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Mandatory vaccine enforced for WA hotel quarantine workers

All workers in quarantine hotels must be vaccinated by May 10. If they refuse they will be denied entry into quarantine facilities.
Mandatory vaccine enforced for WA hotel quarantine workers

Mandatory vaccine enforced for WA hotel quarantine workers

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Vaccinations against COVID-19 will be mandatory for hotel quarantine workers in Western Australia with a new public health order expected to be in place from late April.

All workers in quarantine hotels must be vaccinated by May 10. If they refuse they will be denied entry into quarantine facilities.

All WA hotel quarantine workers must be vaccinated by May 10.

All WA hotel quarantine workers must be vaccinated by May 10. Credit:AP Photo/ Achmad Ibrahim

This applies to security personnel, cleaners, and hotel staff who have contact with guests and guest’s rooms, medical and health staff, Australian Defence Force personnel and WA Police who work within the hotel quarantine system.

According to the state government, hotel workers are the highest-risk category given their ongoing exposure to the more than 2000 international arrivals in hotel quarantine on any given day.

The Pfizer vaccine has been made available to hotel quarantine workers since the vaccine rollout began in late February.

About 60.2 per cent of hotel quarantine workers who have consented to the vaccine have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 31.3 per cent have received their second dose.

The two-week period between the finalisation of the public health order on April 27 and the mandatory vaccination date of May 10 will allow enough time workers to get fully vaccinated.

Premier Mark McGowan said mandating the vaccine for those who worked in WA’s hotel quarantine system was not his first preference, but was critically important in WA’s defence against COVID-19.

“In the past two weeks alone, we’ve had 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases detected in returned travellers in our quarantine hotels,” he said.

“It’s important to ensure hotel quarantine workers are vaccinated to reduce their chance of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others and significantly reducing the transmission risk.”

Health Minister Roger Cook said since WA’s vaccination program began, WA Health had actively encouraged hotel staff to be vaccinated.

“This has included pop-up clinics, setting up a dedicated call centre, providing information sessions for hotel quarantine workers and making phone calls to security personnel,” he said.

“Despite these efforts, vaccination rates among hotel workers, primarily security staff, is still unsatisfactory.

“I urge all hotel quarantine workers to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“You are our most vulnerable frontline workers and we want to keep you safe, we want to keep your families safe and we want to keep the Western Australian community safe.”

Lauren is a part-time journalist at WAtoday, with a special focus on social justice issues, education, and breaking news.

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