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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
11 January 2022

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Rapid Antigen Testing
The Chief Health Officer has revoked the prohibition on using Rapid Antigen Tests, effective Monday, 10 January 2022.
The Prohibition on the Use of Rapid Antigen Test Directions (No 2) Revocation Directions is available here.

Local Governments are able to access PPE, including masks, through the Department of Finance procurement process.  WALGA is awaiting advice from the Department of Finance as to whether Local Governments will also be able to order rapid antigen tests (RATs) through this process.

WALGA is also investigating the feasibility if a bulk procurement of RATs for the sector.  A preliminary source has been identified and if successfully negotiated further information will be provided early next week inclusive of an ordering process. 

While it is too soon to determine a delivery date or unit cost, an indicative cost is anticipated of $7.50 to $8.00 per test excluding freight. 
Local Governments seeking further information or interested in sourcing RATs via this process are asked to email with the indicative number of units required. 
ServiceWA App launched
The State Government has released a new App, ServiceWA, which combines proof of vaccination, check in requirements and G2G Pass for interstate travel in one place.
The App also includes other COVID-19 information, including how to prepare your household for COVID-19, where to get tested, where to get vaccinated and exposure location sites.
More information on ServiceWA, including communication materials and how-to video is available here.
Mask Requirements Eased
On Friday, 7 January 2022 based on advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Government announced that mask requirements for Perth and Peel would be eased.
However, a number of requirements still remain in place, with masks still mandatory on public transport, in taxis and ride-share services, in hospitals and aged care and disability facilities.

Proof of vaccination is also still required for some venues and events in the Perth Metropolitan area, Peel Region and on Rottnest Island:
  • nightclubs
  • music festivals and music events (above 500 people)
  • pubs, taverns, hotels (hospitality) and Special Facility Licences with a capacity of more than 500 people or those specific licensed venues that trade after midnight
  • events with an Occasional Liquor Licence, and
  • the Crown gaming floor.
The COVID Restrictions (Gatherings and Related Measures) Direction (No 5) is available here.
COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment
From Saturday, 5 February 2022 the WA Government will introduce a $320 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment for workers who have been directed to quarantine while waiting for a COVID-19 test result, cannot work from home and do not have access to paid leave or other income.
This coincides with WA’s safe transition and easing of interstate and international borders. 

Further details on the eligibility and how to access the payment will be released closer to the border reopening date of Saturday, 5 February. This payment option may be useful for Local Government casual employees.
More details on the eligibility for the payment are included on the WA Government’s website here.
Booster Direction Updated
The Booster Vaccination (Restriction on Access) Directions (No 2) (Booster No 2 Directions) were made on 7 January 2022 and replace the earlier Booster Vaccination Directions published on 24 December 2021. The Booster No 2 Directions are available here.
The Booster No 2 Directions still require all workers covered by other mandatory vaccination directions to have a booster vaccination and provides that eligibility for a booster vaccination will vary from four or three months from a second dose, depending on whether eligibility is measured from 4 – 30 January 2022 or after 31 January 2022.  
The Booster No 2 Directions amends:
  1. Paragraph 14  
    1. by adding the words ‘whichever is the latter’ in paragraph 14 (b); and
    2. by amending the notes and examples
  2. Paragraph 18
    1. by adding the words ‘a person who was not yet eligible to receive a booster vaccination will be considered eligible from the date which corresponds to the time period after being fully vaccinated that has been so recommended.’
The practical effect of these amendments are:
  1. that a vaccinated directed person may be required to have a booster within one calendar month of becoming eligible or by 5 February 2022, which is later; and
  2. the eligibility for a booster does not change once the eligibility date has passed, in other words the decreasing ATAGI time frames, from four to three months, are not applied retrospectively. 
The example provided in the Directions to outline this point is:
If a person … received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination on 7 September 2021, from 4 January 2022, the person will become eligible to receive a booster dose 4 months from when they received their second dose (i.e. from 7 January 2022) and must be administered their booster vaccination by 7 February 2022 (i.e. one calendar month after becoming eligible). The date that this person must be administered their booster vaccination does not change retrospectively to 7 January 2022 when the ATAGI recommendation changes on 31 January 2022 to 3 months from the date the person became fully vaccinated.
Individuals that are unsure of when they can receive a Booster dose can use the calculator on the Roll Up For WA website.
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