- Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said while private health workers are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the rules still apply for public hospital, aged and disability care employees.
Queensland : Queensland workers in private health care settings are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the government says it is clear the state has reached a “new stage of the pandemic”.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard advised the changes, which will be effective on Friday, September 2.
“This will impact workers in both private hospitals as well as workers in primary care settings like GP clinics,” she said during Question Time on Thursday.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says it is clear the state has reached a “new stage of the pandemic”. Picture: Lachie Millard
“Where the vaccination is required for these individuals is now a matter for individual employers as part of normal workplace health and safety obligations.
“I’m advised that the majority of private hospital providers have already put in place vaccination requirements for their workforce rather than relying on public health directions.”
Ms D’Ath confirmed that while these changes have been made for private hospitals, public hospital workers and employees across aged and disability care facilities will still need to abide by current vaccination requirements.
“This revocation will not impact Queensland health facilities who are already governed through employment arrangements, nor will it impact workers in private aged care facilities or disability accommodation services where the mandate is retained,” she said.
She also acknowledged the changes to isolation requirements and mask wearing on flights made by the National Cabinet on Wednesday afternoon.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Australia’s COVID-19 isolation period has been cut from seven to five days for asymptomatic cases, effective from September 9.
Masks will no longer be required on domestic flights – in what Ms D’Ath describes as a move which reflects “the changing approach to managing the pandemic across the country”.
The peak of Queensland’s COVID-19 wave occurred in late July.
Ms D’Ath said hospitalisation numbers have dropped dramatically in the weeks since July 26 and currently sit at less than 350.
“Our Chief Health Officer, Dr John Gerrard, warned recently that a fourth wave in December is possible, however, it is clear that we are in a new stage of the pandemic,” she said.
“Given that we will be living with this virus for years to come, we need to transition away from managing via Chief Health Officer public health directions unless it is absolutely necessary.”
The Sunshine State reported 2,033 new cases on Thursday, taking the total number of active cases to 13,510.
There are currently 308 people in hospital and 11 in ICU.