NT COVID-19 hotline 1800 490 484
36 total active cases 363,066 total NT vaccinations (updated weekly) >95% first dose | 91% second dose (updated weekly)
NT COVID-19 hotline1800 490 484
24 hours, seven days a week

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.

This includes that they:

  • are fully vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • have received a first dose by 12 November 2021 and two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by 24 December 2021
  • have a proven contraindication to all available vaccines.

A worker who is unvaccinated and has no exemption can only work at a place where the worker, during the course of work:

  • is not likely to come into contact with a vulnerable person; and
  • is not likely to come into contact with a person or thing that poses a risk of infection with COVID-19; and
  • is not likely to be exposed to a high risk of infection with COVID-19.

Read more about mandatory vaccinations for certain workers PDF (215.7 KB)

Read the mandatory vaccination fact sheet PDF (175.6 KB)

Mandatory vaccination for workers

The below list provides some examples of the types of workers required to get the COVID-19 vaccination. If your occupation falls under one of the categories, 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, work with Aboriginal people, or who works with people who cannot be vaccinated due to age or a contraindication to all vaccines.

People who work with children

Examples include but are not limited to:

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

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 Aboriginal communities and community services sector

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Community stores
  • Regional councils
  • Aboriginal art centres
  • Remote community Police
  • Cleaning contractors
  • Tradespeople
  • Domestic and family violence services
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Youth services
  • Faith based leaders in remote communities

Category 2

A worker who is at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or who work in a high risk setting where there is a known risk of COVID-19 transmission or outbreak.

People who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 because they may come into contact with a person or thing that poses a risk of infection during the course of their work.

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 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
  • 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 and remote infrastructure
  • A person who is critical to the NT’s COVID-19 response, who is not included in Category 1
  • 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

For those who the CHO Direction applies, in order for volunteers to continue working in the same role, they must have their:

  • First COVID-19 vaccine dose by 12 November 2021
  • Second COVID-19 vaccine dose by 24 December 2021

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. Is my volunteer work 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.

Read more about COVID-19 Vaccination for volunteers PDF (194.5 KB)

Residential aged care workers

Residential aged care workers are required to provide evidence to their employer that they:

  • Are fully vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Have received a first dose by 17 September 2021 and have a booking to receive a second dose by 31 October 2021

Quarantine workers

Quarantine workers are required to provide evidence to their employer that they:

  • Are fully vaccinated, having had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Have received a first dose of the vaccine by 15 October 2021 and have a booking to receive the second dose by 26 November 2021
  • Comply with the required COVID-19 testing regime

Freight transport workers

A freight worker must not enter the Territory unless the worker has been vaccinated as follows:

  • from 1 November 2021 - the worker has received the first dose; and
  • from 13 December 2021 – the worker has received the second dose.

On entry freight workers must submit to testing and produce:

  • evidence of the freight worker’s vaccination (for example a completed appointment slip or medical certificate for the first dose or a digital certificate for full vaccination shown on a mobile phone);
  • an approved freight risk mitigation management plan; and
  • a border entry form.

Freight workers must submit to testing every 7 days while in the Territory.

If a freight worker has been in a red zone or at an exposure site, the worker must quarantine at a suitable place until the 14th day after being in the red zone or at the site. This may be residential or commercial accommodation or their vehicle. The accommodation must allow for social distancing and sleeping arrangements separate from others not in quarantine. Freight workers may leave quarantine while working, for medical purposes, in an emergency or for a compassionate purpose approved by the CHO.

Freight workers must comply with the freight risk mitigation plan approved by the Department of Health.

Freight workers must regularly check for symptoms of COVID-19, and contact the COVID-19 Hotline or a medical practitioner to determine whether to be tested or assessed for infection.

A freight worker subject to quarantine who fails to comply with quarantine or testing requirements must travel directly to a place specified by the CHO and remain until the 14th day after being in the red zoneor at the exposure site. A freight worker not subject to quarantine who fails to comply with testing requirements must travel directly to a suitable place for quarantine and remain until the 14th day after the date of non-compliance.

Medical contraindication exemption

COVID-19 vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and effective and as such are recommended for all Australians aged 12 years and over. There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and as such, medical exemption is 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 to their employer as evidence of a medical exemption. Note that Exemptions completed via this form may experience delays (of up to a week) before they appear on the AIR.

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

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.

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.

Download a Vaccination Register template XLSX (158.1 KB)

Getting vaccinated

The best thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and the NT is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is very effective at preventing infection, serious illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19.

All people aged 12 years and over are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding have the COVID-19 vaccine.

Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine gives you around 90% protection against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

Before COVID-19 vaccines are used in Australia, they must pass strict safety standards. Almost 13 million Australians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than four billion doses have been given across the world, with no long term side effects detected.

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and your health, the best person to speak to is your doctor or pharmacist.

Make getting the vaccine a priority. Don’t delay, get it today. It takes six weeks from your first dose to be fully protected.

Vaccine appointments are available at NT Vaccination Centres, GP Clinics, Respiratory Clinics, Pharmacies and Aboriginal Health Clinics.

Book online or call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484. Walk-ins are welcome at NT COVID-19 Vaccination Centres in Palmerston, Coolalinga, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Gove.

For more information visit the COVID-19 vaccine page

Proof of vaccination

The following information is acceptable as proof of vaccination for COVID-19:

  • Medicare COVID-19 Digital Certificate

Available from my.gov.au or Medicare offices.

  • Immunisation history statement
  • Letter from a medical practitioner

stating the dates on which the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.

Questions about proof of COVID-19 vaccinations

Proof of medical contraindication

There are a small number of serious conditions that prevent some people from receiving any COVID-19 vaccination. We call this a medical contraindication.

Your doctor will need to update your record on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to say you have a medical contraindication.

You can then use your statement or certificate as proof of your vaccination status, if it’s needed.

If you’re recovering from a severe illness, your medical contraindication may only be valid for a few months. In this case, your COVID-19 digital certificate will show a ‘valid to’ date.

After this time, you’ll need to either:

  • check with your doctor to see if you can now get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • ask your doctor to update your status on the AIR if your medical contraindication is still valid.

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

Questions and answers & resources