medical vaccination exemption through their medical practitioner, such as a GP.

GPs are authorised to record a patient’s permanent or temporary vaccination exemption to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) using the Immunisation medical exemption form (IM011). The ATAGI expanded guidance on temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines supports decision making and documentation for vaccine exemptions.

The medical practitioner is required to submit the Immunisation Medical Exemption Form to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The exemption will be available on the person’s AIR account and can be provided as evidence of a medical exemption.

Alternatively, a person can download a copy of their medical exemption through their myGov or Medicare accounts via the Services Australia website.

For more information visit: servicesaustralia.gov.au

A medical practitioner can access information and a standard form for medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination from the Services Australia website: servicesaustralia.gov.au

Medical Practitioner Exemption Process

If a person presents requesting an exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine the following process is to be undertaken:

  1. Review the ATAGI expanded guidance on temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and the ATAGI clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccine in Australia in 2021 which guides the decision making and documentation for vaccine exemptions.
  2. Discussion guide for medical exemptions is a useful tool to facilitate a discussion about vaccination exemption, including when dealing with an angry or hostile person.
  3. It is important to note that temporary medical exemptions can only be recorded for up to six months. If the cause of the medical contraindication persists, a new medical exemption form will need to be completed. The person should be informed of this requirement.
  4. If an exemption is supported, complete the Immunisation Medical Exemption Form (IM011) and submit it to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Exemptions completed via this form may experience delays (of up to a week) before becoming available in the Australian Immunisation Register.
  5. It is recommended that exemptions are recorded via PRODA, if they need to be immediately visible on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). For guidance on how to do this please refer to: How to record a medical contraindication on the AIR using HPOS.
  6. The person’s Australian Immunisation Record will then by updated to reflect the exemption. GPs or other vaccination providers can access statements on the Australian Immunisation Register and provide a copy to the person if required. Alternatively the person can download a copy through their myGov or Medicare accounts via the Services Australia website.