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Prepare a COVID-19 management plan

Organisations must develop a coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan if they require employees to:

  • return to the Northern Territory (NT) to perform essential functions and
  • be exempt from the 14-day supervised quarantine requirement. Noting, even if you are a person that is considered exempt, you are still required to complete a Border Entry Form to enter the NT.

This plan must detail what actions the organisation will implement to prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) to the public.

The types of organisations that might apply for exemption on the grounds they are governed by a coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan include (but not limited to):

  • commercial fishing
  • mining
  • construction
  • energy
  • agricultural businesses
  • non-government health services
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

What to include

Coronavirus (COVID-19) management plans must detail what actions the organisation will implement to address the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated measures to prevent interaction between Territory employees and interstate employees exempt from quarantine. In the case of non-government health services and ACCHOs, measures should aim to minimise interaction.
    • What education and information will be provided and how will this be delivered?
    • What facilities will be provided to separate interstate workers from Territorians and where will these be located? (Offices, accommodation, meals and ablutions).
    • How will shifts be organised to prevent interaction between interstate workers and Territorians?
    • How will food and water be provided to interstate workers when working, not working and when in transit?
    • What interactive communications and technology equipment and software will be provided to enable working (including meetings) remotely?
  2. Ensuring all employees maintain appropriate physical distancing - 1.5 metres between people.
    • What education and information will be delivered and how?
    • What interactive communications and technology equipment and software will be provided to support physical distancing?
    • How will appropriate physical distancing be managed in the workplace and meal areas (or ability to deliver meals)?
    • What single room accommodation with ensuite will be provided and how will it separate interstate workers from Territorians?
  3. Appropriate hygiene measures.
    • What education and information will be delivered and how?
    • What cleaning and hygiene supplies will be provided, where and how frequently?
    • How will rubbish/waste be managed?
    • How will facilities be cleaned and how often?
  4. Monitoring, identification and management of unwell employees.
    • What education and information will be delivered and how?
    • What risk assessments are conducted on employees entering the Territory?
    • What self-quarantine protocols will be implemented for employees entering the Territory?
    • What health screening will be conducted and how often?
    • What facilities will be used to isolate unwell employees and how will their health be monitored?
    • How will authorities be notified of a suspect coronavirus (COVID-19) case?
    • How will suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) cases be transferred to a health facility for testing?

A guide to completing plan

The following documents will help develop a coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan which is required as part of an application for an exemption.

This sample (COVID-19) management plan DOCX (78.8 KB) and guide to writing a (COVID-19) management plan is in line with the legal requirements under the Chief Health Officer Directions, NT Health.

Frequently asked questions

  • A coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan is required when workers are coming from a hotspot and are required to complete critical or urgent work during their quarantine period.

    All workers coming from a hotspot must apply and be approved to enter the NT under their company’s approved coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan, and must quarantine according to the conditions in the approved plan.

  • All workers from a hotspot applying to enter the NT under an approved coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan must apply online.

    When completing this form, the applicant will be required to enter the reference code for their company’s management plan e.g. CHOE-9999. This will automatically link the individual application to the business and be used as the basis for the assessment and approval.

    Anyone entering the NT must also complete a Border Entry Form.

  • Applications may take up to three working days to be assessed. Workers will receive an email confirming whether their application is approved or denied. If approved, a letter of approval will be attached to the email. All workers must provide this letter to an authorised officer at border entry to validate they have an exemption to mandatory supervised quarantine and approval for an alternate plan.

    The approval provided in the letter is valid for a single border crossing only. If the worker leaves the NT and returns to a hotspot, they must reapply to enter the NT again. The same process is followed each time.

  • If a worker is self-employed or is a subcontractor they are required to meet the same exemption criteria as the principal contractor and must provide their own coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan. The self-employed worker or subcontractor also requires a supporting letter or contract from the principal contractor as supporting evidence when they submit their coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan.

  • Everyone who crosses the NT border needs to complete an online Border Entry Form up to 7 days prior to travel.

    The form needs to be signed in front of an authorised officer. Hard copies are available at the border if you are unable to print it.

    Anyone that has an approved exemption from mandatory supervised quarantine and is working under an approved coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan must be able to provide:

    • Copy of APPROVED Company coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan.
    • Letter of approval to quarantine according to a coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan.
    • Proof of identity i.e. Driver’s license.
    • Border Entry Form.
    • Confirmation of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test undertaken with 72 hours prior to travel.
  • The NT Government has a team of authorised officers (Public Health Officers and NT Police) who are responsible for checking that companies and workers are complying with the conditions of quarantine as outlined in their coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan.

    Random compliance checks are undertaken by authorised officers to ensure compliance.

  • Compliance with the Chief Health Officer’s Directions is mandatory and it is an offence to not comply. Any breach of the quarantine conditions may result in an infringement notice, fine or court proceedings.

    Your approval may also be revoked and you may be directed to complete your quarantine in a mandatory supervised facility, at your own expense. Your company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan may also be revoked.

  • If a worker leaves the NT and visits a hotspot they are required to submit a new application for an exemption under their company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan. The new application will be assessed with consideration of their company’s approved coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan.

    If a worker has not been to a hotspot in the 14 days before they return, they do not need to quarantine.

  • The quarantine period starts when a person leaves a hotspot and ends at 12 noon on the 14th day.

    For example: If a person leaves a hotspot on the 1 November and arrives in the NT on the 5 November their quarantine will be complete at 12 noon on the 15 November.

    A person in quarantine must complete a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or around day 12. They may leave quarantine at 12 noon on the 14th day if they have a negative result.

    When the quarantine period is complete the person is free to move around the community however, should continue to practice physical distancing, good personal hygiene and use a face mask (when physical distancing is not possible) to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

  • If an approved coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan requires changes, contact the Border Restrictions call centre on 1800 490 484 or email doh.exempt@nt.gov.au to discuss the changes required.

    A new and updated coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan will need to be submitted and may need approval by the Chief Health Officer or his delegate.

  • The nature of the service the organisation provides determines the length of the exemption from the Chief Health Officer or authorised delegate.

    For example:

    • organisations with fly-in-fly-out, drive-in-drive-out and boat-in-boat-out workforces will be granted exemption for a period of time, i.e. several months
    • organisations that only require employees to enter the Territory on one occasion will be granted exemption for that single trip.
  • Assess if employees should travel

    Organisations are strongly encouraged to assess what level of risk their employees pose to transmitting coronavirus (COVID-19) to Territorians.

    It is recommended that employees quarantine for 14 days on entry to the NT prior to commencing work if:

    • The employee is not immediately required for critical or essential work to avoid essential service disruption for the proper functioning of the Territory.

    How to submit

    Email the following documents to doh.exempt@nt.gov.au:

    • the organisation’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan
    • a completed exemption application for each employee or class of employees governed under the plan.

    Applications will be assessed and organisations will receive a letter from the Chief Health Officer via email advising if their coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan and application for exemption have been approved.

    A copy of this letter is to be produced by employees upon entering the NT for an authorised officer to cite as evidence of exemption from the 14-day supervised quarantine requirement.

    Employees who do not present this letter will be moved to a supervised quarantine facility.

    More information

    Call 1800 490 484 (available 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday) or email doh.exempt@nt.gov.au.