COVID-19 vaccinations will become mandatory for education staff in the ACT across early and primary school settings under a new order from the Chief Health Officer.

The direction will cover staff including teachers, early childhood educators, learning and support staff, administrative staff (including building services and general services staff), canteen workers and cleaners who are in direct contact with children, as well as allied health professionals who regularly attend relevant schools.

Students on placement at certain education settings will also be included in the new requirement.

Under the orders, those required to be vaccinated will need to have had their first dose by 1 November 2021 and a second no later than 29 November.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said while vaccination rates amongst education staff in the Territory was already high, the new order is based on advice designed to support children who aren’t eligible for a jab.

“Given that children under the age of 12 will be unvaccinated as school starts to return – the strong advice is that all possible measures need to be taken to surround these children with vaccinated people.”

Education Minister, Yvette Berry said the Government will begin consultation with staff and unions ahead of the implementation of the public health direction.

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“The Education Directorate will be working closely with public and non-government schools, unions and the early childhood sector over the next few days to operationalise the Chief Health Officer’s advice, ahead of her signing the public health direction.”

Mr Barr also revealed that the ACT is currently awaiting further advice before consider a mandate within the Territory’s disability sector.

Information about the COVID safety measures being put in place in ACT schools can be found here.

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