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COVID-19 vaccination requirements for education and early childhood settings

The advice from Professor Spurrier and SA Health remains that vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19.

From Monday 2 May 2022, the department will implement the COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees (PDF 242.6KB) (staff login required).

The department will also implement the COVID-19 vaccination policy for non-employees (PDF 298KB)

Scope of the policies

Who is covered by the policies

The COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees applies to an employee working in a Department for Education workplace, or working in or providing services in a scheme, undertaking or program of the department.

Employee means any person employed by the Chief Executive of the Department for Education (or delegate).

The COVID-19 vaccination for non-employees applies to all non-employees, including volunteers, educators, care providers, contractors, consultants and other service providers who:

  • engage in work or perform duties in services operated by the department;
  • engage in work or perform duties at any of the department’s education and early childhood settings (“workplaces” or “sites”); or 
  • work in or provide services in a scheme, undertaking or program of the Department (“undertakings”), including bus transport services.

Requirements for employees and non-employees

The requirements outlined below apply to both employees and non-employees when working in a Department for Education workplace.

Employees and non-employees must:

  • have up to date vaccination status in accordance with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines, which currently includes a 3rd dose when eligible (from 3 months and no later than 6 months after receiving the 2nd dose), or
  • have had COVID-19 and have deferred receipt of their next dose of vaccination for the period as defined by Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation ATAGI, or
  • be considered exempt where they have a medical condition for which there is a recognised contraindication in relation to COVID-19 vaccination as certified by a duly qualified medical practitioner, or
  • comply with the conditions outlined for unvaccinated people.

For more details see the FAQs for COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Exceptions to the vaccination policies

The vaccination policies do not apply to:

  • a parent attending an education and early childhood setting in their capacity as a parent
  • a person responding to an emergency or urgent maintenance task (for example lift breakdown or fire)
  • a person delivering goods to or removing items (including rubbish) from an education and early childhood setting
  • a person engaging in work or performing duties on a construction site for a school or preschool where:
    • the provision of education and care has not commenced at the site
    • the construction area is generally inaccessible from the school or preschool and there is a separate means of access to the construction site.

Conditions for unvaccinated people

Unvaccinated people must comply with the following reasonable additional safety measures to reduce risk in the workplace:

  • undertake a rapid antigen test each morning at home, and return a negative result in order to attend for work
  • wear a surgical face mask while indoors, at all times.

Rapid antigen tests and surgical masks will be supplied by the department.

Where an unvaccinated person is not able to wear a surgical mask due to a disability or medical condition, they will be exempt from this requirement if they have a medical certificate issued by a duly qualified medical practitioner.

Unvaccinated people will not be permitted to work in the following settings as they are considered higher-risk due to the vulnerability of the students:

  • Aboriginal and Anangu schools
  • special schools
  • disability units
  • hospital school
  • anyone working 1:1 with students with a medical vulnerability in a mainstream setting (where a student has a particular vulnerability to COVID-19 as identified in a care plan either directly, or by reference to related issues such as being immune compromised).

Returning to the workplace if unvaccinated

Unvaccinated employees are now able to return to the workplace under the conditions for unvaccinated people (on this page).

Who to provide proof of vaccination to if requested

Upon request, a person working in an education or early childhood setting must provide proof of their vaccination status to the operator of an education or early childhood service.

Operator of an education or early childhood service

The operator of an educator or early childhood service means any individual, body corporate, association, partnership, entity, governing or responsible authority that manages or controls the service. 

Booking your vaccination

To find a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, visit the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

There are several options to receive your ‘proof of COVID-19 vaccination’:

  • Carry your paper immunisation certificate if provided at your vaccination appointment.
  • Download your COVID-19 digital certificate via the Express Plus Medicare mobile app or your Medicare online account through myGov.
    • You can add your COVID-19 digital certificate to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay.
    • Instructions are available on the Services Australia website.
  • If you can’t get proof online, your vaccination provider may be able to print your immunisation history statement for you.
  • Call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm) and ask for your statement to be sent to you. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post.
  • If you’re not eligible for Medicare, call the Australian Immunisation Register and request your certificate be mailed to you or add your COVID-19 certificate to your digital wallet using the Individual Healthcare Identifiers service (IHI service) through myGov.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Team

Emaileducation.covidcoordination [at] sa.gov.au