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FIFO Travel Update (June 2020)

June 3, 2020

Keeping fly-in fly-out workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a key focus for the Australian Workers’ Union.

AWU officials and delegates have been working since day one of the crisis to keep the mining and oil and gas sectors open for business.

Union officials and delegates have worked with governments and with the major employers over the new strict travel restrictions.

The AWU has negotiated new rosters that have kept thousands of people safely working, and secured compensation for workers who have been forced to move interstate.

There are signs that border restrictions might be easing in Western Australian in the coming weeks, but until then here is the latest information on FIFO.

Contact us if you have questions about how travel restrictions may apply to you and your work.

As a union member we are here to support you in resolving roster and travel issues for FIFO workers impacted by travel restrictions. If you aren’t already a member, join today and make sure you have support if something happens at work.

Summary impact on FIFO workers

Queensland – only certain FIFO workers will be allowed to enter QLD without having to self-quarantine.
South Australia – only certain FIFO workers will be allowed to enter SA without having to self-quarantine.
Western Australia – FIFO workers will not be allowed into WA without strict mandatory quarantine arrangements, and some intra-state travel between regions also contains restrictions.
Tasmania – only certain FIFO workers will be allowed to enter TAS without having to self-quarantine.
Northern Territory – most FIFO workers will be allowed to enter NT without having to self-quarantine, providing their employer has an approved health management plan.

Jump ahead:

Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Victoria
New South Wales
ACT

 

State by state restrictions and exemptions

 

Queensland

The Queensland Government restricted entry to Queensland from 12:01am on Thursday, 26 March 2020.

Anyone who arrives in Queensland (via air, sea, rail or road) from another State or Territory (including returning Queensland residents) from 26 March 2020 must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are an exempt person.

As of 11.59pm on Saturday, Queensland borders are closed to interstate FIFO workers. The two exemptions are critical roles, such as those responsible for worker health and safety, as well as FIFO or DIDO workers travelling from within Queensland.

Exempt people include certain workers in construction and mining sites. Further detail on critical workers can be found here.

South Australia

All people arriving in South Australia from outside the state will be required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival in South Australia.

As of 12:01am Sunday, 29 March 2020, FIFO workers travelling from interstate to South Australia can do so under an exemption which allows for ‘essential travellers’. As a resources sector worker, this means:

– You are essential to operations
– You undertake time-critical work
– You work on-site, and
– You cannot be temporarily replaced with workers sourced from within South Australia.

Employers are encouraged to provide transiting employees an authorization letter stating their name, working dates, transit path and work location to show to border control staff as required. More details can be found here.

Western Australia

Western Australia has implemented strict border controls, which also includes restrictions placed on travel between regions within WA.

From 11:59pm Sunday, 5 April 2020, FIFO workers travelling to WA must complete a mandatory 14-day period of isolation in a location agreed with the State Emergency Coordinator, at the expense of the person’s employer.

Restrictions are also in place on travel between regions within WA, unless someone is categorised as an ‘essential worker’. An ‘essential worker’ includes those with Specialist Skills, including;
– Persons who ordinarily travel from one region to another for work purposes for regular periods according to established work schedules (such as, for example, FIFO workers). Other exemptions on regional travel directions can be found here.

Regions are based on WA Regional Development Commissions (with Peel and Perth combined into one region due to close proximity).

Tasmania

Only certain FIFO workers will be allowed to enter TAS without having to self-quarantine.

Any ‘non-essential’ traveler arriving in Tasmania will be required to enter self-isolation for 14 days in government provided accommodation on arrival in Tasmania.

FIFO workers may constitute ‘essential traveler’ status, providing they fulfil one of the several criteria to ‘specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses’.
The list can be found on page 2 here.

Northern Territory

Any ‘non-essential’ traveler arriving in The Northern Territory will be required to enter self-isolation for 14 days. If you arrived before Friday 3 April, expenses will be covered by government. If you arrive after 3 April, expenses will be covered by you.

FIFO workers are exempt under the ‘essential worker’ exemption provided their employer has a plan approved by the Chief Health Officer on how it proposes to manage transmission amongst its employees and prevent transmission to the wider community.

Victoria

The Victoria border remains open at the time of writing. The Victoria Government’s advice is that all travellers returning or arriving from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days. They are enforcing lockdowns on non-essential services.

New South Wales

The NSW border remains open at the time of writing. The NSW Government’s advice is that all travellers returning or arriving from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days. They are enforcing lockdowns on non-essential services.

ACT

The ACT border remains open at the time of writing, however, a public health emergency has been declared. The ACT Government’s advice is that all travellers returning or arriving from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days. They are enforcing lockdowns on non-essential services.

The AWU is here to help you

If you are concerned about how these changes will impact on your current employment conditions, fill in the form below:

There has never been a more important time to be a member of your union – join now to receive expert advice and professional assistance.

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