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26 Oct 2021

New government directions expand mandatory vaccination requirements in health care sector

On 20 October 2021 the State Co-Ordinator for South Australia, Grantley Stevens, passed the Emergency Management (Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination No 2) (Covid-19) Direction 2021 (the Direction) with immediate effect.

The Direction significantly expands an existing direction which requires anyone working in a public and private hospital and an ambulance service to be vaccinated with their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by 1 November 2021.

Under the updated Direction, anyone working in a “healthcare setting” will not be permitted to work after 8 November 2021 unless:

  • they have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccination by that date; or
  • they have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by that date and have a booking to receive their second dose.

There are limited circumstances in which a person may be eligible to obtain a medical exemption.

The Direction applies to a broad range of “healthcare settings”, including:

  • GP clinics;
  • dental practices;
  • pharmacies;
  • private radiology and pathology centers;
  • physiotherapy practices;
  • psychology practices; and
  • outpatient facilities where allied health services are offered, including nutrition, occupational therapy, podiatry and optometry services.

For a complete list of what constitutes a ‘healthcare setting’ see the definition of ‘Phase 2 healthcare settings’ here.

The Direction extends to anyone who attends a healthcare setting in the course of their work, including clinical staff, administrative staff, cleaners, suppliers and delivery drivers. People who work in non-patient areas are not exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated.

We recommend that any businesses that are unsure about the application or effect of the Direction seek legal advice.

This article provides general commentary only. It is not legal advice. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this article, seek professional advice.


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