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SA removes some COVID-19 vaccine mandates

South Australia is getting rid of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for education and passenger transport workers.

From 12.01am on Thursday, the mandates for vaccinations under police public health directions will be replaced with management directions for each sector.

Maritime workers who are also currently prevented from boarding an international vessel arriving in SA unless vaccinated are also having the condition removed.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens on Wednesday said the change was being made because the emergency management declaration would not be in place forever.

“Essentially there’s not a lot of change for people although we are enabling unvaccinated people to come back into the workforce under certain conditions,” he told reporters.

“It’s still the strong advice that people should be vaccinated and up to date with their vaccinations.”

Education Department chief executive Rick Persse said of the approximately 31,200 staff at government schools and preschools, only 204 are not vaccinated and have been on leave.

He said from Thursday any unvaccinated staff coming back to the workforce will have to wear a mask when indoors at all times and take a daily rapid antigen test.

But in certain high risk settings, such as remote Aboriginal schools, disability units and special schools, the unvaccinated will not be able to work.

Isolation requirements for people with COVID-19 and their close contacts remain the same.

SA recorded 5496 new cases on Wednesday, and two deaths.

There are 180 people in hospital, including eight in intensive care with one patient on ventilation.

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