Impact from Roadmap To Reopening – Phase C for DSS

Victoria moved to Phase C of the official timeline roadmap out of restrictions over the last week. With this, a number of additional guidelines where introduced in regards to opening up of a range of services and facilities.

As we have all seen in the media an important requirement to access these new freedoms is the need for people to be double vaccinated. Depending on the service and or industry there are different requirements and also penalties for non compliance.  There has been a change from lockdown to lockout and the onus of proof needed so as to gain access to a venue, service, etc.

For Honorary Justices (HJs – BJs & JPs) as essential volunteers  we are required to be doubled vaccinated to be active in our roles, as per the HJSS communication issued to all a few weeks ago.

Many of the DSS that we operate in such as, Police Stations, Community Centres, Neighbourhood Houses, Libraries, Shopping Centres will most likely require that HJs are double vaccinated, as well as the public who are looking to access our witnessing services. We have already seen this situation occurring in the DSS that have started to reopen over the past week. Within these locations the DSS will have to comply as a condition of entry in providing the services we do for the community.

There are a number of additional resources available (from RVAHJ office or Vic Gov Coronavirus website)  that DSS may find helpful as well as for single signing locations (houses, garages, etc. ) that will help to communicate the current rules to clients as well as keeping HJs safe and compliant. No one wants to be put into a situation where they are fined for not meeting the requirements, with repeat breaches of the rules attracting fines in excess of $100,000.

Within the DSS venues it is expected that it will be required that all people are doubled vaccinated and to use and register with the site QR code, and if they have linked their vaccination certificate to the Services Vic App then the client can easily demonstrate that they are double vaccinated. The other options to prove vaccination status can be seen in the attached files ‘A4-Poster-Acceptable-proof-of-your-COVID-19-vaccination’. If the client is not vaccinated then you will have to decline their request. There are also a number of resources attached to help with how to cope with difficult people if this situation occurs. The experience from the DSS that have started this week has been very good in that all people have been understanding and compliant, so a good start.

In the situation of a HJ seeing people outside of a DSS, the current understanding of the rules is that if you wish to see a person who is not double vaccinated it is the HJs decision. It is still a requirement to record the person details (QR code is the easiest), however it is still possible to use pen and paper for a record (a Vic Gov form is available). All the normal proper safety protocol of social distancing, masks, etc. should still be used. This can and will most likely change when Victoria gets to Phase D of the roadmap.

We have asked a number of times over the last 3 weeks for clarification from the DJCS (and Department of Health) as to the guidelines so that we are clear on how to continue to remain safe and compliant with the regulations. We are continuing to follow up and hope that some additional information on this will be communicated by HJSS soon.

If you are in need of a QR code and  not wishing to navigate the Vic Gov QR portal yourself then RVAHJ will do this for you, we have already set up around 25 QR codes for DSS and people as requested. As I am sure you appreciate the information and rules can change quickly and the above is provided as a guide for all as DSS are starting to reopen.

As always if you have any questions please get in contact and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Please keep up the great work and above all things, stay safe and look after yourself and your family.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Mracek JP FRVAHJ
President, RVAHJ