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Call for dedicated vax hubs ahead of mandatory jab deadline

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SA trucking boss Steve Shearer had some good news today for truckies worried about meeting the state’s new no jab, no entry deadline of September 27.

Authorities have told him that truckies will be prioritised at vaccination clinics throughout SA, and they are also committed to setting up vax hubs for drivers along key freight routes.

“We expect to have details on those within a day or two,” the South Australian Road Transport Association executive director told Big Rigs.

“For this [the direction] to have any chance of working we need to see action in the next couple of days.”

The new directive requires that all truckies coming from, or who have been in to, NSW, ACT, or Victoria must have at least one dose of a Covid vaccination.

They also need evidence of a negative Covid test within the past 72 hours. If they don’t have a negative result, they will be directed to undertake a rapid antigen-based test and/or a PCR test within 12 hours of entering SA.

Shearer said it looks like there will be rapid antigen testing set up at the border.

“We also discussed how police will treat some drivers who are not vaccinated. They understand it’s not going to be a great idea to turn away a whole lot of trucks but you can’t let that be used as a means of letting people just refuse to be vaccinated, or not make the effort to be vaccinated.”

Shearer believes what happens next will be dependent on the driver’s position on the issue. If they say no, they’ll be promptly turned around, but if they say yes, it’s likely they’ll be directed to the nearest vax hub.

“They’re not going to allow an unvaccinated driver to enter the state without a commitment from the driver that they will be vaccinated and that will be managed under a direction to the driver so it has some consequences if they are bullshitting.”

Shearer said his best advice is to rock up with your border entry permit, evidence of a test in the last three days and proof of vaccination.

“If you get organised, all that can be done on your phone.

“Drivers who are vaccinated can’t just rock up at the border and just say, ‘I’ve been vaccinated’. They need to have sorted out some evidence, whether it be the government app, or whatever it might be.

“They can’t just claim to be vaccinated, or they’ll be held up at the border until police are satisfied they are, and that’ll hold up every single driver behind them.”

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