Why is the vaccine mandate being introduced?
It is Zoos SA’s belief that mandating double COVID vaccinations for the period of 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022 is the best way of ensuring the safety and welfare of our workforce, volunteers, visitors, contractors and animals as well as the business continuity for Zoos SA.
What has changed leading to Zoos SA deciding to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations?
So far, the level of community COVID-19 cases and transmission rates in South Australia have remained very low. However, changes proposed by the SA Government to both national and international borders is expected to change this. Increased levels of community based COVID-19 will significantly increase the risk to vulnerable animal species within our collections. There has also been a significant change in the number of animal species that have been reported as contracting COVID-19, along with the serious nature of clinical symptoms presenting and prognosis for recovery.
Using the risk assessment released by SA Health 15 November 2021, it is clear that in order to minimise risks to our workforce, visitors and our business, mandatory vaccination is required.
What date do I need to be vaccinated by?
All members and visitors and other entering our sites will need to be double vaccinated by 1 December 2021. You will need to show evidence of your vaccination (available from your MyGov account) on entry from Wednesday 1 December 2021.
What happens if I cannot be vaccinated because of a medical reason?
If you are exempt from vaccination we will be required to show an official proof of exemption. The onus is on you to obtain one. To do so:
You will need to seek a medical certificate from a legally qualified medical practitioner which states that you have a temporary or permanent medical reason for vaccination exemption in accordance with the guidelines published by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)
You will need to complete an SA Health Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Immunisation Exemption Application Form and submit this, along with your medical certificate signed by a legally qualified medical practitioner, to Health.NJNPExemptions@sa.gov.au.
What happens if not all members of a visitor’s family/group are vaccinated when they arrive, do they get turned away?
All visitors aged 16 years and over will need to be double vaccinated or provide evidence of a medical exemption to gain entry. It will be the visitor’s choice whether they make other arrangements for non-vaccinated members of their group.
If the whole group chooses not to enter as a result, can I get a refund?
Normal T&C’s apply in relation to refunds of pre-purchased tickets. Ideally, the pre-purchased tickets would still be used on the day, 2nd option is to issue a voucher to come again another time once the double vaccination policy is reviewed at end of January 2021. A refund would be a last resort in this situation.
How will you check vaccination records and is there a specific form that I need?
Visitors aged 16 and over will need to present their proof of vaccination to admissions staff or COVID marshal on arrival.
There are several options to receive your ‘proof of COVID vaccination’:
- Download your COVID digital certificate via the Express Plus Medicare mobile app or your Medicare online account through myGov.
- You can add your COVID digital certificate to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay
- Instructions are available on the Services Australia website
- If you can’t get proof online, your vaccination provider may be able to print your immunisation history statement for you.
- call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm) and ask for your statement to be sent to you. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post.
- If you’re not eligible for Medicare, call the Australian Immunisation Register and request your certificate be mailed to you or add your COVID certificate to your digital wallet using the Individual Healthcare Identifiers service (IHI service) through myGov.
Will under 16s be asked to show proof of age?
To assist Zoos SA, we will ask to see some proof of age if/when a child looks to be older than 16.
Will visitors still be required to QR code?
Yes, we ask all visitors to use the QR codes as per before.
Animal Experiences and Encounters
Will animal experiences be impacted?
- All existing restrictions remain for animal experiences
- Mask wearing is mandatory for all experiences for visitors of all ages.
What if I have an existing booking or a voucher for an experience and am not double vaccinated or have a medical exemption?
- All existing bookings will be contacted and advised on the new requirements
- Vouchers can be issued in the case of an un-vaccinated participant for a previously booked experience or, provided an extension of an existing voucher.
Can humans give COVID-19 to animals?
Zoos present the potential for COVID-19 transmission between animals, from animals to humans and from humans to animals.
What is Zoos SA doing to protect animals at Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park from COVID-19?
Zoos South Australia is mandating all staff, visitors (including children 16 years and over), volunteers and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect at risk animal species across both our sites. We are also promoting good hygiene (washing, wiping and covering), social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment.
Will having staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors to our sites vaccinated against COVID-19 prevent our animals contracting COVID-19?
Having staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors to our sites vaccinated against COVID-19 will significantly reduce the risk of susceptible animals in our collection from contracting COVID-19.
Other than mandating vaccinations for staff, volunteers and visitors, what else is Zoos SA doing to protect its animals?
In addition to mandating COVID-19 vaccinations, we are promoting good hygiene (washing, wiping, covering), social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Collectively, these actions will all help reduce the chance or our susceptible animal species from catching COVID-19.
Memberships and vaccination
What will happen to my membership if I am not double vaccinated?
Please complete this form to request a call back from our staff to discuss your options.
Do my children need to be vaccinated?
Children under the age of 16 are exempt and do not need to be vaccinated to enter. We encourage anyone eligible to be vaccinated to consider their options.
I am not vaccinated. Can my child member (aged under 16) attend with another fully vaccinated person during this time?
Yes, your child can still attend with another person as children aged under 16 are exempt from this mandate.
What if you continue to mandate double vaccinations after the 31 January 2022 and I don’t intend to get vaccinated?
We are yet to make a decision on this matter. We will communicate with all members regarding our plans post January 31 2022.
Do I need to be vaccinated to attend other reciprocal zoos interstate?
Please refer to each zoo’s website for their membership and entry requirements as these vary.
I am a member. Do I need to get an online ticket?
Yes, you do. We need to accurately measure the number of people within our sites.
As a member your online ticket is free, please visit adelaidezoo.com.au/tickets and monartosafari.com.au/tickets and use the barcode of your membership card. Entry tickets are date specific. We really appreciate your cooperation with the matter.
Why do I need to buy an online ticket to enter Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park?
Online ticketing is the safest way of ensuring that we comply with restrictions on numbers set by SA Health. It also means contactless entry ensuring the safety for visitors and our staff members and speeding up the entry process to minimise queues.
Please visit adelaidezoo.com.au/tickets/ or monartosafari.com.au/tickets to purchase your tickets.
I am coming to the zoo with my family/friends/other visitors. Do we all need individual tickets?
Yes. All visitors must have an online ticket so we can measure how many visitors are in the zoo/park on a specific day. If you are planning on attending Adelaide Zoo or Monarto Safari Park with a carer and they are in possession of a current South Australian companion card please book online for a companion using non-member reservation.
We really appreciate your cooperation with this.
How will you monitor social distancing?
We will be asking all visitors to keep at a 1.5m distance at all times. We respectfully ask that all visitors keep this in mind throughout their visit. Position markers, similar to those found in supermarkets, will be placed on floors in areas where crowding is likely. Please observe signs and announcements regarding social distancing to keep everyone safe.
What other safety measures are you taking?
As well as social distancing markers, you will find hand-sanitising stations and plenty of bathrooms. We encourage our visitors to regularly wash their hands and practise good hygiene throughout.
Cafe diners will be seated in accordance with the current State Government regulations and are asked to keep at a distance from other diners. Picnic areas are also available.
We also have Covid Marshals at both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park to ensure our visitors adhere to social distancing.
Our cleaning staff will regularly clean and monitor areas.
Are animal experiences operating?
Most animal experience at Monarto Safari Park and Adelaide Zoo are safely operating at. Book in for Monarto Safari Park and Adelaide Zoo experiences.
Due to social distancing measures still in place other animal experiences are currently temporarily suspended to ensure health and safety requirements are met and to keep you, our staff and our animals safe.
Once it is safe to do so, we will commence all other animal experiences. Please monitor our social media pages for updates on our offerings.
How many people are allowed on Monarto Safari Park’s Zu-Loop bus?
As per the South Australian Roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions, density requirements do not apply to recreational buses. Businesses that provide recreational transport, such as Monarto Safari Park’s Zu Loop bus, are, however, required to make and retain contact tracing records. Zoos SA collects visitors’ contact details when tickets are booked online (or on arrival).
Disposable paper masks are provided free of charge from the Visitor Centre should you wish to wear a mask whilst travelling on the Zu-loop buses, just ask at the staff at the Tour Desk when you arrive.