Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health, has issued this media statement concerning the changes to the Roadmap released 7 October 2021.
The statement reveals that workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose. Regional areas are those outside Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.
I assume that this update relates to the following businesses who are affected by the Public Health Order (PHO) due to commence on Monday, 11 October 2021. Those businesses include:
1.higher risk premises which are defined as:
a. entertainment facilities;
b. recreation facilities (major);
c. hospitality venues;
d. places of public worship;
e. premises at which a significant event is being held, other than a small funeral or memorial service or small wedding service;
2. business premises that are hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours;
3. recreation facilities (indoors);
4. public swimming pools;
5. information and education facilities; and
6. retail premises, but not critical retail premises.
The current wording in the PHO says that the occupier of those premises listed above in the general area must take reasonable steps to ensure that an unvaccinated adult is not on the premises. The wording will be updated to reflect that those adults can be on the premises if they have received one vaccination. For adults who have not received a single vaccination, they are unable to be on the listed premises.
I take this opportunity to remind you that businesses have the legal right to go further than the above and restrict unvaccinated members of the public and employees if reasonable and if non-discriminatory. The discussion in our alert on Tuesday still applies.
I also invite you to watch this panel webinar that I participated in on Wednesday hosted by The Business Centre. The information is still largely relevant, the only change being that relaxation of rules in the above named industries where employers, if they chose to, can let employees return and visitors on their premises with one dose.
We are currently drafting communications to the workforce on behalf of employers and preparing vaccination policies. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like any further information regarding the above or have any questions specific to your business. As always, we will continue to keep you updated and informed.