SA introduces teacher vaccine mandate
South Australia has introduced a mandatory vaccination policy requiring all teachers and education staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to continue working next year.
Education Minister John Gardner says the mandate requires all volunteers and staff within the state's schools, preschools and early childhood facilities to have received one dose by the final day of the school term, December 10.
Education workers must also prove they have plans to receive their second vaccine dose in early 2022 before the school year begins. Workers who do not get vaccinated will have to take personal leave from December 11.
"This will ensure that we can keep our children and our education workforce safe, our schools, pre-schools and early childhood settings open," Mr Gardner told reporters on Tuesday.
"The health advice is very clear that this is necessary to provide the best health outcomes for the people of South Australia."
Masks will remain optional for adults and secondary students, while a new tracing system will be created to help track outbreaks in schools.
Those with medical exemptions, students and parents or carers who are dropping or picking up children are not included in the mandate. But the mandate does include parents who volunteer at state educational facilities.
South Australia is days away from allowing vaccinated people through its borders.
From November 23, quarantine requirements will be scaled back as the state prepares to open its borders and begin living with the virus.
If someone gets COVID-19, they will still need to isolate for up to 14 days. South Australia recorded one new COVID-19 case in hotel quarantine on Tuesday.