This month’s question comes from an Instagram follower who happens to be a facialist in Endagine. She’s seen the news about New South Wales’s roadmap to re-opening and isn’t sure what the rules are around professionals getting back to work and she hasn’t been vaccinated yet. There are plenty of young people whose first COVID-19 vaccination appointments are in coming weeks, so she’ll have plenty of compatriots in the industry in the same situation for a few weeks longer. What are the rules for them?
Q “Would you have a clear understanding if beauty therapists who are not vaccinated can start work on 11th Oct in New South Wales ? So muddy and confusing!”
A “Hi X [name withheld]! Unvaccinated individuals in NSW will remain under the current lockdown rules until December 1st, which means no return to physical workplaces until that date. That includes, for example, beauty therapists in beauty salons.
The government has made the decision to ensure there is the highest level of vaccination possible in the community when the unvaccinated return to regular activities.
This is to protect the unvaccinated as well as vaccinated individuals who might be otherwise immunocompromised (elderly people, people with disabilities and underlying health conditions, etc.) and may still be vulnerable to death by COVID-19.
Once unvaccinated individuals are allowed on December 1st, it will be up to workplaces to decide whether they/their staff/their customers are comfortable with unvaccinated staff members in the workplace. This means there isn’t a public health order banning unvaccinated staff from returning to the workplace anymore. However, there are several industries, of which beauty isn’t one, that require workers to have COVID-19 vaccines among other mandatory vaccines.
We will be seeking clarification on businesses rights and responsibilities in this area as many business owners are concerned about making these decisions and, so far, there has been little guidance on how businesses should navigate this new terrain.
In short, unvaccinated individuals are to continue following stay-at-home orders until 1 December 2021.
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