South Australia Police Removes Vaccine Mandates

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South Australia Police (SAPOL) have announced they will lift vaccine mandates on March 4, allowing police officers in the Australian state who had refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine to return to work.

At 7.00 a.m. on March 7, the Police Workers Vaccination Direction, which requires all police employees to be vaccinated, will be withdrawn and replaced with a Managerial Direction.

This will enable unvaccinated staff to return to the workplace. Nevertheless, they will be required to take a rapid antigen test as soon as they are present at a South Australia Police setting and wear a mask during their shift every day.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said he had the confidence that the South Australian police force could manage the risks to officers and community members from the ongoing pandemic without having to put unvaccinated staff on leave.

“At this time, I am happy to report that over 98.5 per cent of the South Australia police workforce have been vaccinated, which is above the over 92 per cent of the South Australian population,” he said.

COVID-19 Restrictions Lift In South Australia
South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens at the press conference at the Stag Hotel in Adelaide, Australia, on Dec. 1, 2020. (Kelly Barnes/Getty Images)

However, the commissioner said that despite being able to return to their substantive duties, unvaccinated staff would encounter some limitations.

For instance, those officers may be restricted from attending high-risk settings such as residential aged care and disability facilities and the forensic science building.

Also, Stevens said that he was engaging with and seeking advice from agencies and sectors that still had a mandatory vaccination policy in place, with consideration to the ongoing application of the Emergency Management Act Directions.

Meanwhile, the state recorded 106 cases of COVID-19, including nine in intensive care on March 4.

Premier Steven Marshall said that although the daily COVID-19 case numbers in South Australia would continue to fluctuate, the government’s priority was keeping the number of hospitalised people low.

“That’s the number we’re really focused on at the moment,” he said.

Prior to the removal of vaccine mandates for police members, the premier had extended the existing Declaration of a Major Emergency, which was supposed to end on March 5, to another 28 days.

This allows the South Australian government to continue with all the pandemic measures it has been implementing.

Alfred Bui

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Alfred Bui is an Australian reporter based in Melbourne and focuses on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and has two master’s degrees in business and business law. Contact him at alfred.bui@epochtimes.com.au.



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