People looking to travel across the Victorian and South Australian border could soon require proof of vaccination, under a new proposed health direction.
At a press conference on Sunday, South Australia's chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier indicated the South Australian government was considering imposing a vaccine mandate for cross-border travel and would reach a decision in the next seven days.
"We are looking at bringing in a mandate for the border crossing requiring vaccination. We are looking at bringing that in in about seven days," she said.
Details on the proposed health direction have not been released as of yet, but Ms Spurrier urged anyone considering cross-border travel to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
"If you haven't been vaccinated and you want to be able to cross that border and be in that border bubble, you will ned to be thinking about getting your first dose of the vaccine later this week, within the week," she said.
The announcement has prompted concerns from cross border community members who have said access to vaccines along the border was scarce.
Apsley resident and Cross Border Call Out founder Paula Gust said she has heard many cross border residents have their first vaccine dose booked in for November, well after the seven-day deadline given by Ms Spurrier.
"It is physically impossible for everyone who is going to cross to have had their first dose within a week," she said.
"They already had a massive rush for it last week. I think it is going to be a bit impossible."
It remains to be seen whether the new health direction will allow cross-border community members to continue to travel across the border if the earliest they can receive a vaccine is after seven day period.
Ms Gust was also concerned about the reduced border travel corridor restricting the community's ability to receive a vaccine on short notice.
The 30km border travel corridor in Victoria has meant cross-border community members risk jeopardising their cross-border status if they travel to towns such as Horsham or Nhill to get vaccinated.
"All these sorts of questions are coming up, people are very frustrated. Some people's bookings are out until November," she said.
"Again the government has put something in place, but they don't have any facilities to make this happen, to make it even possible.
"There is 500km of border, thousands of people, and it cant be compared like-for-like with the other borders where a mandate is in place.
"They have the ability to call up and get their vaccinations. Here, if there is a waiting period people are going to miss work and school."
For more information on cross-border travel, visit https://www.police.sa.gov.au/online-services/cross-border-travel-application.
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