Australia’s Northern Territory imposes a strict vaccine mandate with $5,000 fine

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner

Australia’s Northern Territory imposes the strictest vaccine mandate in the world. Those who don’t comply by Nov. 13 will be fined $5,000 and are not allowed to return to work, Sky News reported.

The Northern Territory government has set November 12 as the deadline for when all public facing and frontline workers must get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner stated at a press conference on Wednesday that frontline and public-facing workers will be required to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 12 and their second dose by December 24.

Those who do not comply with the directive will be denied access to their workplace and may face a $5,000 fine.

“You must receive the vaccine if in the course of your work you come into contact with vulnerable people, your workplace has a high risk of infection, or you perform maintenance of essential infrastructure or logistics in the territory,” Mr Gunner said.

“If you are not sure if it applies to you, ask yourself these three questions:

  • In my work, do I come into contact with vulnerable people? 
  • Is my workplace at a higher risk of infection? 
  • Do I work on infrastructure or logistics that are critical to the territory? 

“If your answer is maybe or I don’t know then you need to get the jab.

“Critically, the direction also applies to industries who directly face customers and circumstances where the worker may not know the vulnerability of the person they are interacting with.”

Fully vaccinated travellers from hotspots will be able to return home by December, with the Chief Minister indicating that “bigger steps” may be taken to ease travel restrictions by early next year.

“These steps could include reducing the 14-day quarantine period of vaccinated people or allowing vaccinated people to leave quarantine as soon as they’ve returned a negative test result and comply with an ongoing testing regime,” Mr Gunner said.

“It will also include welcoming back vaccinated people from overseas in the same conditions.”

The Chief Minister added these rules will only apply for fully vaccinated travelers.

“Unvaccinated people from hotspots outside the territory will see no changes. That’s what we are working on for early next year, to get us closer to normal because the whole point of the vaccine is we can live normal lives.”

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