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20 January, 2022

New rules help ease worker shortage

ESSENTIAL farm workers will now be able to continue to work if classified as a close contact provided they meet new strict health criteria.

Last week the Queensland Government announced that essential workers can still work after being identified as a close contact, waiving the usual seven-day isolation period. 

The workers will have to abide by new health directions to mitigate the spread and reduce the risk of their co-workers contracting COVID. 

They must travel to and from work in a private vehicle, while travelling and working, wear appropriate PPE, maintain personal hygiene (hand washing etc), undertake regular symptom surveillance and they must undertake a RAT on day 6, consistent with the requirements for all close contacts. 

FNQ Growers chair Joe Moro said business need to lodge a list of essential workers to the Department of Health within three days of utilising the new criteria. 

“It doesn’t have to be everybody in a business, you don’t have to put everybody on that list but they need to be critical to make your business operate,” he said. 

“I would say that in most cases its everything from a picker right up to a packer but they need to be double jabbed or they don’t qualify – they stay at home. 

“Technicians and mechanics that work on farms fixing equipment also qualify as long as the farmer or business identifies them as an essential worker.”

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