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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
21 February 2022

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Correction to 18 February COVID update
From 6am Monday, 21 February 2022 for the Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance, wearing a mask in all indoor public settings is required, in addition to existing proof of vaccination and contact registration requirements and restricted access to remote Aboriginal communities. All Level 1 measures will be applied to these regions as community transmission is detected there.
Last Friday’s update incorrectly stated that for Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance, level 2 public health and social measures will be required (and move to level 1 restrictions as community transmission is detected). 
Further information is available here.
New Directions Released
Directions relating to additional public health and social measures are now available.
More information on the public health and social measures can be found on the State Government website here.
Critical Worker Directions and Registration System Released
The WA Government has now issued further information about the Critical Worker Furloughing Policy.

Key general takeaways include:
  1. A critical worker is someone whose role cannot be undertaken at home and performs work that is:
    1. critical to the COVID-19 response, or 
    2. critical to the continuation of critical services that prevent significant harm (including loss of life, catastrophic impacts to safety or welfare or lack of access to essential goods) to any person or the community, or 
    3. necessary to the safe continuation of services in an eligible industry (see below) or provides specialist skills in an essential industry. 
  1. More information on the definition of critical workers in a very high caseload environment can be found here but employers will need to assess whether someone is a critical worker using the definition in the COVID Transition (Critical Work) Directions.
  1. Employers can now register their critical worker roles online here. The purpose of registering critical workers is so that critical workers that:
  1. are an asymptomatic close contact,
  2. are required to isolate, and
  3. have not returned a positive PCR or rapid antigen test or otherwise been diagnosed with COVID-19 – i.e. is not a diagnosed person under the COVID Transition (Testing and Isolation) Directions (No 2)), may temporarily attend work during their isolation period to alleviate workforce shortages. Put simply it allows critical workers with a limited exemption from a requirement to isolate where the critical worker is an asymptomatic close contact.  
  1. For the purposes of the exemption from isolation, the definition of critical worker does not relate to essential or critical workers as defined for mandatory vaccination requirements or previous lockdowns.
It is important to note that this exemption from isolation for critical workers cannot be used yet and will be introduced in a very high caseload environment for certain workforces as a last resort.
The Government’s media statement can be viewed here.
Webinar: Managing COVID-19 and Access to Local Government Premises
WALGA is hosting a joint webinar with Moray & Agnew Lawyers to present on whether Local Governments can restrict access to property and meetings to manage the spread of COVID-19 of WA.
This webinar is suitable for Local Government CEOs, Senior Managers and HR staff.
Date: Friday, 25 February
Time: 9:30am to 10:30am
Venue: Online
To register, please click here.
Webinar: Implementing a Vaccination Policy – Key Considerations

WALGA is hosting a joint webinar with Samantha Maddern, Partner, Mills Oakley to present on COVID-19 vaccinations for employees and key considerations for employers when deciding whether to implement, and how to implement, a COVID-19 vaccination policy for current and new staff.

This webinar is suitable for Local Government CEOs, Senior Managers and HR staff.
Date: Friday, 4 March
Time: 10am to 10:45am
Venue: Online
To register, please click here.

If you have any questions about these webinars, please contact the WALGA Employee Relations team on

Safe Work Australia Guidance on RATs
Safe Work Australia has published guidance to assist employers to determine whether rapid antigen testing for workers is reasonable in the workplace. The guidance published is industry specific.
The guidance can be viewed here.
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