Businesses have been urged to consider their own vaccine policies after the State Government announced its mandatory workforce vaccination policy would be removed for most WA workers from next week.
Effective from June 10, 2022, WA’s mandatory vaccination policy will only apply to the following sectors, where workers must be triple dose vaccinated to be able to enter their work premises:
- Healthcare and health support workers in hospitals and primary health care settings;
- Workers in residential aged care; and
- Workers in residential disability settings.
The vaccine requirements in place on other workforces will be removed from this date.
Read the announcement here.
The overarching mandatory vaccination policy took effect from December 1, 2021, in a phased approach, and applied to more than 1 million WA workers.
As of June 1, WA’s third dose rate sits at almost 82 per cent, and double dose rate at 95 per cent, with the Government declaring WA had passed the peak of the Omicron wave.
CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey said easing mandatory vaccination requirements will provide some marginal relief in a tight labour market.
“While we welcome the Government lifting the mandatory vaccination requirement, those orders were providing some protection for businesses,” he said.
“Businesses now have to think carefully about what is the best protection for their business, taking into account factors such as proximity to customers, and worker safety.”
“Some businesses may feel that it is appropriate to continue with it,” he said.
Morey said businesses need as much time as possible to get in place the right arrangements for them to comply with their obligations and ensure a safe working environment for staff.
Premier Mark McGowan said the changes to the policy are in line with national advice from AHPPC, which supports mandatory vaccination for workers in high-risk sectors, with mandates for these groups continuing to be implemented in most other Australian jurisdictions.
The Premier said mask-wearing, proof of vaccination and visitor limits in certain settings will remain and continue to be monitored by the Chief Health Officer.
COVID-19 positive people are still required to follow strict protocols including isolating, testing and mask-wearing to limit the spread, and close contacts must continue to follow close contact guidelines, including daily testing and mask-wearing.
Rules eased for unvaccinated returning Australians
Effective June 1, 2022, returning unvaccinated Australians and permanent residents will no longer be required to quarantine for seven days.
The current weekly cap of 70 unvaccinated international arrivals (Australians or permanent residents) will also no longer apply.
Unvaccinated non-Australians are not permitted to enter Australia under Commonwealth orders.
From June 15, Directions to restrict access to Remote Aboriginal Communities will be removed, allowing communities to continue their operations in areas such as tourism, community stores, arts and cultural centres.