WA’s COVID-19 rules change today to help fight Omicron. This is what it means to you


The Western Australian border may not fall on February 5, but many new rules to help the community live with Omicron come into effect today.

For many people in those parts of the WA region relatively untouched by COVID-19 infections, these new ways of going to school, running a business, or simply going about daily life will be a big game changer.

Even residents of Perth and Peel, who have already had to suffer a double whammy to enter large entertainment venues like nightclubs and events, will need to show off their proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to visit more venues.

Residents of Perth and Peel will need to be doubled up to access a wider range of locations from today.(ABC News: Keane Bourke)

Many people in the state will need to have received at least two shots in order to go to work.

There are a lot of seemingly ever-changing rules to follow, but here’s a rundown of what you need to know for today.

Back to school

All secondary students must follow WA government mask rules, which means students in Perth, Peel, Great Southern, South West and Wheatbelt will be required to wear masks indoors.

But this may extend to students from other regions if a mask mandate is issued for their region.

Elementary students
Masks for students in Year 3 and above may be introduced if WA reaches a “high workload”.(PA: Dan Peled)

Once WA registers a higher number of cases – a threshold yet to be defined – the Director of Health may recommend the introduction of masks for primary school students from grade 3 and above.

Although students do not need to be vaccinated to attend school, their teachers and school staff must have received at least two vaccinations.

But vaccination requirements for visitors to school sites are a bit more complicated.

If you drop your child off at school, enter the classroom or pick them up, you do not have to show proof of vaccination.

You also do not need to be vaccinated to volunteer at school one day a week, such as working in the canteen or uniform shop, or to attend a school event or parent interview. -teachers.

But you must be fully vaccinated to volunteer more than one day per week.

Close up of hands of boy in red shirt with white test result.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.(ABC News: Oliver Gordon)

One of the hardest things for families and caregivers to deal with will be if a child tests positive for COVID-19.

Not only will they, their families and classmates have to self-isolate for 14 days, but there is also a chance that their school will be closed while close and casual contacts are identified.

These rules will change if and when WA registers a high number of cases – a figure not yet defined by the WA government – ​​of coronavirus infections.

Vaccinations to enter certain places

There are statewide rules requiring people entering a wide range of places, from gyms to bottle shops to coffee shops, to show that they have been double stung.

This includes anyone visiting aged care facilities and hospitals – public and private – although there are exemptions, including for people seeing sick children or carrying out end-of-life visits, as well as birth partners.

Other places requiring anyone 16 and older to show proof of vaccination include:

  • Pubs, cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs
  • Cinemas, theatres, museums, concert halls
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Zoological parks
  • Bottle shops
  • Crown Perth Complex
  • Large stadiums
  • Music festivals and indoor events with over 500 people

A full list of locations can be found here.

Vaccinations for going to work

Today is the deadline for a large group of workers from companies deemed critical by the government to be hit twice.

The WA government has mandated vaccines for critical businesses, roughly 60% of the state’s workforce, and it has divided them into group one and group two.

Group 1 companies have workers who are considered crucial to community safety, such as nurses and older workers, or at high risk of coronavirus transmission, such as border security officers.

They had to be fully vaccinated by December 31.

Group two businesses are considered essential to the local economy and community, including banks, schools and supermarkets, and their employees must be fully vaccinated by today.

They include:

  • Daycare centers
  • Supermarkets, bakeries, butchers and fruit and vegetable shops
  • Food vans, fast food
  • Post office
  • Service stations
  • Hotels, caravan parks and campsites
  • Veterinary clinics

Under critical corporate vaccination mandates, all workers must receive a booster dose within one month of becoming eligible.

A full list of these companies can be found here.

How can I show my proof of vaccination?

There are many ways, including using the ServiceWA app or the Express Plus Medicare app.

You can also show the following documents, but you must also provide identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, health insurance card, student card or senior citizens’ card:

  • A vaccination certificate, in printed or digital form
  • Vaccination history record, digital or printed

All of these methods can also be used to prove a medical exemption from receiving a vaccination.

Vaccination proof requirements came into effect at 12:01 a.m. today.

Under the Emergency Management (WA) Act 2005, failure to comply with the rules can result in a prison sentence of up to 12 months or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and up to $250,000 for businesses.

recall shots

There is good news if you are one of those people waiting to qualify for your booster shot.

From today, anyone aged 18 and over can receive a booster shot three months – instead of four months – after their second COVID-19 vaccination.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has also approved Pfizer boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds, but these will only be rolled out after receiving approval from the immunization expert group, ATAGI.

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