Isolation exemption for workers critical to food supply – Sunday, 9 January 2022

Critical workers in the food logistics and manufacturing sectors furloughed as close contacts will be permitted to leave self-isolation to attend work if they have no symptoms of COVID-19, to ensure the state has continued access to essential goods.

Workers will only be eligible to leave self-isolation if their employer determines that their absence from the workplace poses a high risk of disruption to the delivery of critical services or activities, and they are unable to work from home.

These workers must wear a mask and comply with risk-management strategies put in place by their employer, including daily Rapid Antigen Tests.

Any worker who tests positive or who develops symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate.

The new rules take effect immediately and apply to critical workers in the following sectors:

  • agriculture (biosecurity and food safety personnel undertaking critical duties)
  • manufacturing (production and manufacturing of food, beverages, groceries, cleaning and sanitary products)
  • transport, postal and warehousing (food logistics, delivery and grocery fulfilment)

The exemption from the isolation rules for close contacts also applies to emergency services workers who are necessary for the delivery of critical services and who cannot work from home.

For more information refer to Guidance on the exemption of critical workers from the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order (No 4) 2021