Unvaccinated Queenslanders will not be able to work in private healthcare positions across the state, while home quarantine is also set to become more accessible after the Palaszczuk Government announced new changes to COVID-19 restrictions today.
COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory by 15 December for all private healthcare staff across the state, including those working in hospitals, aged care and disability services.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath today announced the Workers in a Healthcare Setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction to ensure more protection for vulnerable Queenslanders.
“Under this Direction, everyone working in healthcare must be vaccinated by 15 December, including private health workers,” Minister D’Ath said.
“We’ve already mandated the jab for Queensland Health staff and now we’re applying the same set of rules for private sector healthcare workers
“It’s critical that all health workers, including students and volunteers, are protected. They face a high infection risk, especially clinicians on the frontline.”
The Direction extends to health professionals, contractors, independent third party providers, and employees or volunteers engaged by external agencies.
It applies to a vast range of healthcare settings including private hospitals, day surgeries, GP clinics, pharmacies, optometrists, private nurse offices, allied health clinics, dental surgeries, and private pathology centres.
The Direction also applies to in-home aged care, many disability support services, and not-for-profit and NGOs providing public healthcare services.
Home quarantine rules to be relaxed
In good news for those looking to return to Queensland, the state will soon reduce the number of hurdles for those wishing to home quarantine.
Minister D’Ath said the success of a recent home quarantine trial had prompted the decision to allow more people to enter this way, with new rules coming into effect once the 70 per cent double-dose vaccination mark is reached.
“We evaluated the trial and it was very successful and safe,” D’Ath said.
“More than 1,000 people in eight local government areas in south-east Queensland took part in the trial and their feedback has been very positive.
“This trial has helped shape a new approach to home quarantine that will make the process more comfortable and accessible for all returning Queenslanders, not just those in the south-east. This policy will apply to eligible domestic travellers also.”
As of this morning 67.84 per cent of eligible Queenslanders had received two doses, meaning the changes are likely just days away from coming into effect.
“You will be able to quarantine at any self-contained dwelling, as long as it has no shared common areas that are accessible by people outside the household,” D’Ath said.
“This may include a standalone house or a unit, townhouse or duplex that has its own entrance.
“You will be able to arrive at any Queensland airport, but you can only transit to another destination if you transit through Brisbane. You can then drive to your home quarantine residents, as long as its within two hours without stopping. You can travel by either private car, a hire car with contactless pick-up, or an endorsed transport provider.”
People wanting to home quarantine must still:
- be fully vaccinated (they must have had two doses of the vaccine, with at least two weeks between their second shot and their entry into Queensland)
- have returned a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to entry
- ensure anyone else residing in the household also quarantines
- use the home quarantine check-in service
- maintain contact records for anyone attending the property and
- get a PCR test at a drive-through clinic, using a private vehicle, on days 1, 5 and 12.
The changes come after QLD today reported three new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, of which one tested positive in hotel quarantine.
The other two were infectious in the community and include a man on the Gold Coast and a person in Warwick.
Updated at 3:16pm AEST on 10 November 2021.
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