Update on lockdown of 14 LGAs
The Premier will make an announcement at 10 am tomorrow, (Friday 2 July) regarding the ending of the current lockdown as scheduled at 6pm Friday 2 July or its extension past that time. Indications from today’s briefing have been described as “promising” in regard to the ending of the lockdown on schedule.
Mandatory Vaccination of FIFO Workers
As a result of this FIFO worker being infected and travelling to a mine in the NT, there is now a push by Western Australian and Queensland Premier’s to mandate vaccination of FIFO/DIDO workers.
This creates the risk of vaccinated FIFO workers (who can still carry COVID-19 and be asymptomatic) carry the virus into unvaccinated resource communities.
QRC has responded to the Government move by offering resources company facilities, company health personnel and sponsored registered health providers to assist in the roll out of the vaccine to regional resource communities while vaccinating FIFO/DIDO workers.
Premier Palaszczuk has said she is prepared to give resource companies vaccines to administer to workers and it is expected that Pfizer (and potentially Moderna) vaccine availability could increase very significantly during July and August.
As a result, QRC is currently in discussions with the Queensland Vaccine Operations Coordinator to map out how resources companies could assist in the roll out of the vaccine in regional resource communities and to our workforce.
Companies are requested to consider how they may assist in this program and QRC will provide further details of the plan as it is put together.
Please contact QRC, firstname.lastname@example.org if you can input into this process and are interested in assisting in being part of rolling out the vaccine if/when it becomes available.
Masks are mandatory outside your home or car in the 14 lockdown LGAs, including at work, unless it is not safe to wear one. Masks are also mandatory for anyone outside the 14 lockdown LGAs who has been in those LGAs since 1am Tuesday 29 June (this was changed from being the previous 14 days)
Protocols for workers from a lockdown LGA at their place of work
Workers (not just resource industry workers) can travel from a lockdown LGA to their place of work outside the lockdown LGAs provided they wear a mask at all times except where it is not safe to do so and self-isolate when not at work. If stopped by a police officer, declare that they are a resource sector worker and they are travelling to a mine site to carry out a permitted purpose (that is, essential worker carrying out work that cannot be completed from home). If it gives companies comfort, they can provide their workers with letters to detail the same.
Travel for a worker in isolation/quarantine
Where a worker is isolating onsite as a result of being contacted by Queensland Health and/or the local PHU (Public Health Unit) and has been identified as a close contact of a Queensland confirmed COVID-19 case, Queensland Health have confirmed that a confirmed close contact will need to discuss with the PHU if they can be permitted to leave on site isolation/quarantine to return home and by which means of transport. Given the specific circumstances of each close contact, this decision must be made by the PHU.
A person in isolation at their camp (or elsewhere) under the Interstate Places of Concern (Stay at home in Queensland) Direction (No. 2) is permitted to leave Queensland by air by the most direct route without stopping. This means not driving through Queensland to return home. Driving in a private vehicle to an airport, or in a taxi to the airport to take a commercial flight, is permitted. The person must wear a mask at all times and if in a taxi also sit in the back seat with the window down.
For completeness, see clause 11 j. of the direction mentioned above.
Assisting Contact Tracing
Companies are requested, where possible, to record FIFO/DIDO worker’s contact information and intended destination when they leave the worksite at the conclusion of their swing shift. This is particularly pertinent if a worker plans to not return to their home address, travel interstate or be out of mobile phone range e.g. camping in the outback.
On large worksites, companies are requested to use the Queensland COVID-19 check-in QR Code in as many locations as possible – this will assist knowing who was in contact with who and when in the event that contract tracing is required.