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COVID-19 update: SA/Vic. cross-border travel

19 August 2020

We received this information from the Department for Eduction on 18 August 2020:

For staff near the SA/Vic. border
For information: local education teams

SAPOL has provided some further advice in the lead up to the tightening of restrictions along the South Australian Victorian border from 12.01am Friday 21 August.

We’ll continue to send through updated information as it becomes available.

Q. Will Department for Education employees be able to cross the border into South Australia for work?

A. As of Friday 21 August, there is no universal entitlement for Education staff as cross border community members. Exemptions for workers can and will be considered by SA Health and SAPOL on a case-by-case basis. 

Specialist teachers, SACE teachers and bus drivers may be granted exemptions, however there is no guarantee at this point in time. We encourage you to apply for exemptions via the online application form.

If you live in Victoria and aren’t granted an exemption, you will be supported to work from home.

Q. Can students cross the border to attend school?

A. Students undertaking years 11 and 12 are allowed to travel from Victoria to attend school as essential travellers. They will need to apply for Essential Traveller status via SAPOLs online application form.

Exemptions may also be granted to students in other year levels completing SACE units.

At risk children or children under guardianship will also be considered on a case-by-case basis through the exemption process under compassionate grounds. Evidence regarding circumstances will be required.

All other students must be supported to learn from home. ICT devices (laptops and wifi dongles) can be provided to students who need it, and an ICT hotline will be set up to help people learning and working remotely.

Q. How will year 11 and 12 students living in Victoria travel to and from school?

A. The department is working with SAPOL and SA Health to support students travel to and from school. More information will be provided in the next day or so. 

Essential traveller status will be given to those transporting year 11 and 12 students to and from school. Again, parents/carers will need to apply via the online application form.

Q. I live in Victoria. How will I work from home?

A. You will be supported to work from home.

In some cases, you will be able to continue your current role. If not, you will be able to work on different projects to support your school or preschool, or a project being led from central.

ICT devices are available and can be provided to employees who need it. Speak with your site leader about your requirements.

Q. Do I still need to be tested for COVID-19 every 7 days?

A. Yes. If you are entering South Australia from Victoria and are aged 16 years and over, you are required to have a COVID-19 test every 7 days.

Evidence of a COVID-19 test, or a COVID-19 test result must be provided to an authorised officer (on request) relating to a test completed in the previous 7 days. It will then be necessary to keep being tested every 7 days until further notice.

Q. This is a really tough time, what support is available?

A. This is an incredibly challenging time for people living along the border and we want to make sure you have the support you need.

Additional relief teachers have been dispatched to the south east region to make sure teaching and learning is supported as some of our students and employees transition to learning and working remotely.

The SWISS team is providing targeted support to students. Please reach out to the team directly on 8314 4100 if you need support within your school.

Importantly, the Employee Assistance Program is available for all employees.

Please reach out to your leader, Education Director or the COVID information line on 8226 2000. We are here to support you in any way we can.