COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (23 September 2021)

After more than 12 weeks of lockdown and restrictions (since 26 June 2021), the NSW Government has issued its new NSW Public Health Order (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2021. The main aspect of this new NSW Public Health Order is the (anticipated) requirement for all individuals who work at all early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across New South Wales to:



HOW IS WORK FOR ECEC SERVICES DEFINED


Such work (see Clause 2(1) of the NSW Public Health Order) includes:


  • work done under a contract of service or contract for services;
  • work done as a volunteer;
  • work done by a student on a student placement; and
  • work done on a temporary basis, including while acting in or filling an office or other role because of a vacancy or absence.


WHO WITHIN THE ECEC SERVICE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE?


The new NSW Public Health Order places this responsibility onto a responsible person or a person authorised by a responsible person. This responsible person is defined as the person who employs or engages the worker to carry out relevant work.


Moreover, the responsible person or a person authorised by a responsible person has been given the power to receive the worker's vaccination evidence upon request (see Clause 4(2) of the NSW Public Health Order).


EXCEPTIONS


Other than a medical contracindication certificate (ie temporary exemption), only education and care workers who carry out relevant work in an emergency do not need to have 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or have a medical contraindication certificate (see Clause 4(4) of the NSW Public Health Order).


PRIORITISED VACCINATIONS FOR ECEC


ECEC personnel have access to the following to access prioritised COVID vaccinations:




DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTIES COMPLYING WITH FULL COVID VACCINATION BY 8 NOVEMBER 2021?


The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW has been collecting feedback from services and educators/teachers/staff who are experiencing difficulties complying with full COVID vaccinations by 8 November 2021. If you have not yet provided your feedback, you can still do so via the survey form here or below.


FINES AND/OR PENALTIES


In addition to on-the-spot fines for individuals and corporations of between $40 to $1,000, fines and penalties for breaching NSW Public Health Orders are also in the order of up to $11,000 and $55,000 for individuals and corporations respectively, and a possible daily fines of up to $5,500 and $27,500 for individuals and corporations respectively, as well as possible imprisonment for up to 6 months.


OTHER COVID-19 RELATED RESTRICTIONS


At this stage, it would appear this new NSW Public Health Order is to be applied in parallel to other NSW Public Health Order(s). In which case, ACA NSW strongly recommends that the COVID-19: Latest Restrictions announced (11 September 2021) be also observed.


Should you require any further information or clarification, please contact:


And for all COVID related information for the early childhood education and care sector, please visit ACA NSW's COVIDwatch.



PUBLISHED: 24 SEPTEMBER 2021

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