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Business Insights – 18th October 2021 – When can unvaccinated workers return? Key dates for NSW and Vic

I’m here with insights for Australian businesses on 18th October 2021.  To make it easy for you, here’s short list of what’s included in today’s briefing:

  • Rules for unvaccinated people
    • NSW
    • VIC
  • Isolation rules after close contact
    • NSW: rules from 4 October
    • VIC: new rules from 22 October
  • School reopening dates
    • NSW
    • VIC
  • Key dates for businesses
    • NSW
    • VIC

There’s a lot of information for business owners to be across (in addition to running your business). Every business coach at Tenfold is up to speed with the info in these briefings and can help you understand how it applies to your business, and how to keep moving forward. Here’s the info you need to know today:


Rules for unvaccinated people

NSW rules for unvaccinated people

The NSW government recently announced their decision to lift restrictions on unvaccinated workers from 1 December 2021. This means that there will be no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people – everyone can to return to offices, work sites, restaurants, etc.


Victorian rules for unvaccinated people

We were hoping that Victorian government would adopt a similar approach to NSW. However, apparently this won’t be the case. The Vic government signalled on Friday that the vaccine mandates for workers will be in place for a “substantial period of time, well into 2022”.

Some Tenfold clients who have unvaccinated workers have agreed that they will take leave without pay. Let’s wait and see what happens over the coming weeks as Victoria’s vaccination rates increase to 70% (expected Friday 22 October) and 80% (expected 5 November).


Isolation rules after close contact

NSW: 7-day quarantine for fully vaccinated people

Since 4 October, people in NSW who are fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID case (in their home or at an exposure site) are only required to isolate for 7 days. Once they have received two negative tests on day 1 and day 6, they are allowed to leave quarantine.


VIC: Changes to isolation rules after close contact

The Victorian rules for isolating after close contact and tier 1 exposure sites have been updated. From Friday 22 October (expected date for reaching 70% vaccination), fully vaccinated people who are exposed to a positive Covid case outside their home will only need to quarantine for a week. After they receive negative tests on day 1 and day 6 of quarantine, they can end their isolation.

These rules don’t apply to:

  • Household primary close contacts of a COVID case
  • Unvaccinated people

In those instances, the isolation period remains at 14 days.


What this means for small and medium businesses 

Some Tenfold clients have had significant disruptions due to workers having to isolate for 2 weeks after being at a tier 1 exposure site. The reduced isolation times will enable your vaccinated team members who are healthy to return to work sooner.


School reopening dates

NSW school reopening dates

NSW parents will be sending kids back to school full time from today as follows:

  • Preschool, kindergarten, year 1: 18 October
  • All remaining year groups: 25 October


VIC school reopening dates

Many Victorians will be looking forward to the end of homeschool. The return to in-class learning will be staggered as follows:

Table of Vic school reopening dates October 2021

From Friday 5 November (80% fully vaccinated indicative date): All students are expected to return to onsite learning Monday to Friday.

See: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/returning-to-onsite-learning


Key dates for businesses

Key dates – NSW


10 October:

  • 70% fully vaccinated reached
  • JobSaver reduced to 30% of payroll

20 October:

  • Expected to reach 80% fully vaccinated

24 October:

  • JobSaver will be reduced to 15% of payroll



30 November:

  • JobSaver ends



1 December:

  • NSW to fully reopen, no restrictions on unvaccinated people


Key dates – VIC


22 October:

  • Authorised workers to be single vaxxed to attend workplace
  • Schools reopen – staggered
  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment will need to be applied for again (no more automatic payments). Amounts stay the same ($450 / $750)

31 October:

  • BCAP ends for most businesses

5 November: 80% target expected to be reached:

  • All workers can return to workplaces if single vaxxed – pending advice on caps
  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment will reduce to flat payment of $450 in week 1
  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment will reduce to flat payment of $320 in week 2 – final payment

13 November:

  • anyone on construction sites must be fully vaxxed

14 November:

  • BCAP ends for all remaining businesses

26 November:

  • All authorised workers must be fully vaxxed to attend workplaces


Please reach out to a business coach at Tenfold if you have any questions.


Ashley Thomson B.Eng. (Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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