COVID-19 vaccinations: legislation and public health orders

Published 20 September 2021 | Updated 18 October 2021

COVID-19 vaccination requirements for specified workers in Victoria

The Victorian Government has introduced new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for specified workers in Victoria who can’t work from home.

Affected workers are required to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by 15 October 2021 in order to continue working onsite, and their second dose by 26 November 2021. This applies to affected workers in both Melbourne and regional Victoria. Different timelines apply to workers in residential aged care, construction sites, healthcare settings, schools, childcare and early education services.

Find out more at VIC Government – Information for workers required to be vaccinated external-icon.png.

We (Fair Work Ombudsman) can give you general information about coronavirus and Australian workplace laws under the Fair Work Act. This includes guidance about COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace.

We have updated the information on this page to reflect the new requirements.

State and territory governments have made public health orders requiring certain workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in their state or territory. Employers and workers need to comply with any public health orders that apply to them.

The current public health orders requiring vaccination in various states and territories are outlined below.

We’ll continue to update our information as states or territories issue new public health orders or directions.

For information on other requirements and restrictions in place in each state and territory, see List of enforceable government directions during coronavirus.

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory Government has issued a public health direction mandating COVID-19 vaccination for certain residential aged care facility workers from 17 September 2021.

Public health directions:

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New South Wales

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to:

  • workers specified in the NSW Airport and Quarantine Vaccination Program, including quarantine, transportation and airport workers
  • certain early education and care facility workers and disability support workers
  • residential aged care facility workers (the requirements don’t apply until 31 October 2021 for some health practitioners and students entering an aged care facility)
  • certain health care workers
  • education and care workers, including teachers and education providers (from 8 November 2021)
  • other workers who are allowed to go into work (from 11 October 2021).

For detailed information about these requirements, including when they apply, go to:

Public health orders:

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Northern Territory

The Northern Territory (NT) Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to:

  • residential aged care facility workers
  • quarantine workers
  • workers in other high-risk sectors.

For more information, go to Northern Territory Government – Mandatory vaccinations external-icon.png.

Public health directions:

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Queensland

The Queensland Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to:

  • health service employees 
  • Queensland Ambulance Service employees
  • hospital and health service contractors
  • residential aged care facility workers
  • workers in quarantine facilities
  • certain workers with permission to cross into Queensland from New South Wales
  • freight or logistic workers entering Queensland from another state or territory (from 15 October 2021).

Public health directions:

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South Australia

The South Australian (SA) Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to:

  • workers within the SA quarantine system, including in airports, medi-hotels, health-care settings and transportation
  • workers in residential aged care facilities
  • some ‘essential travellers’ arriving into SA
  • workers on certain commercial vessels arriving into SA
  • workers in health care settings (from 1 November 2021).

For more information, see:

Public health directions:

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Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to workers:

  • entering a residential aged care facility 
  • entering a Tasmanian quarantine site 
  • providing quarantine transport services 
  • entering a medical or health facility (from 31 October 2021)
  • providing health and medical services or treatments (from 31 October 2021).

For more information, see:

Public health directions: 

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Victoria

The Victorian (VIC) Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to:

  • residential aged care facility workers
  • workers at a construction site
  • healthcare workers
  • education workers
  • certain commercial freight and healthcare workers entering Victoria
  • other specified workers who can’t work from home.

For more information about the requirements and when they apply, see:

Public health directions:

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Western Australia 

The Western Australian (WA) Government has introduced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain workers. The requirements apply to:

  • quarantine centre workers
  • residential aged care facility workers
  • health care facility workers (from 1 October 2021 for some facilities)
  • certain port workers in WA who board or work with exposed vessels (from 15 October 2021)
  • certain transport, freight and logistics workers entering WA (from 24 October 2021).

For more information, see:

Public health directions:

Some employees in WA aren’t covered by the Fair Work system. For information about the WA state system, visit WA Labour Relations – Guide to who is in the WA state system external-icon.png.

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