A Canberra principal who opposed a COVID vaccine mandate for teachers will not be returning to his position in Term 1 as the mandate for some school and early childhood staff remains in force.
Charnwood-Dunlop School principal Rob Lans stood aside in October after a video of him alongside controversial Senator Malcolm Roberts questioning the need for the mandate surfaced on Facebook.
An ACT Education Directorate spokesman said the leadership arrangements at Charnwood-Dunlop School in Term 1 would be the same as Term 4 2021, with Danielle Porter as acting principal.
The spokesman said there were currently 52 Education Directorate staff subject to the vaccination mandate who have elected not to disclose their vaccination status.
"These staff will continue to be supported to work from home where suitable duties can be identified or redeployed to suitable duties within the Education Directorate or broader public service," the spokesman said.
The public health direction applies to staff working across early childhood education and care services, primary schools, out of school hours care, and specialist and flexible education settings.
It also applies to staff in preschool to year 10 schools where they share a campus with younger year groups.
All new starters will be required to show that they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine before they come into contact with students under 12 years.
The health direction is set to expire when the public health emergency ends on February 12. However, the chief health officer might make a recommendation to the Health Minister to extend the emergency in coming weeks.
An ACT Health spokesperson said should the public health emergency be extended, then all Public Health Directions remain in force for its duration, unless they are revoked earlier.
The Legislative Assembly is also considering amendments to the Public Health Act that would allow public health and social measures to be enacted without a public health emergency declaration.
"Under the amendments being considered by the Legislative Assembly, two or more ministers would be able to jointly make a direction to mandate vaccination requirements in high-risk settings to protect vulnerable people," the ACT Health spokesperson said.
Educators are not required to prove that they have had a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated under the mandate, but this could change if expert bodies including ATAGI and the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee make a recommendation.
The ACT Health Directorate made 159 priority booster bookings for the Airport Vaccination clinic on Monday after the Chief Minister announced that school and early childhood education and care staff would get first access to the appointments at the second ACT mass-vaccination clinic. Eligible staff have been contacted by their employer with instructions of how to book.
Any priority bookings that are unfilled at the end of next week will be opened up for the general public.
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