Businesses respond to opening of South Australian border by calling for clarity on mandates
As South Australia opens its eastern borders to doubly vaccinated travelers, many companies are frustrated that the responsibility ends with them when it comes to vaccination mandates, while others desperately seek clarity.
- The South African border opened yesterday to vaccinated travelers
- Some companies have introduced their own vaccination mandates for staff and customers
- Government has ruled out compulsory vaccinations for all workers in South Africa
So far, the state government has made vaccination compulsory for people working in health facilities, schools, preschools, early childhood facilities, elderly care facilities and for the elderly. the police of the SA.
Yesterday, taxi and carpooling drivers operating at Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Parafield and Port Lincoln airports were added to the mandatory list.
For other industries, the decision on whether or not to oblige their employees and customers to be vaccinated rests with the owner.
David Armstrong of Goodwood Quality Meats said the government needs to provide business owners with more clarity on mandates and what will happen in the event of an outbreak.
“As far as employees are concerned and if COVID comes into our business – I’ve done a lot of research on this, and I don’t seem to be able to find a clear answer to the issues we have before us,” said Mr. Armstrong.
“If COVID enters the business through an employee, then we potentially have to shut down for two weeks for a deep clean.
“However, if everyone has a double vaxx, we trade normally.”
The owner of Unley Physiotherapy, Greg Rosenbauer, has made the decision to require all clients over the age of 12 to prove that they have been doubly vaccinated.
“Above all, we want to protect the health of all our customers and all of our staff,” he said.
But Mr Rosenbauer said he was also keen to find a way to continue supporting unvaccinated clients.
“We will seek to discuss, one-to-one with them, the best way to continue to help them, whether through telehealth or out of hours appointments… or it may be. [that] a home visiting situation might be the best way to support them, ”he said.
Mr Rosenbauer said he had spoken to other owners of physiotherapy clinics around Adelaide and they all had “different opinions” on how best to meet the requirements of the guideline.
“It’s a bit difficult for us, especially for a profession like ours when you’re often in a small room with someone for an extended period of time,” he said.
“This is where it becomes very difficult for us to see unvaccinated clients at the clinic, as we really cannot minimize the risk of being seen as close contacts.”
St Andrew’s Hospital in Adelaide has banned all unvaccinated visitors – even those under the age of 12, who are not eligible for vaccination – except in exceptional circumstances.
Passenger transport industry reacts
Point-to-point taxi drivers, carpooling operators and drivers must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Thursday and have made a reservation for a second.
Other passenger transport drivers must have received at least one dose by December 12.
“We are aware that they will pick up international arrivals from the airport and take them to their quarantine location and that they will also pick up vulnerable people who are heavily dependent on this service to get to doctor’s appointments. , supermarkets and other essential services, “South African Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said yesterday.
The Transport Workers Union has called for an urgent meeting with the state government over the mandate.
Ian Smith, national president of the union and secretary of the South African branch, said there had been a lack of consultation and the government should pay drivers if they needed time off to get vaccinated.
“The mandate was made by the government, at the end of the day, and the government, in our eyes, should pay for the process so that people, number one to get vaccinated, two, if they feel bad, they should be paid for it, “he said.
Yesterday, outside Adelaide Airport, Uber driver Nas Yazdani said he supports the mandate of carpool drivers.
Her fellow carpooling driver Tilaye Teketel also supported the mandate.
“It’s good. I’m fully vaccinated. I’ve done everything. I think everything will be fine,” he said.
More vaccine mandates expected
The police commissioner signaled that other industries could also be affected by the vaccination warrants.
“I am aware that certain specific groups are being considered for mandatory vaccinations, due to the critical nature of the services they provide,” said Commissioner Stevens.
However, for now, said Commissioner Stevens, it was up to commercial operators to decide who they were “willing to accept as patrons”.
Some industries, notably the hospitality and arts sectors, want the state government to extend vaccination mandates to their workers.
However, Prime Minister Steven Marshall ruled out a comprehensive approach.
“The reality is that some people want the government to take responsibility for making everything mandatory,” Marshall said.
“There are a lot of other employees who don’t want us to do this.
“There are skills shortages in some sectors right now. If we made it compulsory for all workers in South Australia, we would lose jobs, we would lose those skills and in many sectors it would compromise their ability to trade. . “
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