The Victorian government has been forced to clarify its vaccination rules for parents visiting their children’s schools, after the education department gave them the wrong advice.
The department had said on its website that parents must be triple vaccinated by March 15 if they want to visit school campuses and attend events.
Just over 51 per cent of Victorians aged over 18 have so far received a third dose of the COVID-19 jab.
Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Wednesday the statement is wrong, and said the education minister will fix the problem as soon as possible.
“I concede to you that there is a line on the website that is ambiguous – it’s wrong is a better way to put it,” he said.
A statement from the department of education released shortly after Mr Andrews’ press conference has clarified that a third dose is not yet required for parents and carers who are visiting school sites, but is necessary for staff and visitors working on campuses, such as canteen volunteers .
“Parents and carers visiting school sites are currently required to be double vaccinated,” the department said.
“We are still working through the updated ATAGI advice and will have more to say imminently about the definition of fully vaccinated for other cohorts.”
It comes as Victorian cleaners warn schools are “not safe” for students because their hours have been cut back, leaving less time to ensure classes are COVID-safe.
The cleaners held a rally outside Hazel Glen College at Doreen in Melbourne’s north east on Wednesday, after extra cleaning time was cut back at schools across the state for term one.
The United Workers Union said cleaners are working unpaid overtime to carry out additional cleaning as their employers are no longer willing to pay for the extra hours.
“Proper hygiene cannot be a rushed process,” cleaner and UWU delegate Sofia Floros said in a statement.
“If schools aren’t cleaned properly, including enhanced cleaning, there is still a risk of spreading the virus. This is not a safe working or learning environment.”
AAP has contacted the government for comment.
Hundreds of thousands of Victorian students missed more than 100 days in classrooms across the state’s six COVID-19 lockdowns.
School students were told to use several RATs per week to stop the spread of COVID-19 on campuses when primary and secondary students resumed classes on January 31.
So far thousands of school students have tested positive for the virus.
But Mr Andrews said that the absentee rate in schools in 2022 is lower than it was before the pandemic in 2019.