Guide to COVIDSafe workplaces
1. Understand vaccination requirements
Workers in most sectors must be vaccinated to work outside their home, unless an exception applies.
This applies to workers over the age of 12 years and 2 months, including:
- students on placement
- workers of home-based businesses not living on the premises.
Workers must show their employer evidence of their vaccination status. Employers must collect, record and hold worker vaccination information.
2. Respond to a symptomatic worker or a COVID-19 case in the workplace
If a worker has COVID-19 symptoms, their employer must:
- not require them to attend the workplace
- direct the worker to get tested as soon as possible.
A worker must isolate for 7 days if they test positive for COVID-19.
If an employer or operator becomes aware a worker attended the workplace in the 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic, the employer must follow mandatory steps, including advising workers who are potential workplace contacts to monitor for symptoms and to undertake a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms.
If a worker tests positive for COVID-19 and their employer becomes aware they attended the workplace during their infectious period, the employer has . A worker includes contractors, consultants and volunteers. Find out more about a .
- Workers who test positive after working indoors while infectious are also obligated to notify their employer, social and workplace contacts. For more information, read the .
- Additional obligations to notify the Department of Health may also apply if a workplace has identified multiple cases of COVID-19 including requirements to report cases to the Department of Health (or a delegated entity listed on the department’s website) and comply with any directions from the department or WorkSafe in relation to business closures or cleaning. Visit the .
- Operators of education facilities, for example, childcare centres or schools, have additional requirements. Visit .
3. Understand close and social contact requirements
Mandatory requirements apply to a person who is a close contact or a social contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
A close contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with a diagnosed person or probable case indoors at a private residence, care facility, or accommodation facility during the person’s infectious period.
Close contacts can leave their home during the 7-day quarantine period if they:
- wear a in indoor settings
- notify any education facility they are enrolled at or a work premises they are likely to attend for work within 24 hours of becoming a close contact
- undertake 5 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) during the self-quarantine period with a negative result each time, with a minimum of 24 hours between each test.
A social contact is a person who has spent more than 15 minutes face-to-face, or more than two hours in an indoor space with a person who is a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case, during the case’s infectious period. A social contact must take a RAT if they have symptoms, and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result or for 7 days post-test, whichever comes first. A social contact includes a person who has been in contact in the workplace with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
4. Create and review COVIDSafe Plans
Businesses or organisations with on-site operations (including home-based businesses) must have a . The Plan should be regularly reviewed to ensure it is current. and includes any other measures a business or an organisation is adopting to manage COVID-19 in the workplace. For more information, visit .
5. Check face mask requirements
Face masks are required in some indoor settings and must be carried at all times when outside the home, unless an exception applies. This includes, in indoor areas of airports that are accessible to the public, including areas in a retail and hospitality premises located in an airport, or while in a vehicle operated by a licensed tourism operator. Visit .
6. Improve ventilation
7. Display signage
Where face masks are required, signage must be placed at each public entry to advise people of the requirement, noting that exceptions may apply.
8. Other industry-specific settings
Some industries have specific requirements in addition to those outlined above, including healthcare, aged care and airports. These include:
- Operators of healthcare and aged care facilities can allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated workers to operate under exceptional circumstances, provided the relevant facility operator take all reasonable steps to ensure that the worker wears PPE, at all times while on the premises of the facility. PPE should include, at a minimum, a surgical mask and face shield.
- The Secretary of the Department of Health, Chief Health Officer or Deputy Chief Health Office may make a protocol for publication that specifies requirements for the use and operation of cruise ships on the .
Reviewed 23 May 2022