WA introduces freight Covid jab entry conditions


Move covering high-risk jurisdictions comes after infected driver incursions

WA introduces freight Covid jab entry conditions
Mark McGowan and Rita Saffioti

 

Covid-19 vaccination mandates for transport and logistics workers entering Western Australia will come into effect from next month.

From 12.01am, October 24, freight, transport and logistics workers must have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to enter Western Australia if they have travelled through 'high' or 'extreme' risk jurisdictions, based on the latest public health advice.

These workers will need to be fully vaccinated within two months of their first dose, which means they must have received their second dose by 12.01am, December 24.

Each day, there are about 300 crossings of the Western Australian border by transport, freight and logistics workers, the state government estimated.

Many of these workers are from WA, while some are based in other states and territories.

Regardless of where a worker lives, the directions will apply to them if they have transited through those risk jurisdictions within 14 days of entering WA.

Further, these workers must also wear a facemask when in public, show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result or undertake a rapid antigen test at the WA border – and, if they are staying in WA, they must comply with the regular testing regime until 14 days has passed.


Other industry-relevant Covid-19 news, here


"The transport, freight and logistics workforce is by its nature highly mobile with truckies and other workers visiting numerous places during the course of their work," WA premier Mark McGowan said.

"I have a lot of admiration for the work of people in transport, freight and logistics, who do an incredible job each and every day.

"Throughout the course of the pandemic, they've continued work to ensure Western Australians could continue with their livelihoods and keep the state's economy ticking over.

"Being on the road day in day out brings with it risks, and that is why is it important we've followed the health advice to ensure this workforce gets vaccinated against Covid-19.

"We have already seen instances where truck drivers from places like New South Wales, which is currently at an 'extreme risk' setting has incidentally carried Covid.

"We can never be too vigilant in our efforts to keep this deadly virus out of Western Australia and so I strongly encourage everyone to get their Covid vaccine now and let's get our vaccination levels up."

The directions include, but are not limited to, freight truck drivers, pilot/support vehicle drivers, removalists, rail drivers and rail support crew, where these employees are required to travel from or through a 'high' or an 'extreme' risk jurisdiction for work.

It will be the responsibility of employers to collect and maintain records of vaccinated workers.

The directions provide exemptions for unvaccinated workers for approved medical reasons.

"It is vital that our transport, freight and logistics workers - who do a remarkable job keeping our State running and supply chains moving - are vaccinated against COVID-19," WA transport minister Rita Saffioti said.

"This is to protect these workers, their family and networks, the community, our industries and the economy.

"On the advice of our Chief Health Officer, the mandate for transport, freight and logistics workers coming into Western Australia from a 'high' or an 'extreme' risk location to be vaccinated, is a proportionate and appropriate response in the ongoing effort to keep WA safe.

"Of course, we would like all workers in this important industry to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, and I'd urge them to do so."

 

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