Menu Menu

COVID-19 Update

Mask wearing

A reminder that mask wearing is currently mandatory at all public indoor settings in the Perth, Peel and South West regions, following the latest health advice. From 6pm tonight (27 January) the mask mandate will also apply in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions.

 Mask requirements also apply to anyone who has been in the Perth and Peel (including Rottnest Island) regions since Thursday 6 January, the South West since Wednesday 12 January and the Wheatbelt or Great Southern since Thursday 20 January for two weeks after leaving these regions.

There are some exceptions to wearing masks and these are very specific – for example, exemptions for people with disability. All the exemptions are listed on WA.gov.au

 Students returning to campus and workplaces next week will need to follow the latest health advice, including mask wearing requirements: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus.

It is recommended you wear a mask outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.

Before you return to campus, please check the advice on exposure sites which are listed on the HealthyWA website: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/Locations-visited-by-confirmed-cases.

If you feel unwell or have symptoms, you should go get tested immediately and isolate until you receive a negative result. Testing locations can be found online, at: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID-clinics.

Thank you all for your cooperation.

Please see the list of frequently asked questions on mask wearing below.

Mandatory vaccinations

Based on the latest health advice, a mandatory vaccination policy for specified occupations and workforces within WA is being introduced by the State Government.

The policy will apply to workers in high-risk industries, those interacting with people at an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19, or people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19, or other critical workers.

Here are frequently asked questions about the mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for staff and students at South Regional TAFE.

 

FAQs for TAFE students

  • Mandatory vaccination of TAFE employees will help keep campuses safe places to learn.
  • Students are asked to continue using the SafeWA app(opens in a new tab) to check-in on campus and practice good personal hygiene – wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Campuses are being cleaned on a regular basis, with particular attention to high contact surfaces. Hand sanitiser is available across campuses in key locations.

If your course includes a live works training component, in an occupation that is affected by the mandatory vaccine policy, you will need to be vaccinated.  Check the relevant course page for the specific requirements of your course.

On 23 December 2021, the Premier announced that WA workers who come under an existing COVID-19 vaccine mandate will now be required to have a third dose as part of the  COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy 

The mandatory vaccination policy applies to workers in high risk-industries, those interacting with people at an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19, or people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19, or other critical workers. 

To participate in live works training areas and work placements in industries covered by the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy, TAFE students are required to be double vaccinated. If eligible, students are also required to have a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, within a month of becoming eligible. 

Students will be required to provide evidence to TAFE of their vaccination status before attending work placement or participating in live works training area.

FAQs Mask Wearing

Yes, you must wear a mask at  most venues.

Masks are mandated in all public indoor settings in the Perth, Peel and South West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions. 

There are some exceptions to wearing masks and these are very specific – for example, teaching staff are exempt from wearing masks while teaching and there are some exemptions for people with disability. All the exemptions are listed on WA.gov.au

Yes please. We may have some spare masks if you forget or lose your mask, or it needs to be replaced during your the day and you do not have a spare. The next day you should supply your own mask.

You can take off your mask to eat and drink. You can remove your mask, if necessary, to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Writing notes, indicating and using a speech to text app, where possible, are encouraged. It is important to maintain hand hygiene when handling your mask.

Yes. You should have spare masks in case the one you are wearing is damaged, or gets wet or dirty.

The directions under the Emergency Management Act 2005 require a face covering to be worn which means a disposable mask or a reusable fitted cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth. HealthyWA recommends masks that have at least 3 layers where each layer is a different type of fabric. Scarves and bandanas are not suitable.

There are detailed instructions on How to put on a face mask on the HealthyWA website. 

Disposable masks are single use that need changing after 4 hours. Reusable cloth masks should be changed at least daily. All types of masks should be replaced immediately if they become damaged, wet or dirty.

Reusable fabric masks should be washed after every use, or when wet or visibly dirty.

Wash with laundry detergent on the hottest setting (preferably at least 60 degrees celsius). Avoid using disinfectant to clean the mask as it may produce fumes that are harmful to inhale. If you are unable to machine wash, wash in hot water with a laundry detergent then rinse thoroughly. Make sure your fabric mask is dry before re-using. Once dry, store your clean fabric masks in a disposable, sealable plastic bag to protect from contamination.

Over time, your fabric masks need to be replaced. Replace your fabric mask if:

·           it no longer fits snugly

·           it starts to slide or fall off

·           there are any holes

·           you find you need to keep adjusting the fit

·           the material has started to wear or fray.

To safely remove any type of mask, remove the mask and then perform hand hygiene again. Disposable masks must be placed in a rubbish bin at the point of removal. If a rubbish bin is not immediately available, take the mask to the nearest rubbish bin in a safe manner to ensure the used mask cannot contaminate other items/belongings or people. This may need to be done in a bag such as a labelled resealable bag which can then be disposed of at the nearest rubbish bin. Avoid placing used disposable masks in cars, pockets and directly into handbags/backpacks/luggage as used masks may pose a risk of contamination to other items and people. Always practise hand hygiene after handling used masks and other items of rubbish. Consider cutting the ear loops of your masks when you dispose of them to prevent harm to wildlife.

Most pharmacies, hardware and other shops sell masks. You can also make your own and there is a handy sheet to assist you.

FAQs - General

  • The mandatory vaccination policy is to protect WA and safeguard essential services and businesses for the long-term.  More information on the policy can be found here.
  • Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 and helps to reduce the rate of transmission.
  • Based on health advice, TAFE colleges are included in Group 2 industries and occupations because they are deemed critical to the ongoing delivery of services to the community.
  • The VET sector has significant interaction with Group 1 and Group 2 industries and occupations through the training of apprentices, trainees, schools and supervision of work placements.
  • Any person who works on a TAFE campus must comply with the Public Health Act Direction.  This includes TAFE employees, co-located services and contractors, and students doing ‘live works’ on campus in Group 1 or Group 2 occupations.
  • TAFE employees must:
    • have their first dose on or prior to 31 December 2021 because from 12:01 am on 1 January 2022, a TAFE employee must not enter or remain at an TAFE campus if the person has not been partially vaccinated against COVID-19;
    • have their second dose on or prior to 30 January 2022 because from 12:01 am on 31 January 2022, a TAFE employee must not enter or remain at a TAFE campus if the person has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19; or
    • have a medical or temporary exemption, as defined under the Directions.

  • Students attending campus to study are exempt from this mandate unless they are doing ‘live works’ in a Group 1 or Group 2 occupation.
  • The Public Health Act Direction makes mandatory vaccination a condition of the workplace to ensure TAFE campuses are safe places for the public to attend.
  • There is no impact on visitors and students attending in a non-working capacity.
  • Visitors will not need to be vaccinated to attend a TAFE campus.
  • If a person attends a TAFE campus very regularly (ie. more than once a week) to carry out their work, they will need to be vaccinated in accordance with the requirements for Group 2 – first dose prior to 1 January 2022 and double dose vaccinated prior to 31 January 2022.

This may include Department of Training and Workforce Development staff and contractors such as cleaners, hospitality workers, and maintenance workers.  

  • If a person is required to be vaccinated under the Public Health Act Direction, they will be excluded from the workplace from 1 January 2022 if they haven’t had their first dose by that day.
  • In addition, if a person is required to be vaccinated under the Public Health Act Direction, they will be excluded from the workplace from 31 January 2022 if they are not double dose vaccinated by that day.
  • Yes, Jobs and Skills Centre staff working at TAFE campuses must comply with the Public Health Act Direction and be vaccinated in accordance with the timeframes for Group 2.
  • The Public Health Act Directions provide for limited exemptions.
  • Exemption on medical grounds must be obtained from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) using their IM011 form.  This must be completed by your GP or specialist medical practitioners and submitted to the (AIR) for assessment. Where an exemption is provided by AIR, this must be provided to your employer as proof of exemption.
  • A person may apply for temporary exemption from the Chief Health Officer.  Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted to COVIDVaccinationExemption@health.wa.gov.au.  A temporary exemption will only last for a limited time and may be subject to terms and conditions.
  • You must upload your vaccination evidence to ESS. Human Resources can assist you with this if you are experiencing issues.
  • We understand that information about your vaccination status is sensitive. The information will be secured in the HR system. It will only be used to meet the requirements under the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
  • De-identified reports on the vaccination status of the workforce will be produced to report on the level of compliance with the policy.
  • We understand that information about your vaccination status is sensitive. The information will be secured in ESS. It will only be used to meet the requirements under the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
  • The ESS system has a number of security protections in place as it is already the repository for sensitive employee information and is the most appropriate and secure place for data to be stored.
  • No, the Chief Health Officer has approved the following forms of evidence as proof of vaccination against COVID-19:
    • Documentary confirmation of COVID-19 vaccinations given by the Department of Health;
    • A COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate or Australian Immunisation Register immunisation history statement.
    •  A Certificate issued by the Australian Government confirming you have received an approved COVID-19 vaccine overseas.
  • Employers will advise employees who are temporarily seconded outside the VET sector or on extended leave of the requirement to be vaccinated under the Public Health Act Directions.
  • Information will be provided so that employees understand the requirements and what they must do to comply once the secondment or leave ends.
  • In certain circumstances an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine resulting in injury/ disease may be covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Workers’ compensation claims are considered and assessed by an approved insurer on the merits of the individual claim.  We are unable to provide advice as to the likely outcome.
  • The WorkCover WA Bulletin – 21 October 2021 provides general information on the issue of COVID-19 vaccine injuries in the Western Australian workers’ compensation and injury management scheme.

General advice

Please continue to use the SafeWA app to check-in on campus and practise good personal hygiene – wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Campuses are being cleaned on a regular basis, with particular attention to high contact surfaces. Hand sanitiser is available across campuses in key locations.

For further information and assistance please visit:

For details regarding travel restrictions and international travel, visit the Home Affairs website(opens in a new tab) . There is also information available on the Smart Traveller website(opens in a new tab) .

For free advice and assistance, call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Important information on COVID-19

We encourage people to visit www.wa.gov.au to find more on the current COVID-19 situation.

Usual physical distancing and hygiene practices will continue, following the Healthy WA guidelines, particularly those around hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if you are unwell.

If you are unwell, awaiting COVID-19 test results or in self-isolation, please do not attend campus.

Please continue to use the SafeWA app, practise good hygiene and COVID-safe habits.

If you have been to one of the sites outlined on the Healthy WA website and are required to quarantine, please do as instructed by health officials.

Regular campus cleaning continues, with particular attention to high-contact surfaces. Hand sanitiser is also available across campuses in key locations. 

We will update the website and social media as further advice becomes available.