COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PORT WORKERS
It will soon be mandatory for all WA port workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can access and undertake roles at a port. There are already Directions in place that require frontline port workers who carry out functions involving exposed vessels (international vessels). These workers have been required to be fully vaccinated (first and second doses) by 12 November 2021.
From 1 January 2022, remaining port workers will need to have had at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to carry out their roles in a port environment.
working on an unexposed vessel (domestic vessels or vessels that have been
through the WA Health cleaning processes), or any port activities, port
operations or port services including transport of crew from unexposed vessels
and administrative, policy and reception work at a port.
These port workers must be fully vaccinated by 1 February 2022.
The Directions for exposed port workers have been revised to include the remaining port workers and are referred to as the Port Worker and Exposed Port Worker (Restrictions On Access) Directions (Directions) issued under the Public Health Act 2016, by the Chief Health Officer.
This will help protect port workers and the communities they work in from potential infection and transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus and ensure that critical services in ports continue to operate during the current public health state of emergency.
To declare your vaccination status, scan the QR code below with your phone camera or follow this link.
FAQs: COVID-19 vaccination requirements for port workers
1. Who needs to be vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
Port workers covered by these Directions include:
- An exposed vessel worker - any workers who have roles that require them to board international vessels. (i.e. exposed vessels)
- An exposed vessel contact worker - any workers who carry out port activities or undertake a service in connection with an exposed vessel.
- An exposed vessel transport worker – any workers responsible for dedicated conveyances carrying exposed vessel workers.
- Port worker – any worker who carries out at a port - port activities, port works, port operations or port services, including administrative, policy, reception, etc. work or undertakes a service in connection with an unexposed vessel including in a voluntary or unpaid capacity.
2. What is included in port activities, port works or port services? Collapse and expand this accordion
Port activities at a port means:
- the movement, mooring, hauling out, maintenance and launching of vessels; or
- the movement of, and provision of services to, passengers of vessels; or
- the movement, handling and storage of goods.
Port works means works for port purposes and includes:
- designing, constructing, extending, maintaining, removing or demolishing
- maritime structures and other buildings, structures and enclosures; and
- railways, roads, bridges, dams and embankments; and
- reclaiming land from the sea or a river.
Port operations means carrying out port activities or port works; the provision of port services or the provision, management or operation of port facilities.
Port services means:
- carrying out port activities; or
- dredging, engineering, marine civil construction, pollution management, security, pilotage, towage, vessel movement control, emergency response, shore stabilisation and waste management services; or
- supplying provisions or equipment to vessels; or
- supplying water, fuel or electricity; or
- providing for the use or hire of port facilities; or
- providing labour for any purpose.
3. By what date must exposed port workers be vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
Exposed port workers must be fully vaccinated after 12 November 2021.
4. By what date must remaining port workers be vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
Port workers (who are not exposed port workers) must have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 1 January 2022 and their second dose by 1 February 2022.
5. When and where can port workers get vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
To find out where to be vaccinated go to the Roll up for WA website. Please be aware that if you are vaccinated at a GP or pharmacist it may take up to 10 days to appear on your COVID-19 digital certificate on MyGov.
6. Is a declaration of vaccination status required for all locations at the Port of Fremantle? Collapse and expand this accordion
A declaration of vaccination status is required to access all secure areas managed by Fremantle Ports:
A. Landside restricted zones
- North Quay Berths 1, 2, 11 and 12
- Victoria Quay Berths C to J
- Kwinana Bulk Terminal and Kwinana Bulk Jetty
B. Non-landside restricted zones including:
- Fremantle Ports main administration building
- Areas of Victoria Quay and
- Kwinana Bulk Terminal.
For employees, contractors and authorised personnel accessing companies managing their own security access system
at the Port of Fremantle (e.g. ACFS, Alcoa, AMC, BP, CBH, DP World, Intermodal Link Services, QCP, Patrick Terminals, etc.) please follow these companies’ declaration of vaccination instructions.
7. What do I need to do if I want to access secure areas managed by Fremantle Ports? Collapse and expand this accordion
Declare your vaccination status by completing the online form or ask your employer to declare it for you (refer question 8). The form will require your name, mobile number, security
access card (e.g. MSIC) number and dates of vaccination.
Please follow this link or hold your phone camera over the QR code to submit your declaration.
8. Can my employer declare my vaccination status? Collapse and expand this accordion
9. What if I don’t know my vaccination dates? Collapse and expand this accordion
You can access your vaccination information using your COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate or an immunisation history statement recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register. Visit www.my.gov.au
10. Who can ask for my vaccination evidence? Collapse and expand this accordion
A port worker must produce evidence of their vaccination for inspection and recording if directed to do so by an emergency officer or a nominated officer of the Department of Transport / Port Authority, or if required to do so by their employer or the person in charge of the relevant port.
11. How do I get an exemption from the vaccination requirements? Collapse and expand this accordion
You will be an exempt person if:
- You have a medical exemption. Immunisation medical exemption criteria is available from the Australian Government website.
- You have a temporary exemption, for example you may be granted a temporary exemption if you have been vaccinated overseas with a vaccine that has not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration or if you are in an area where vaccine availability is limited, and you have made every effort to obtain a vaccine.
- You are performing a specific duty as outlined in the Directions (for example law enforcement, Commonwealth statutory duty, exercising any right or power under the Fair Work Act (Cth), Work Health and Safety Act (Cth) or Industrial Relations Act (WA)).
- You are responding to an emergency (other than ambulance officers or health care workers).
- You are a person declared to be exempt by the Chief Health Officer, which will only occur in exceptional circumstances.
Decisions on temporary exemptions will be considered by the WA Chief Health Officer on a case-by-case basis and may be subject to terms and conditions.
Further guidance on exemptions is available from the Department of Health on the wa.gov.au website here.
To declare a medical exemption to access secure areas managed by Fremantle Ports, please email a copy to [email protected]
12. Who can apply for a medical exemption? Collapse and expand this accordion
The Directions provide exemptions for certain categories of workers including people with a medical exemption. ‘Medical exemption’ means a medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register and displayed on an individual’s Immunisation History Statement. This may be a temporary or a permanent medical exemption. Not every health professional can grant a medical exemption. Health professionals who can grant an exemption are:
- general practice registrars on an approved 3GA training placement
- public health physicians
- infectious disease physicians
- clinical immunologists, and
- GPs who meet certain criteria.
GPs need to be either:
- vocationally registered
- a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or
- a fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
Your GP will know if they can grant an exemption. To grant an exemption, they must update the Australian Immunisation Register or complete a form.
There are limited reasons you might be able to get a medical exemption from having a vaccine including if you:
- had anaphylaxis after a previous dose of a vaccine
- had anaphylaxis after a dose of any component of a vaccine or
- are significantly immunocompromised – for live vaccines only (Note: COVID-19 vaccines are not live vaccines).
Medical exemptions are currently available for pregnant women. However, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Further information is available at: Joint statement between RANZCOG and ATAGI about COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women I Australian Government Department of Health. Please note the WA Chief Health Officer is able to grant temporary or permanent exemptions in rare circumstances where a medical exemption cannot be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register but an expert or experts approved by the WA Chief Health Officer have provided advice about the need for an exemption.
If you have a medical exemption, alternative work arrangements may be considered by your employer.
13. What happens if I choose not to get vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
Once the Directions apply, an unvaccinated port worker without an exemption will not be able to enter a port and will therefore need to discuss options with their employer. However, if you have a legitimate medical reason for refusing a vaccination, please refer to: 12. Who can apply for an exemption?
14. Are port management and administration workers required to be vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
Yes. All port workers including a person working in administration, policy, management or reception services will need to be vaccinated by the dates set out in the Directions if they are working at a port or they need to visit a port to perform part of their duties. Administrative staff that work offsite (such as in a Perth CBD Office) and do not ever have a need to work at a port location will not be required to be vaccinated under these Directions.
15. Do visitors to Fremantle Ports facilities need to be vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
No. The Directions do not apply to visitors to the port such as:
- Visitors for meetings (e.g. Swan River Crossing, Fremantle City Council, etc.)
- Other visitors (e.g. a friend or family member)
- Someone attending the MSIC office to get or renew a MSIC
- Delivery drivers dropping off or collecting mail, parcels, etc.
16. I own a retail business or boat builder on leased land at the port, do my workers need to be vaccinated under this direction? Collapse and expand this accordion
No. If your business does not undertake port activities, port operations, port works, or port services or does not undertake a service in connection with an exposed or unexposed vessel you and your staff will not be captured under these Directions.
17. Can the public still enter marinas and fishing boat harbours owned or operated by Fremantle Ports, and do they need to be vaccinated? Collapse and expand this accordion
Yes. Areas of port land that are currently publicly accessible, will remain accessible, and the public are not required to be vaccinated to enter these areas.
18. Do vaccinated workers still need to wear PPE and practice hand hygiene? Collapse and expand this accordion
Vaccination does not reduce the need for other measures such as PPE and hand hygiene.
These Directions are applied in conjunction with existing Directions, other legal obligations, infection control measures and safety measures. In addition to the vaccine, the best way to protect exposed port workers and their families from catching COVID-19 is to practise hand hygiene and physical distancing and wear a face mask while onboard all international vessels.
The maritime industry must continue to follow existing Directions including:
19. What are the penalties for not meeting the requirements of the Directions? Collapse and expand this accordion
It is an offence for a person to fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the Directions, punishable by a fine of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for bodies corporate.
20. Is the vaccine safe? Collapse and expand this accordion
All vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, are rigorously tested for safety, quality and effectiveness before they are made available. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the world, driving scientists, researchers, manufacturers, and distributors to work together quickly to develop a vaccine to combat the virus. Along with this global cooperation, years of previous research about the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), and large amounts of funding, resources and technological advances have helped deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the world, without compromising safety procedures and processes.
21. Questions and further information Collapse and expand this accordion
Common questions and answers about the vaccine can be found on the following websites:
- COVID-19 vaccines – Is it true? | Australian Government Department of Health
- COVID-19 vaccine FAQs (healthywa.wa.gov.au)
- COVID-19 Coronavirus: Vaccines (www.wa.gov.au)
- Roll Up For WA
Questions about these Directions should be directed to your employer, or you can contact the COVID-19 information helpline on 13 268 43.
If you have questions about the Port Worker and Exposed Port Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions, please email [email protected]
MSIC Service Centre: Please note that you must make an appointment to be seen. See information here.
Fremantle Ports is committed to the health and safety of our community, employees, port users and service providers. Fremantle Ports is ensuring the ongoing facilitation of the vital link of trade to bring the community essential supplies while doing everything to mitigate the virus’s spread. We are guided by the Australian Department of Health and Australian Border Force’s introduced measures at ports nationally to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To ensure business continuity, we are actively taking measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Those precautions are being taken at every level of our organisation in response to the latest advice from government.
There are no international cruise ships at Fremantle. Fremantle Ports is complying with all regulations and directions from government.
Container, breakbulk and bulk trades are all continuing. All ships must provide pre-arrival health and quarantine information that is checked by Australian authorities. Ships from overseas that have received clearance by the authorities can berth in the port. All crew must remain on-board while the vessel is berthed in Australia. Crew are able to access the wharf to conduct essential vessel functions only and crew must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while performing these functions. Crew should restrict their interaction with non-crew members to those interactions that are critical to the safe operation and loading/unloading of the vessel. Crew must also use PPE in public spaces on board the vessel while non-crew members are on-board. There is currently no shore leave for any crew. To ensure ongoing trade and supply of goods, international and interstate maritime crew change-outs are permitted and are being managed by the WA Health Department and WA Police.
Suppliers and deliveries
Suppliers to Fremantle Ports are requested to review their provision of goods and services to Fremantle Ports. If any interruption or delay in supply of critical items is expected, suppliers should notify Fremantle Ports immediately via [email protected]
There are several important websites providing information about COVID-19 you may wish to visit:
- Australian Government: https://www.australia.gov.au/
- WA Government: www.wa.gov.au/government/coronavirus-covid-19
- WA COVID hotline: 13COVID (13 26 843) - operating 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
- WA Government, Freight and logistics drivers FAQs: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/freight-and-logistics-drivers-frequently-asked-questions
- National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080
- Federal Department of Health: www.health.gov.au
- WA Department of Health: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/
- Department of Home Affairs: www.homeaffairs.gov.au
- Smart Traveller: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
- World Port Sustainability Program: https://sustainableworldports.org/world-ports-covid19-information-portal/
If you have questions, please email [email protected]
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