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Victorian Premier announces COVID vaccines will be mandatory for all essential workers in the state

Victorian Premier announces COVID vaccines will be mandatory for all essential workers in the state
October 1, 2021

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that all essential workers in the state will need to have a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within weeks to continue going to work.

Speaking this morning, Premier Andrews said all permitted workers will need to have their first dose by 15th October and second by 26th November, advising “by Friday the 15th of October, every single authorised worker on the authorised worker list in Melbourne or in regional Victoria will need to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine … if they want to continue working.

“It is critically important that we do not see these cases continue to climb and go up and up and up so that our hospital system is under immense pressure even before we open up.

“This is about going the extra mile to protect the roadmap to opening, to protect 26 October, or perhaps even a few days earlier, and to make sure we can open.

The 15th October deadline will not apply to workers who already have existing requirements under the directions. This includes groups like construction, freight, healthcare, aged care and education.

Premier Andrews added that the changes “are not about stopping people going to work. They are about making sure we can open up.

“They are about making sure people can go to work, that they can be safe, and that we can defend and deliver our roadmap for opening.”

Specifically referencing professional sport, Premier Andrews (pictured) went on to say “I expect there’ll be a conversation, for instance, with the AFL, where the AFL will be informed on behalf of all their clubs, that if you want to go back to pre-season training in a month’s time, you will need to be double-vaxxed as an authorised worker, even when after we get to 80% (of Victorians vaccinated) and the authorisations are no longer there.”

Authorised Workers
Authorised/essential workers include any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of:

  • An Authorised Provider; or
  • Authorised health services; or
  • Any interpreters, cultural or other support workers to the extent that they are providing support to authorised providers; or
  • Funerary or mortuary services or related activities; or
  • Marriage celebrant only if one or both of the two persons being married are at the end of life, or will be deported from Australia unless the marriage takes place; or
  • Elective surgery and post-operative care in health services in regional Victoria; or
  • Emergency services, including both volunteers and paid workers in: the State Emergency Services; and firefighting services; and paramedical services; and ambulance and paramedics services; and air ambulance and medical retrieval services (including Royal Flying Doctor Service); and Victoria Police employees, Protective Services Officers and police custody officers; and military and defence services deployed for activities in Victoria; or
  • State security or national security; or
  • Essential infrastructure and essential services that are required to maintain or protect human health, safety and wellbeing (whether provided by a public or private undertaking), and including construction, maintenance and repair of such infrastructure; or
  • Critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency or safety; or
  • Personal trainers (with an ABN for this purpose) providing services solely outdoors and not at a residential premise; or
  • Broadcasting online classes from physical recreation facilities (no more than 5 people at the facility); or
  • Broadcasting performances from entertainment facilities (no more than 5 people at the facility); or
  • Faith leaders broadcasting services and ceremonies at places of worship, with the minimum number of people required for the broadcast to occur (no more than 5 people); or
  • Retail goods workers supporting the operation of click and collect or click and deliver orders; or
  • Health practitioners, including medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health students on placement, when undertaking critical training and examinations; or
  • Allied health professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing urgent clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate; Example: orthotists and prosthetists providing services such as fitting a brace post-surgery.
  • Maternal and child health workers providing essential care to children under school age and their mothers/caregivers; or
  • A person who is critical to, and involved in, the State's COVID-19 response (including in hotel quarantine and vaccination services); or
  • Immunisation and vaccination providers including pharmacy immunisers and Aboriginal Healthcare Workers
  • Roadside assistance services; or
  • Local government specific services such as: essential environmental health functions that protect the health and wellbeing of the community, and high-risk local law enforcement; or
  • A member of Parliament and up to two staff to ensure minimal functioning of an electorate office; or
  • Anyone required to ensure the Victorian Parliament can operate; or
  • Anyone required to ensure the functioning of the Commonwealth of Australia Parliament; or
  • A Federal Parliamentarian undertaking essential work to ensure operation of the Parliament of Australia (including attending electorate or ministerial offices for remote operation of technology that cannot otherwise be accessed); or
  • Public Administration – Regulatory Services; or
  • Domestic and commercial waste and resource recovery services (including collection, treatment and disposal services and transfer stations), including: electricity services; and operation of energy systems; and gas services; and water supply, sewerage and drainage services; and liquid fuels and refinery services; or
  • Specialised clinical waste workers required for the operation of primary clinical waste incinerators in Victoria; or
  • Services to support ongoing provision and regulation of electricity, gas, water, sewage and waste and recycling services and their maintenance; or
  • Commonwealth agency services, including Australian Border Force and Commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agency services; or
  • Judges, Associate-Judges, Judicial Registrars, Magistrates, Coroners, Tribunal Members and their offices for urgent or priority court or tribunal matters determined by the relevant head of jurisdiction, including for bail, family violence, remand, child protection, warrants and urgent guardianships, human rights or residential tenancies issues or any other priority matters, or for any remote hearings; or
  • To the extent necessary to support the functioning of the court, tribunal and dispute services mentioned above:
  • Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of Public Prosecutions Defence lawyers, Victoria Legal Aid, the Child Protection litigation office, Aboriginal legal services and other legal assistance providers
  • Courts Services Victoria, court support services and court registry services including security, cleaning and interpreter services
  • Other lawyers
  • Bail justices
  • Office of the Public Advocate guardians for high priority, highly vulnerable citizens and relevant staff
  • Justices of the Peace only as urgently required noting the voluntary nature of their role
  • Services related to the administration of justice (including the operation of courts, prisons and Justice Service Centres) in Victoria
  • All systems to support, maintenance and operation services required for DJCS and Victoria Police to support, maintain and operate Births, Deaths and Marriages, fixed traffic and mobile traffic cameras and Fines Victoria systems
  • Administration of justice matters by legal practitioners for their clients where the matter cannot be undertaken reasonably and/or the client cannot participate reasonably in an online communication, teleconference or by means of an audio-visual link facility.
  • Required pathology and forensic services
  • Journalist and media services; or
  • Feature film, television and documentary (excluding television commercials, student and corporate productions) that is already in physical production and operating as a closed set and post-production relating to it; or
  • National Performing Arts Company Dancing studios for the exclusive use of Company Dancers only; or
  • Specialist services at telecommunications stores to support telecommunications as a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic; or
  • Professional or high-performance sportsperson, workers that support the safe running of that person's professional sport, and public broadcast personnel necessary for broadcasting the professional sport; or
  • Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, with necessary participants only; or
  • A factory or facility that is not able to be shut down without causing damage or loss to plant and equipment, but only those operations that are necessary in order to prevent that damage or loss; or
  • Mining services including coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying petroleum production; or
  • Building and construction services; or
  • Pool and spa maintenance service workers when servicing commercial pools and spa or those in residential apartment premises. Solo work only unless additional workers are required for safety reasons; or
  • Administrative services provided by an employer to enable its employees to work from home; Example: Payroll and IT services; or
  • Organisations that provide urgent services necessary for the health and safety of any person, animal or premises; Example: the performance of emergency plumbing services, Centrelink services and food banks; or
  • Public transport, including taxis, rideshare services, and other public passenger services; or
  • Air transport (including the operation of airports); or
  • Port operations; or
  • Freight services (including postal and courier services); or
  • A transport, freight or logistics driver; or
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator compliance activities; or
  • A blood bank or other bank services for the collection, storage and provision of donated biological material; or
  • Care services for people with particular needs because of homelessness, family violence, age, infirmity, disability, illness or a chronic health condition or other essential support services; Example: Family violence and sexual assault services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, Agencies carrying out essential relief activities, including Neighbourhood Houses; or
  • Truck stops and roadhouses, but not the provision of seated dining or shower facilities to persons who are not transport, freight or logistics drivers; or production and distribution of; disability and health equipment, mobility devices, including products for health patients; or food and groceries for sale by a supermarket, butcher, fruit and vegetable store, market or fishmonger (including for sale by operators of such premises at an indoor or outdoor market); or liquor for sale at a bottle shop; or medical and pharmaceutical products; or animal food and care products; or commercial operations that supply goods or service necessary: for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19; or
  • To support any business activity that may be carried out in accordance with these directions; or
  • To support the export of goods and services from Victoria;  Example: manufacturing of personal protective equipment or hand sanitiser; or
  • Individuals undertaking professional, scientific and technical services if involved in: COVID-19 (e.g. MedTech research including vaccines); Hazard monitoring and resilience; Biosecurity and public health; Medical or other research, which cannot be shut down and requires on site attendance;
  • Critical scientific facilities – for critical scientific experiments, labs, collections.
  • The conduct of essential adult and higher education services pertaining to the following occupations and activities for: training and assessment for infection control, high-risk work licenses and high-risk work credentials and construction induction (white card), that ensure workplace and public safety in permitted work premises or for permitted workers; or
  • Study for final year pre-service early childhood and school teachers (including placements); or
  • Fnal-year higher education students (i.e. in TEQSA-regulated courses), who do not have alternative options to complete their study by end of year; or
  • For the purposes of undertaking a prescribed examination or assessment, where not practicable to provide remotely, or
  • To support service delivery on site for vulnerable students in higher education and training, where not practicable to provide remotely; or
  • Student placements in relation to child protection
  • Mandatory work placement in Allied Health Assistance in Victorian Public Health Services and Residential Aged Care Facilities; or
  • First aid training where required for COVID response; or
  • Study for health care workers (including clinical placements); or
  • Apprentices training with an Authorised Provider or Authorised Worker; or
  • Clinical health and biomedical science (if required to be on site for the maintenance of essential research activities); or aged and disability care (including clinical placements); or
  • Mandatory work placements in early childhood education and care settings subject to the supervision capacity of the host workplace; or
  • Police Academy; or
  • Defence and national security agencies;
  • Primary industries only to the extent necessary to ensure animal rescue, adequate supply of food to, and care of, animals and maintenance of crops; or
  • A hotel, motel or other accommodation facility to the extent that they provide accommodation services, including on a temporary basis for work purposes; or
  • services related to property inspections, settlement or commencement/end-of-lease (including removalists); or
  • Forestry activity for the purposes of or relating to: production of firewood for heating of premises; or production of pallets; or production of building supplies for construction; or production of other goods required for other permitted activities (e.g. paper, packaging, caskets and coffins); or
  • All manufacturing; or
  • Ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site where necessary for the operations of an Authorised Provider, or for Closed Work Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations. The business cannot operate on-site for any other purpose: Examples: production, supply, manufacture, repair, maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution, transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services essential to the operation of the Authorised Provider; or
  • Union/peak body/employer organisation officials attending a worksite as permitted by law or for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) advice
  • A person who is: critical to, and involved in, the State's COVID-19 response (including in hotel quarantine); or
  • A fly in fly out worker or a drive in drive out worker who is required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of a competitive operation where the service is time-critical, who is responsible for critical maintenance or repair of infrastructure critical to a region of, or to, Victoria; or
  • Maritime crew; or
  • A necessary individual for the purposes of the major event where that event has an exemption from CHO allowing it to proceed, including any workers and public broadcast personnel that support the safe running of the major event.
  • Farm, animal and bloodstock leasing activities, including: farming activities and other operations relating to agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, irrigation, permaculture, apiculture, grains, fibre production, dairy, flower industry, commercial fishing, aquaculture and livestock; or intensive agricultural production including; greenhouses and animal production; or
  • Agricultural, veterinary chemicals and vaccine production, transportation and distribution (including the Pig Services Centre); or
  • Laboratory and diagnostic services; or
  • Animal feed production, transportation, packaging, sale, and feeding (including livestock and pets); or
  • Animal pounds and shelters (no public access).
  • Commercial cleaners in residential premises where necessary to aid the removal of waste in apartment buildings or for the duration an apartment building is identified as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 exposure site; or
  • A business or undertaking providing essential support services to permitted agriculture, forestry and fishing activities, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services and biosecurity functions.

An Authorised Provider is defined as a work premises that employs an Authorised Worker, for the purposes of authorised work.

Click here for more information on the Victorian Government Coronavirus website.

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29th August 2021 - What employers need to consider about vaccinations for staff and consumers

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30th July 2021 - Australia’s lockdowns to end once 80% of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19

28th July 2021 - Unvaccinated Australians could be barred from festivals, theatres and sport and entertainment venues

20th July 2021 - Victorian performing arts community launches advertisement backing COVID-19 vaccinations

13th July 2021 - Vaccine Passport could be on Phones by December

8th July 2021 - VMA says Australia getting vaccinated is the key to live entertainment industry’s road to recovery

7th July 2021 - With swim schools facing permanent closure industry leader calls for learn-to-swim services to be classed as an essential service

30th August 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for Victorian Government to reclassify health and fitness facilities as an ‘essential service’ 


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