FAQs: Visitors or workers attending a facility for professional, official or other business

 

COVID-19 vaccination requirements: Visitors performing work in a corrective services facility
(high-risk setting)

Updated 25 February 2022

In line with the Chief Health Officer’s COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Workers in a High-Risk Setting Direction all individuals accessing a Queensland corrective services facility to perform work must:

  • be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • provide evidence of their vaccination status to their employer and the correctional setting.

Individuals performing work in a corrective services facility include visitors attending for professional, official, or other business. This includes service providers such as cleaners, chaplains, drug and alcohol rehabilitation providers, building maintenance and Elders.

Visitors entering a correctional facility for work purposes will need to register their visit using the Check In Qld app and provide proof of vaccination.

 

Who does this apply to?

The Direction includes those who need to enter a corrective services facility for any work purposes or official business.

This includes:

  • a government employee whose duties involve attendance at a corrective services facility
  • a contractor providing services to or at a corrective services facility
  • anyone attending a corrective services facility to perform duties related to a corrective service facilities’ administration, regulation, governance, management, or legal matters
  • a volunteer delivering a service in a corrective services facility
  • a student undertaking a work placement related to an enrolled course of study.

 

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 (ref paragraph 13 and 14 of the Direction).

 

At which locations do these workers need to be vaccinated to enter?

For QCS’ purposes, a ‘high-risk setting’ is a corrective services facility. This includes:

  • a prison
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit
  • Helena Jones Centre (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.

 

Does the Direction include all QCS locations?

The Direction does not extend to all locations.

It does not include the premises for Escort and Security Branch (ESB), High Risk Offender Management Unit (HROMU) or the Queensland Corrective Services Academy (QCSA) at Wacol, or Community Corrections District Offices.

 

What proof of vaccination needs to be presented?

From 17 December 2021, workers will need to check in using the Check In Qld app AND provide proof of vaccination status.

Acceptable proof of vaccination includes one of the following:

  • a written vaccination record, such as a record of vaccine card
  • a COVID-19 digital certificate displayed on the Check In Qld app
  • a COVID-19 digital certificate or printed vaccination certificate from the Australian Immunisation Register
  • an online or printed immunisation history statement for COVID-19 vaccination
  • an international COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

 

Will QCS keep my vaccination information?

The Direction specifies QCS must collect and record specific information about the vaccination status of some workers, specifically those QCS engages or contracts.

Evidence of vaccination will be sighted but NOT stored for the following workers:

  • Delivery drivers/staff
  • Private lawyers
  • Legal Aid
  • Visiting private psychiatrists
  • Union officials
  • Other government department staff, including Child Safety and Queensland Health staff
  • Subcontractors
  • Persons whose details are not usually stored in IOMS
  • Any other worker who visits a high-risk setting as an incidental part of their duties but is not providing services within the high-risk setting.

 

What vaccination information will be collected and by whom?

The Direction specifies QCS must collect and record specific information about the vaccination status of some workers, specifically those QCS engages or contracts.

For these workers QCS will collect the following vaccination status information:

  • full name
  • evidence of the visitor’s COVID-19 vaccination status
  • evidence of a medical contraindication or participation of a COVID-19 vaccine trial, and
  • the type of proof sighted to validate the service provider’s vaccination status.

This information will be stored securely in QCS’ secure, electronic information management system.

We value the privacy of our contractors and service providers and will manage personal vaccination information according to the Chief Health Officer Direction and other legislation.

 

Are there exceptions?

Yes.

Under the provision of ‘Responding to Critical Support Needs’ in the Direction, an unvaccinated service provider is permitted to enter, work in or provide services in the corrective services facility, to give support to a vulnerable prisoner, for mental health or wellbeing, and for legal or advocacy services if certain criteria are met. These criteria include:

  • completing an assessment of the risk to other persons in the corrective services facility
  • the responsible person believing the entry is necessary to provide health, wellbeing, legal or advocacy support to the vulnerable prisoner.

If permitted to enter a corrective services facility for a single visit, the service provider must wear PPE, have undergone a COVID-19 test and received a negative result before entry. If the service provider enters the corrective services facility on multiple consecutive days, the service provider must undergo a COVID-19 test before entering on each day and must provide the test results to the responsible person as soon as practicable when received (ref paragraph 28(d) and (e) of the Direction).

If a service provider has a medical contraindication (ref paragraph 21-23 of the Direction), they may be permitted entry if there has been a risk assessment completed, they are wearing PPE and have undergone a COVID-19 test before commencing duties and every second day thereafter (if there is an ongoing need for them to be onsite). A negative test result will need to be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after it is received.

If a service provider is participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial (ref paragraph 24-26 of the Direction), they may be permitted entry if there has been a risk assessment completed.

 

What if a worker is not vaccinated, does not have an exception, and cannot satisfy the criteria listed above?

If unvaccinated, or unwilling to provide evidence of their vaccination status, and the above criteria has not been satisfied, a worker providing professional, official or other business will not be able to enter a corrective services facility.

 

Is there an exception for an emergency situation?

Yes. An unvaccinated worker may enter:

  • to respond to an emergency or provide an emergency service
  • to undertake a legislated regulatory or compliance function
  • as part of official union duties in response to an emergent need.

An unvaccinated worker must advise the responsible person of the emergency entry and of their vaccination status as soon as is reasonably practicable. Use of the Check In Qld app will satisfy this requirement (ref paragraph 29-30 of the Direction).

 

Do workers need to show evidence of vaccination each visit?

Relevant information about these workers’ vaccination status will be recorded in QCS’ secure, electronic information system. QCS staff can reference this information for subsequent visits.

 

Where can workers go for additional information about vaccination requirements for service providers to a high-risk setting?

More information for workers providing professional, official or other business about their vaccination requirements to visit a QCS corrective services facility can be found: