Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Schools can call police if unvaccinated staff turn up next week

Schools are being told they can call the police if any unvaccinated teachers or staff turn up on school grounds next week.

In a notice in the Ministry of Education gazette yesterday, school leaders were advised that if a staff member who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 turns up from Monday, they will be committing an offence.

If the safety of staff or children is compromised because of an unvaccinated staff member who has arrived at school, school leaders are told they can call police.

“The staff member will be committing an infringement offence if they have not had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and are onsite 15 November. This means they may be liable for a fine.

“If staff do turn up on site after this date, we encourage school leaders to deal with this in the usual manner you would if other inappropriate people were to turn up on site.”

The advice goes on to explain that unvaccinated staff members should be told they are committing an offence under the Order and a conversation may be needed to work out that particular staff member’s concerns.

Principals could consider contacting the Teacher Council about that particular teacher or staff member involved.

But if the situation was worse, staff may call police, it said.

“If you feel your safety or the safety of ākonga (pupils or students) or other staff is compromised, you could consider contacting the police.”

The gazette also says an unvaccinated staff member cannot work at school, on site, without a valid exemption or a letter from a medical professional that confirms an exemption request has been submitted and appropriate health and safety assessments have been carried out.

The advice follows the announcement of a no jab, no job policy late last month. The Government says all early learning and school teachers must have had their first Pfizer vaccination shot by November 15: Monday.

There was earlier confusion about whether teachers who had not had their first jab by then could still work until January 1 next year – the date by which all school staff must have had their second Covid shot.

The Ministry of Education later confirmed only teachers who have had at least their first Covid vaccination would be allowed to have contact with children after November 15.

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