In line with the Chief Health Officer’s COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Workers in a high-risk setting Direction, corrective services facilities service providers must be vaccinated.
By tomorrow 17 December 2021, all professional visitors to corrective services facility must have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. By 11.59pm on 22 January 2022, all professional visitors to corrective services facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
This direction applies to anyone who needs to enter a corrective services facility for any reason other than as a prisoner or as a personal visitor. This includes:
- anyone attending a corrective services facility to perform duties related to a corrective service facilities’ administration, regulation, governance, management, or legal matters
- anyone employed at a corrective services facility (part-time, casual, or full-time)
- a government employee whose duties involve attendance at a corrective services facility
- a contractor providing services to or at a corrective services facility
- a ‘corrective services facility visitor’ that isn’t a personal visitor
- a volunteer delivering a service in a corrective services facility
- a student undertaking a work placement related to an enrolled course of study.
Visitors include service providers delivering professional, official or other business functions within a corrective services facility (service providers). This includes cleaners, chaplains, drug and alcohol rehabilitation providers and Elders.
Service providers will need to register their visit using the Check In Qld app and provide proof of vaccination to enter any of QCS’ corrective services facilities.
Please see below responses to a range of questions which may be raised.
The processes and systems for service providers to prove their vaccination status are being developed. Further information will be communicated as soon as it becomes available.
Q: Which high-risk settings must service providers be vaccinated to enter?
For QCS’ purposes, a ‘high-risk setting’ is a corrective services facility. This includes:
- a prison
- Helena Jones (as the only ‘community corrections centre’ remaining for the purposes of the Corrective Services Act 2006)
- a work camp
- a temporary corrective services facility declared during an emergency
- a watch house.
Q: Do service providers need to be vaccinated to attend Escort and Security Branch, High Risk Offender Management Unit, QCS Academy or Community Corrections offices?
The Direction does not extend to these areas.
Q: Are construction workers included?
Yes, construction workers are included, unless they share no facilities or access points with staff entering the rest of the high-risk settings.
Q: What does the Direction require from service providers?
To enter, work in or provide services in a corrective services facility the service provider must have:
- received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 17 December 2021
- received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59pm AEST on 22 January 2022
- provided evidence of each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Q: What evidence do service providers need to provide?
Service providers who want to enter a corrective services facility must provide:
- written vaccination record, such as a record of vaccine card; or
- vaccination information displayed on the Check in Qld app; or
- a COVID-19 digital certificate or printed vaccination certificate from the Australian Immunisation Register; or
- an online or printed immunisation history statement for COVID-19 vaccination; or
- an international COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
A worker who is a QCS contractor or engaged by QCS must provide proof of vaccination status and this will be recorded in IOMS.
Q: Are there exemptions?
Yes. An unvaccinated service provider is permitted to enter, work in or provide services in the corrective services facility, to provide support to a vulnerable prisoner, for mental health or wellbeing and for legal or advocacy services if certain criteria are met. This criteria includes if an assessment of the risk to other persons in the corrective services facility has been completed and the responsible person reasonably believes the entry is necessary to provide health, wellbeing, legal or advocacy support to the vulnerable prisoner.
If a service provider has a medical contraindication or is participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, they may be permitted entry if there has been a risk assessment completed, they are wearing PPE and have undergone a PCR test prior to entry.
Additional information on exemptions will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
Q: Is there an exemption for an emergency situation?
Yes. An unvaccinated service provider may enter to:
- respond to an emergency or provide an emergency service
- undertake a legislated regulatory or compliance function
- as part of official union duties.
Any professional visitors with visits booked from 17 December 2021 onwards who are unsure about the status of their visit are encouraged to contact visits processing at the individual centre they intend to visit.