This article was last update 19 December
With the emergence of Omicron, it has seemed we have entered a whole new phase of the pandemic as we all learn to live with COVID. Unfortunately, living with COVID is a scary unknown in Australia as we, particularly those in NSW and Victoria, are used to lockdowns and restrictions.
As state borders begin to open and new cases begin to emerge in those states mainly untroubled by COVID, it may feel like a worrying time, especially for businesses trying to keep their plant and employees safe.
For FTMA Members, if COVID does happen to enter your business or you need any help over the summer break, Nikita won’t be too far away from her computer, so please feel free to reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if there does happen to be any changes to restrictions over the holidays that will impact your business, we will send out a COVID Update via email.
The restrictions in every state and territory remain on different levels. So, for your convenience we have summarised some of the rules below. Otherwise, you can also check restrictions in all states and territories, including border restrictions, using the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.
There are no longer any border restrictions for interstate travel to the ACT, except for those identified as a close contact. Face masks are no longer mandatory in all indoor settings, only some high-risk settings and on public transport. This means, they are not mandatory in the workplace, however, are strongly encouraged when physical distancing indoors cannot be maintained.
For more on COVID-19 and the ACT visit – www.covid19.act.gov.au
NSW has recently scrapped most restrictions meaning face masks are no longer required in the workplace, instead they are only mandatory on public transport, airports and for unvaccinated indoor hospitality workers. QR check-ins are also no longer required in frame and truss plants.
For more on COVID-19 and NSW visit – www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
There are areas in the Northern Territory currently in lockdown. These are areas with low vaccination rates and include: Tennant Creek and Ali Curung.
There are lockouts in Kalkarindji, Daguragu, Timber Creek and Gilwi. Under a lockout, fully vaccinated residents are able to live normally within the lockout area, whereas unvaccinated residents must follow stay-at-home orders.
In both the lockdown and lockout areas, masks must be worn outside of the home.
For more on COVID-19 and the NT visit – coronavirus.nt.gov.au
As the state hit the 80% vaccination rate, proof of vaccination status was introduced in many businesses such as hospitality, however, there are no vaccination requirements for our sector.
With the threat of Omicron, masks were reintroduced statewide in the following areas: shops, supermarkets and other retail outlets and on all public transport, including ferries, buses, trains, taxis and rideshare vehicles. They are also mandatory in hospitals, aged care facilities, disability accommodation, prisons and youth detention centres.
For more on COVID-19 and QLD visit – www.covid19.qld.gov.au
With the reopening of borders, COVID-19 made its way to South Australia. At this stage, no new restrictions have been introduced, rather face masks are required in high-risk settings and public indoor spaces.
For more on COVID-19 and SA visit – www.covid-19.sa.gov.au
Tasmania recently reopened their borders as well and reintroduced a mask mandate. This means masks will be mandatory indoors throughout the state, including workplaces. If you are in a workspace alone (i.e your own office), you do not need to wear a mask, however, if another person enters that space you will need to put a mask on.
For more on COVID-19 and Tasmania visit – www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au
Victoria is the only state to outright mandate vaccinations for our sector. This means all workers who work at the workplace, must be double vaccinated. Face masks are only required in a handful of indoor settings including retail, healthcare and public transport. All workplaces must have a COVIDSafe Plan and keep records of everyone attending using the Service Victoria app.
For more on COVID-19 and VIC visit – www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au
Western Australia has recently strengthened their borders after other states reopened their respective borders. Apart from their tough borders, there are virtually no restrictions in the state.
The Western Australian government did announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for some workforces. The frame and truss sector falls under group 3 of this policy. Group 3 means that in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions, workers will be required to be vaccinated to attend work.
For more on COVID-19 and WA visit – www.wa.gov.au