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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
27 January 2022

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Mask Mandate Extended to the Wheatbelt and Great Southern
Masks will be mandatory in all public indoor settings in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern from 6:00pm tonight.
These requirements also apply to anyone who has been in the Wheatbelt or Great Southern since Thursday, 20 January.  

The Premier’s Media Statement is available here. 
WALGA anticipates the Directions that relate to this announcement will be released soon.
New Proof of Vaccination Directions Released
The Proof of Vaccination Directions (Directions) for certain premises have now been released and are effective from 31 January 2022. The Directions can be viewed here.
Local Governments have queried these requirements and what they will mean for a range of Local Government facilities.  

While WALGA is seeking further clarification on some points in the Directions, some frequently asked questions relevant to Local Government.
  1. Who does it apply to?
These Directions apply in Western Australia to persons 16 years of age or over. The Directions provide that patrons and staff must be vaccinated to enter specified vaccination venues.
  1. What are the specified vaccination venues?
The full list is in Schedule 1 of the Directions (note there are some excluded events and gatherings) however those venues of most relevance to Local Government are:
  • Hospitality venues: “that part of any business or premises, including one characterised as a pub, bar, club or tavern…that supplies alcohol under a licence granted under the Liquor Control Act 1988 (WA)”.  This wording suggests that only the part of the business actively supplying the alcohol would be covered, rather than the whole licenced area.
  • Restaurants, cafés, dine in fast food stores or other places of business selling prepared food or drink for consumption at the place: This would include Local Government kiosks at recreation centres but would exclude dining rooms at Local Government Council Offices as they are not “selling food”.  Takeaway food and drink are excluded from the definition, as are outdoor food or drink trucks or carts.
  • Indoor entertainment venues: This is a catch-all for those venues not specifically covered by the specifically listed venues. WALGA will seek clarification regarding the type of facility that is intended to be covered by this point.
  • Cinemas: Including a drive-in cinema or outdoor cinema. Some Local Governments have indicated that their visitor centres or museums may include a cinema. 
  • Gyms, indoor sporting centres, wellness centres, health clubs, fitness centres or dance studios: Not including an outdoor gym, outdoor skate park or playground. WALGA is seeking further clarification on whether the definition of “indoor sporting centre” would include recreation centres, aquatic centres and swimming pools.
  • Indoor play centre: This may be part of a larger operation, for example at a recreation centre.
  • Museums and galleries: The museums and galleries covered are specifically named. The Goldfields Arts Centre is included in the definition of “gallery”. The other museums and galleries listed in the Directions appear to be State Government or NGO run facilities.
  • A place where an event…is being held: An event is defined as any gathering of more than 500 patrons, whether in public or private, and whether undertaken or engaged in on a for profit or not for profit basis (other than excluded gathering).
  1. Who can ask for proof of vaccination?
The responsible person (occupier or person apparently in charge of the facility) or their staff.
  1. What about venues that aren’t staffed (e.g. 24/7 gym)?
The Directions indicate the responsible person has to request or procure proof of vaccination for sighting. In our view, “procure” implies they can obtain proof of vaccination as part of their membership requirements, for example. If someone does not supply the proof of vaccination for entry into a gym then their entry card or membership is suspended and that the venue is not staffed, is not then an issue.
  1. What if someone doesn’t comply?  
If person does not comply, then they need to leave the premises. If they refuse, as the Directions are under the Emergency Management Act 2005, the Local Government can call the Police.
  1. Do staff at the venues covered by the Directions need to be vaccinated? 
Yes, under paragraph 11 of the Directions.
  1. When do staff need to be vaccinated by?
Between 31 January and 27 February, staff must have received an initial dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter the specified venue.
On and from 28 February, staff must be fully vaccinated (two doses of an approved vaccine or one dose of Janssen) in order to enter the specified venue. 
  1. What is the definition of “staff”? 
This includes “a person who has responsibilities at a place as an officer or employee or in some other capacity (including a voluntary capacity) and includes – in the case of a sporting activity, coaches and officials such as umpires, referees or scorekeepers”. 
  1. Which events are not covered by vaccination requirements?
An event which is held in an “outdoor space” (any space which is not an indoor space) and which is not a “music event” is not covered by the vaccination requirements. 
A music event “means an event at which the playing of recorded music or live performances of music or singing is the primary focus of the event.” This would suggest that where music or singing is only one element of the event, it would not be defined as a music event.
For example, a Local Government citizenship ceremony, with fewer than 500 people and a including a Welcome to Country with music/singing, would not be covered by the Directions.
  1. Are there any other exclusions?
The Directions also exclude certain gatherings, with the full list included in paragraph 30 of the Directions, and events, with the full list included in paragraph 29 of the Directions. 
  1. What clarification is WALGA seeking from the State Government on the Directions?
WALGA is seeking clarity on the following issues:
  • Whether pools and aquatic centres are included in the definition of an “indoor sporting centre” or “indoor entertainment venue of any other kind” and how to manage multi-use recreational facilities.
  • Whether the museums and galleries that are not expressly listed in the Directions are included by another section of the Directions, such as under the definition of “indoor entertainment venues”.
  • Whether spectators are required to be vaccinated when attending a sporting event.
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