The Victorian government will make it mandatory for all on-site authorised workers to be vaccinated by mid-October, as the state has recorded 1,143 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths.
Premier Daniel Andrews said we will see more pressure on our health system than we ever have. It is still crucial we continue to protect our health system from being overwhelmed.
“Our nurses, doctors, ambos and all of our health workers are working their guts out to be there for us and they need us all to do our bit.”
“All workers – in Melbourne and regional Victoria – on the Authorised Worker list will require their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday, 15 October in order to continue working on site. They will need to be fully vaccinated by 26 November.“
The advice from the Burnet Institute and Victorian public health officials is that vaccination remains the best protection. As authorised workers are currently moving around Victoria the most, it’s vital they get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and all of Victoria.
The 15 October deadline will not apply to workers who already have existing requirements under CHO directions – groups like construction, freight, healthcare, aged care and education will still have to comply with previous advice.
To help ensure these workers can receive their vaccine in time, the government is expanding GP and pharmacy grant program to priority LGAs in regional Victoria and doubling the number of grants available for the existing LGAs – providing more to primary care network with $4,000 and $10,000 grants to boost their hours and staff and ultimately, get more vaccines into the arms of Victorians.
A walk-up Moderna blitz from 4 October to 10 October will be conducted at the following sites:
- Melton Vaccination Hub (Bunnings)
- Sunshine Vaccination Hub
- Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
- Royal Exhibition Building
- Sandown Racecourse Vaccination Centre
- Frankston Community Vaccination Hub
- Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre
- Dandenong Palm Plaza
- Former Ford Factor Campbellfield
- La Trobe University site in Bundoora
- St Francis Xavier College Officer Campus
As there is a need to ensure the virus does not travel further into regional Victoria, which is why businesses that are open in regional Victoria – restaurants or beauty, for example – must continue to check the IDs of everyone they serve.
“Over the next week, there are 13,000 first dose Pfizer appointments available and 8,000 first dose Astra Zeneca appointments available through the state-run system.”
Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their GP or pharmacist where many more appointments are available.
Victorian pharmacists are now also offering the Moderna vaccine, which is a safe and effective mRNA vaccine. This vaccine is now also on offer at select state sites for anyone aged 12 to 59.
GPs and pharmacies are now providing both Pfizer and Moderna to all ages, including those above aged 59.
To book a vaccination through state-run centres – or to see links for how to book at your local GP or pharmacy – visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine
COVIDSafe Reopening For Victorian Construction
Restrictions on the Victorian construction industry will ease from 11.59 pm on Monday, 4 October, with a Construction Sector Roadmap setting a way forward for the sector to stay open and keep the community safe.
1- In order to work onsite, all workers will need to continue to carry an Authorised Worker Permit and have had at least one vaccine dose.
2- Every construction site in Victoria must also have a designated fully trained COVID Marshal to ensure compliance with the Chief Health Officer‘s directions.
3- Prior to reopening, operators will be required to attest that they have implemented the CHO directions and every site will need to have an up to date vaccination register available for compliance checks at all times.
An online portal will soon be available on the Service Victoria website so these documents are accessible for both the operator and compliance teams.
Crib facilities may be used for the consumption of food and drink with strict density requirements and additional ventilation.
Up to five workers and a supervisor will be able to work onsite for small scale construction projects, and large scale sites can have up to 25 per cent of workers on site. If crib rooms meet best practices and the entire workforce is fully vaccinated, large scale construction sites can have up to 50 per cent of workers on site.
Projects on the State Critical Infrastructure list will operate at 100 per cent as long as crib rooms follow best practice guidelines.
Subject to continued high levels of compliance by the industry, workforce caps will progressively increase. At Victoria’s 70 per cent double dose milestone, large scale construction can return to 100 per cent of its workforce.
Caps will be removed when Victoria reaches its 80 per cent target, and in addition, all onsite workers must be fully vaccinated by 13 November.
Fully vaccinated workers can travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in order to work onsite.
Workers on state critical projects or large scale construction can also travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria if they have had a single dose, take an initial test before their first travel, then test twice per week until fully vaccinated.
To allow all sites to remobilise, workers who have had at least one vaccination dose will be able to enter a site prior to 5 October in order to undertake crib facility improvements, participate in a reinduction or receive deliveries.
As part of the re-opening, we expect the construction industry to comply with directions in full.
Teams of Authorised Workers will conduct checks to enforce directions, and penalties will be in place for builders and site operators that do not comply – including site shutdowns for significant or repeated breaches.
Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas said, “We’ve worked really hard with the industry to ensure they can reopen safely – but the message is clear: we won’t tolerate it operating in a way that puts the rest of our community at risk.”