Exemptions for essential workers

(National Cancer Institute/ Unsplash)

As the states COVID cases continue to rise the Victorian Government will provide more essential workers with an exemption from close contact home isolation requirements to attend their workplace.

From 11:59pm, Tuesday January 18, workers in emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities, transport and freight will be eligible for the exemption.

The exemption will mean the worker can return to work if it is necessary for continuity of operations and if other options have been exhausted.

The worker will have to follow a series of rules under the exemption, including taking a daily Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for five days and returning a negative result prior to attending work each day. They must also wear a face mask at all times, with exceptions of eating or drinking.

Premier Daniel Andrews this change was about keeping food on the table and staff in hospitals.

“It’s safe and sensible in the eyes of our public health team, but to further protect themselves and the community, workers will have to use a rapid antigen test every day and wear a mask at all times.”

“The worker’s rights are protected, and they can’t be directed to work if they are a contact – the worker has to agree to come in, just as they have to agree to the various preventative measures that will reduce risks for others.”