A third COVID-19 vaccination has been mandated for workers in ‘high risk’ workplaces by NT chief health officer Dr Hugh Heggie in his latest direction published on Tuesday morning.
In Direction 41 2022, Dr Heggie said the mandate applied to workers in hospitals, disability residential facilities, jails and youth detention facilities, aged care homes, renal hostels, family violence shelters, and sobering up shelters.
The worker must get the vaccination by March 11, which is stated to be in force while the Declaration of Public Health Emergency is enforced. The current emergency declaration ends on March 18, but the government can extend them for 90 days at a time. And Mr Heggie has said his directions also remain in force during the extension periods.
There is facility for workers to be exempt from the requirement but the reasons for exemptions are not stated in the direction.
There are also temporary exemptions for those who have two vaccinations but less than 16 weeks has elapsed since the worker received the second one.
They can also been temporarily exempt if infected with COVID-19 within the 16 weeks leading up to March 11, or they have been in quarantine in the two weeks leading up.
All other Territory workers who come into contact with “vulnerable people”, if their workplace “poses a high risk of infection or if their work involves maintaining critical infrastructure and logistics will need to have their booster by April 22, Chief Minister Michael Gunner had said when he made the announcement about booster mandates late last month.