Masks remain for ECEC employees as Victorian COVID-19 restrictions ease
Those working in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings will need to continue to wear masks inside despite an easing of COVID-19 related protection measures in Victoria.
The “safe and sensible” return rules, released yesterday, note that as hospitalisation rates decline and third dose vaccination rates increase, a number of sensible changes to pandemic orders and public health recommendations in Victoria will come into place at 11:59pm on Friday 25 February 2022.
At the centre of the changes is the removal of the public health recommendation for Victorians to work or study from home, which may impact ECEC settings as more parents return to workplace duties.
Masks will only be required indoors for the following situations (unless an exemption applies):
- Students in year 3 or above at primary school, and workers at early childhood centres and primary schools (masks can be removed in secondary school)
- People on public transport, in taxis and rideshare, on planes, and indoors at an airport
- People working or visiting hospitals, and indoor areas at care facilities
- Workers in hospitality, retail and the court system
- Workers at justice and correctional facilities
- People working indoors at an event with more than 30,000 people attending
- In special circumstances, such as if you have COVID-19 or are a close contact and you’re leaving home.
The deadline by which those working in ECEC must have received a third does of the vaccine has also been extended, with the third dose deadline for workers in education facilities who were fully vaccinated on or before 25 October now extended by a month, provided that workers have a booking within that time – meaning all education workers have until 25 March to be ‘up to date’.
Fully vaccinated workers who aren’t yet eligible for a third dose will have a third dose deadline of three months and two weeks from when they had their second.
Workers who are recent international arrivals will have a new third dose deadline of four weeks from the date of their arrival, provided they have evidence of a future vaccine booking.
Workers whose temporary medical exemption (e.g., because they had COVID-19) has expired will have a new third dose deadline of two weeks following the expiry of the medical exemption.
Further details on the new restrictions coming into place will be published online at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au from 11:59pm on 25 February.
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