Unvaxxed interstate drivers planning to cross into Victoria later this month have been given a two-week extension, of sorts, to comply with first jab orders.
After lobbying by the Victorian Transport Association the state government has quietly inserted a public health order amendment to the original September 23 jab deadline for entry into the state.
It now says that as long as truckies can show proof at the border of a vax appointment before midnight on October 7, they can still cross after September 23.
“It is important to note drivers who have not received a first vaccine or have not made a booking for their first jab before 11.59pm on Thursday, October 7, will not be permitted to enter Victoria from 11.59pm on Thursday, September 23,” VTA CEO Peter Anderson stressed in a media statement today.
The VTA is now lobbying Freight Victoria and the relevant ministers to go further and make October 7 the new deadline date across the board to help ease pressure on time-poor truckies who may still be struggling to find a jab appointment after September 23.
There are numerous other issues the VTA is seeking clarification on from the Victorian government including:
- What authorities will accept as acceptable evidence of a Covid-19 vaccine and vaccine booking.
- Whether vaccination hubs at truck stops and other locations drivers visit will be implemented.
- Whether restrictions will be lifted on drivers that have visited red or orange zones to visit medical centres to get vaccinated.
- Whether Covid-19 testing concessions can be relaxed for drivers that have been fully vaccinated.
“Until we receive concrete answers from the Victorian government on these important issues, we suggest the drivers carry documentation from their vaccine provider, such as the vaccination card they may have received following their appointment,” Anderson said.
“Drivers with a vaccination booking should carry documentation of their appointment such as a paper or text message confirmation of appointment.”
Freight workers with Specified Worker (Multiple Entry) Permits can receive a priority booking for Covid vaccinations and should call 1800 675 398 to book in at any state vaccination centre.
“Notwithstanding the concession for drivers that have booked a Covid-19 vaccination, we will continue to push for an across-the-board two-week extension of the 23 September deadline. We maintain the two-week notice provided does not acknowledge the genuine difficulties drivers have faced getting vaccinated in time.
“We also appreciate some drivers will choose not to get vaccinated, and that these people are facing difficult and life-changing decisions about whether to continue working in their chosen profession. They deserve to be supported at this time.”