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Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations

13 October 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for many workers by the end of the year to protect the community as we move towards COVID-safe freedoms.

The Chief Health Officer Direction will make it mandatory for certain workers to have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 12 November 2021 to continue working in the same role.

Those workers must be fully vaccinated by 24 December 2021.

Workers who are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Workers who come into   direct contact with people who are at risk of severe illness from COVID,   including Aboriginal people and people who cannot be vaccinated due to age or   a medical condition;
  • Workers who are at an   increased risk of contracting COVID-19 because they work in a high-risk   setting where there is a known risk of COVID-19 transmission or outbreak; and
  • Workers who perform work   in essential infrastructure, food or essential good security or supply, or   logistics in the Territory.

Relevant employees who are not vaccinated by 13 November 2021 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.

The Direction allows employers to request proof of vaccination, and requires them to keep a register of staff showing their vaccination status. It also acknowledges that a booster will be required for workers in 2022 and that the Direction will be amended to mandate the booster when it becomes available.

Most jurisdictions in Australia have introduced vaccination as a requirement for certain workers, which is in line with recommendations from the Australian Health Protection and Principle Committee (AHPPC) and the National Plan to re-open.

In addition, earlier timeframes are in place for residential aged care workers, quarantine workers and freight transport workers, in line with the National Plan.

The three sectors must provide evidence to their employer that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • Residential   aged care workers: must have received a first dose of the   vaccine by 17 September 2021, and be fully vaccinated by 31 October 2021;
  • Quarantine   workers: must have received a first dose of the   vaccine by 15 October 2021, and be fully vaccinated by 26 November 2021, as   well as complying with COVID-19 testing requirements; and
  • Freight   transport workers: must have received a   first dose of the vaccine by 1 November 2021, and be fully vaccinated by 13   December 2021, as well as getting tested every seven days.

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

Make getting the vaccine a priority. 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 about the mandatory vaccination for workers visit https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au.

Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner

“We have always done whatever it takes to keep Territorians safe from COVID. We have strong border measures, strong quarantine measures and have carried out strong lockdowns that have worked.

“Now we are bringing in tough mandatory vaccine measures for workers in high-risk sectors and settings.

“We will eventually open our borders whether you are vaccinated or not – so staying safe from COVID is in your hands.

“We have always done our best, but we cannot hold Delta off forever. COVID-19 will be with us for years, and so we must shift to living with it.”