Border ban ‘exemptions’ for health care workers

20 August 2020

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier has signalled border closure exemptions for health care workers who live just over the border in Victoria, allowing them to work at nearby SA facilities.

Earlier this week an aged care worker who lives in the Victorian town of Nelson, 4km from the South-East border, told Channel 9 news she and other cross-border staff who work at Mt Gambier’s Boandik aged care facility had been barred from entering SA by SA Health.
Another cross-border nurse who works at Naracoorte Hospital had also been denied entry into SA. The bans prompted fears about patient care and staff shortages.

From 12.01am, tomorrow, cross-border community members need to complete a cross-border travel registration form to show they are an essential traveller, along with relevant supporting documentation.

Only Victorians who are considered essential travellers will be able to enter the state, with some health care workers not being considered essential.
However, in a video chat with The Advertiser yesterday Professor Spurrier noted exemptions are expected to be granted to people who need to cross for vital work reasons including to work in nearby hospitals.

“We are looking at various exemptions,’’ Professor Spurrier said. “If there are particular nursing and medical staff that live on the border and would normally work in our hospitals then we’ll be looking at those particular people in terms of providing some exemption.’’