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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
11 February 2022

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Proof of Vaccination – Exclusions and Inclusions Pathway
The Department of Health has provided information about how to apply for a place, event or venue to be excluded from, or included in, the Proof of Vaccination Directions.
Paragraph  34 (f) of the Proof of Vaccination Directions (No. 3) allows for a place, venue or event (or class of place, venue or event) to be excluded from the proof of vaccination requirements. 

In order to apply for an exemption, email with the following information:
  • event or venue description
  • event date(s) and times
  • event organiser / venue contact details
  • requested or expected capacity
  • approving Local Government
  • COVID Event Checklist or COVID Event Plan
  • site plan
  • details of liquor licence (if any), and
  • schedule of performers (if applicable)
The Department of Health advises that applications should be submitted at least two weeks before the event, where possible and that exemptions are not guaranteed.

Paragraph 66 (b) of the Proof of Vaccination Directions (No. 3) allows for a place or venue (or class of place or venue) to be included in the proof of vaccination requirements.  Those Local Governments seeking to have a place or venue deemed a ‘Specified Vaccination Venue’ under the Proof of Vaccination Directions (No 3) should email for more information.  It should be noted that inclusion would also require staff at that place or venue to be vaccinated.
The Directions are available here.
Critical Worker Categories
The Government has released further information on which workers will be considered critical in a very high case load environment. 
From the information available, those deemed to be critical workers in a very high case load environment aren’t necessarily aligned to those Local Government employees who are covered by the WA Government’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy. 

The categories of critical workers identified, which may be relevant to Local Government, include:
  • Transport, freight and logistics (including public transport) – a person who works at premises providing:
    • Road transport services, including road traffic controllers, regional maintenance crews and vehicle repairers
    • Air transport services
    • A person who directly provides or coordinates the delivery of a bus company service or public transport service and the maintenance or repair of equipment essential to provide the services.
  • Agriculture – a person who directly provides or coordinates the delivery of:
    • Food safety and verification, inspection or associated biosecurity functions
    • Animal saleyards.
  • Critical resources – a person who directly provides or coordinates the delivery of waste and recycling services and their maintenance.
  • Building and construction – a person who is providing critical ancillary support functions, including regulatory roles and surveyors.
  • Police and emergency services – a person who directly provides or coordinates the delivery of:
    • Local Government fire prevention, control and extinguishment activities
    • Aquatic safety services, including lifesaving services
    • Those undertaking maintenance or repair of equipment essential to undertaking these services.
  • Schools and childcare – including any person who is employed or contracted to work in a child care facility.
  • Social assistance and residential care – including a person who works at services relating to in-home and community aged care.
WALGA expects that Directions will be released providing additional detail and clarification on the roles covered.  The WA Government has indicated there will be a registration process for these workers.
The Testing and Isolation Protocols for critical workers in a very high case load environment is available here.
Directions for High Caseload Testing and Isolation Protocols Released
The COVID Transition (Testing and Isolation) Directions have been released. 
The Directions give effect to the high caseload protocols that came into effect on Tuesday, 8 February are designed to manage community transmission of COVID-19 and minimise disruption to the community and economy.
The Directions are available here.
Registration of Positive RAT Results
The Government has announced that positive Rapid Antigen Test results must be registered with the Department of Health. 
The Government is recommending that RATs be used (in the current high case load environment) if you are:
  • attending a large gathering in a crowded place, such as a wedding or funeral
  • visiting a person who is vulnerable to risks of COVID-19
  • visiting a high-risk setting, for example an aged care facility, hospital or disability group home
  • need to check quickly for COVID-19, or
  • recommended to do so by the Department of Health.
Further information and the link for registering a positive RAT result can be found here.
New FAQs for Employee Relations Subscribers
The WALGA Employee Relations Team have updated their Frequently Asked Questions for WALGA ER subscribers. 
The FAQs now include information on:
  • Directing employees to provide vaccination status
  • Information on Rapid Antigen Testing, including links to the Therapeutic Goods Administration Guidelines on their use
  • Definitions of close contacts under the testing and isolation guidelines
  • Information on the definitions of critical workers in high case load environments
  • Leave and other payment options for employees if they need to self-isolate
  • Information of face masks and clarification on employer obligations.
The Team will continue to update the FAQs as information becomes available.
WALGA ER subscribers can access the FAQs here.
Proof of Vaccination – Responses to Sector Questions  
WALGA has received the following responses to questions from Local Governments which may assist the sector more broadly. 

Question: The Recreation Centre includes a bar which is licensed and the stadium also contains a licensed area (and basketball courts which are used by community sport). It is anticipated that the licensed areas will need proof of double vaccination, so how can community sport be excluded from the requirement as it will be played in a licenced area? The toilets are located inside the licenced area as well. 

Answer: Proof of vaccination applies to the part of a business where alcohol is supplied i.e. proof of vaccination applies to the part of the venue where alcohol is sold and consumed.  If, for example, alcohol is served and consumed throughout both a restaurant and an associated playing field, proof of vaccination would apply throughout. If alcohol was only supplied within a club, proof of vaccination would apply in that location only. If the bar or seated hospitality only operates on certain days, the proof of vaccination requirement will only apply to the venue when the bar or hospitality is operating.

The Proof of Vaccination Directions (No 3) allow for an exclusion of places for transiting: “in an outdoor space where a gathering of persons may be present for the purpose of transiting through the space;” (paragraph 33(o)) and “in an indoor space where a gathering of persons may be present for the purpose of transiting through the space” (paragraph 33(p)).

Question: A facility has a range of activities, no gym as such but various places for playing sport. They have all ranges of ages. In addition, the venue is hired out by community groups/sports to hold youth related activities. They are struggling to determine which areas within their facility would be covered.

Answer: Proof of vaccination is not required for community sport, regardless of where it is held. Proof of vaccination would apply to the areas included in the Directions, including rooms/spaces where group fitness occurs indoors. For example, a basketball court where community sport is being played would not require proof of vaccination, but if the basketball court was instead being used for a fitness class, then proof of vaccination would apply. If the facility serves alcohol or dine-in (i.e. not takeaway) food, proof of vaccination only applies to the location that serves this.

When private events are held in a hired public space it is up to the event organiser to ensure proof of vaccination is checked at a private event held in a public space with proof of vaccination requirements (i.e. if food is served and/or alcohol is served under a liquor license, including under an occasional liquor license). Attendees also have a responsibility to produce their proof of vaccination.

Question: Are museums and galleries captured by the proof of vaccination requirement? 

Answer: Proof of vaccination is only required for the following museums and galleries that are listed in the Directions.  All other museums and galleries are not captured by the requirement.
Question: Local Government Town Halls (and other community facilities) are frequently hired out for events. Would people entering those facilities at all times require proof of vaccination, or only when they are hosting an event over 500 people?

Answer: The event organiser would need to ensure proof of vaccination is checked at a private event held in a public space with proof of vaccination requirements (e.g. if serving alcohol under a liquor license or providing seated hospitality). Attendees also have a responsibility to produce their proof of vaccination.

Question: Local Governments may have facilities which aren’t staffed but are open to the public.  In terms of requiring proof of vaccination, would information and a request to sign in at the door of the facility be sufficient?  That this the approach that is taken currently for SafeWA check in. 
It would be a slightly different issue for places like 24-hour gyms, which are unstaffed for the majority of the time.  Would such facilities be able to ask their members for proof of vaccination based on their membership of the gym, rather than entry to the facility? 
Answer: It is up to each business/venue to determine how they implement proof of vaccination checks. Venues that are unstaffed or open 24/7 with managed entry for members may wish to make arrangements for members to bring in their proof of vaccination as a one off and make an appropriate note against their membership. 
Businesses that choose to store patrons’ proof of vaccination status for ease of access (for example, membership-based gyms that are unstaffed) should clearly inform people how their information will be collected, stored and used. It is the responsibility of the business to meet its legal obligations.

For further information, please email the COVID-19 Response Team.
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
© Copyright Western Australian Local Government Association 2014

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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia