One million Australians who are "authorized workers" in the state of Victoria have two weeks to receive their first COVID-19 vaccinations to continue working
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One million Australians who are “authorized workers” in the state of Victoria have two weeks to receive their first COVID
-19 vaccinations to continue working on site, as the construction industry reopens with strict safety measures in the state Prepares to open.
Premier Daniel Andrews says all Melbourne and regional Victoria residents on the state’s authorized worker list must receive the first dose by October 15 and the second by November 26.
Without fulfilling the statewide mandate, retail workers, personal trainers, lawmakers, journalists, religious leaders, judges, police, lawyers, actors and professional sportspersons will not be able to continue working on the site.
The October 15 deadline will not replace the deadline for Victoria’s separate vaccine
mandate for aged care, health care, freight, construction and education workers.
Mr Andrews said the decision, based on health advice, would involve one to 1.25 million authorized workers in Victoria, many of whom have already received their first dose.
“It’s important to keep the case count down so that we can open on 26 October, get our independence back, get the economy running again and complete the national plan,” he told reporters on Friday.
The state government also revealed its plans to restart the construction industry in Melbourne and other locked down areas after a two-week shutdown.
Under the plan, construction sites can reopen from Tuesday to workers who have had at least one dose of the COVID
. They should be fully vaccinated by November 13.
All operators must formally certify that their site complies with industry-wide health directives.
Workforce limits remain in place for some construction sites, except for outside state government projects, and single-dose workers can set up before reopening on Tuesday.
Fully vaccinated staff can move between regional Victoria and Melbourne, while tea rooms will reopen with improved cleanliness, density limits and additional ventilation.
“The priority is to take these meal breaks outside wherever possible,” said Transportation Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allen.
Widespread transmission of the virus within the industry and poor site compliance were cited as reasons for the shutdown on 21 September, the same day Melbourne’s CFMEU headquarters were damaged by angry protesters.
The protests began against mandatory vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of building site tearooms, before morphing into the widespread anti-lockdown and mandatory anti-vaccine
A fully trained COVID
Marshal is required to keep a watch on every construction site in the state. Treasurer Tim Pallas said there would be hefty fines for sites caught in violation.
When Victoria meets its 80 percent double-dose vaccination target, the construction workforce limit will be lifted.
The widespread vaccination mandate comes as Victoria reported 1143 new locally acquired COVID
-19 cases and three deaths on Friday, raising the death toll from the current outbreak to 44.
Greater Shepparton and Murbool Shire, both west and north of Melbourne, will enter a seven-day lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday to contain the growing outbreak. Twelve new cases were reported in Greater Shepparton and six in Murbool on Friday, and health officials are concerned about possible further transmission.
With the exception of the night curfew, the lockdown restrictions will reflect those in metropolitan Melbourne.
Residents of both areas are being urged to come forward for testing, two pop-up sites will be opened in Melton.
Meanwhile, Andrews flagged off an announcement at the Victoria-NSW border next week, declaring it would “basically open.”