Dan Andrews brings in mass mandatory vaccine rules – meaning ALL essential workers including cleaners, farmers and personal trainers must get the jab in TWO weeks
- Victoria recorded 1,143 new Covid-19 cases and three new deaths on Friday
- Comes after record spike in Covid cases with 1,438 infections on Thursday
- Figure was the largest jump the state has seen during outbreak of Delta variant
- New vaccine rules mean farmers, retail workers and spa workers also covered
1 October, 2021
The Victorian government has imposed unprecedented mandatory vaccine rules for hundreds of thousands of the state’s workers, saying it will stem the spread of the Delta strain of Covid.
From October 15, every authorised worker in Victoria will need to have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and two doses by November 26 or they will lose their job.
Workers who will now be forced to get jabbed to stay in a job include cleaners, farmers, retail workers, personal trainers, spa workers and priests.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the mass vaccination order on Friday as Victoria recorded 1,143 Covid cases – a fall from Thursday’s 1,438 but still double the number from 10 days earlier.
‘I would not be making this announcement if we didn’t believe that this was absolutely critical to having less days like yesterday, and to making sure that days like yesterday don’t become 3000 (case) days or 4000 days – we can’t have that,’ Mr Andrews said.
He dismissed suggestions that the mandate infringed on people’s freedom to make their own decision on their healthcare.
‘I’m not taking lectures on freedom from people who will hold all of us back,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘There’s too much at stake. We’re not making this decision for fun; we’re not making it lightly or flippantly.
‘This is what has to be done to get us open.’
Unprecedented mandatory vaccine rules have been brought in for hundreds of thousands of the state’s essential workers including farmers, personal trainers and cleaners to stem the spread of its Delta outbreak. Pictured is a Covid-19 vaccine being administered on August 25 in Melbourne
Construction workers take their lunch break on a busy street to protest against the closing of worksite tea rooms on September 17. Dozens more essential professions will join tradesmen in needing a Covid-19 vaccine to keep their job
Retail workers employed in Victoria’s supermarkets and stores operating click and collect services will need a Covid-19 jab to stay in a job
Mr Andrews said it was hoped the new order would accelerate vaccine numbers and push Victoria past the 80 per cent double-vaccinated threshold which will usher in the restoration of many pre-lockdown freedoms.
‘This is about making sure that we go that extra mile to protect the road to opening [on October 26] or even a few days earlier,’ he said.
‘It will also make sure we can open, be free, and not have a health system overwhelmed with patients whose cases are completely avoidable.’
Of the new cases, more than 400 were recorded in Melbourne’s north – including 243 in Hume, 83 in Whittlesea, 49 in Moreland, 21 in Darebin and 24 in Yarra.
Other hotspots include western parts of Melbourne such as Melton with 55 cases Wyndham with 54 and Brimbank with 70.
The surging case figures had residents fearing Mr Andrews will have to revise his roadmap to freedom and even extend lockdown until numbers fall.
‘Yesterday’s cases took a lot of people by surprise,’ Mr Andrews said, referring to the 1438 cases recorded on Thursday.
‘Many people would have been quite concerned, scared to even see a number as high as that.
THE VICTORIAN WORKERS COVERED BY THE NEW COVID VACCINE MANDATE
From October 15, anyone leaving home to work in the following professions and industries in Victoria will need to have received at least their first Covid-19 vaccine dose:
Interpreters and cultural workers
Funeral or mortuary services
Retail goods workers supporting click and collect
Members of parliament and their electorate staff
Commonwealth agency services, including the Australian Border Force
Film, television and documentary workers already in production
Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing
For the full list visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/authorised-provider-and-authorised-worker-list
‘Today obviously is less than that and we are pleased, although we shouldn’t underestimate the challenge that 1,143 Covid patients presents.’
There were 34,935 vaccines administered and 62,883 Covid-19 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
The 1,143 cases from 62,883 tests represented a positive rate of 1.8 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent a day earlier. By comparison, NSW rate on Friday was 0.8 per cent.
Thursday’s 51 per cent spike in cases in a single day was blamed on illegal gatherings on AFL grand final day last weekend, and had triggered some forecasts that case numbers could eventually reach 6,000 a day.
Melbourne GP Mukesh Haikerwal told the Today show on Friday. ‘They will probably double and double again.’
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said it would be ‘devastating’ if the plans to reopen the state were delayed.
‘They really want to know that if we do the right thing and hit the restrictions, if we get vaccinated, that we can still open,’ she said.
The announcement comes amid warnings Victoria’s overcrowded hospitals are turning into ‘apocalyptic war zones’ as the Delta outbreak threatens to overwhelm its healthcare system (pictured, ambulances queued outside a Melbourne hospital)
The warning cames amid warnings Victoria’s overcrowded hospitals are turning into ‘apocalyptic war zones’ as the Delta outbreak threatens to overwhelm its healthcare system.
An anonymous official said the state’s health watchdog Safer Care Victoria had urged the state government to brace for a Covid-related surge in its hospitals when lockdown measures are relaxed.
‘They basically told us to prepare psychologically because most of Victoria’s going to think ‘this is great’… as a healthcare worker, it’ll feel like a war zone,’ the official told The Age.
‘I just can’t fathom it. Some of the hospitals in Melbourne are already apocalyptic.’
The Australian Medical Association’s Victorian President Dr Roderick McRae on Thursday morning described the state’s hospitals as being in ‘crisis’ despite the 395 Covid cases on Friday representing only 58 per cent of the peak number experienced in August 2020 when the hospital system did cope.
Almost 79 per cent of Victorians have received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while more than 48 per cent are fully vaccinated
‘Everybody at every stage of the Victorian healthcare system is using the word ‘crisis’,’ he told the Today show.
‘The system is under extreme strain and it’s on the back of decades of under-investment.’
He said the already long ambulance and emergency room waiting times in Victoria would be made even worse by rising Covid-19 admissions when the state starts to open up at a 70 per cent double-dose vaccination rate.
‘Think of your bathtub – the pipe is blocked and we still are adding more water and as we open up, it’s like we are looking to jump in as well and expect the floor to stay dry,’ Dr McRae said.
People are seen exercising along the Tan walking track in Melbourne on Sunday, September 19. Victoria recorded 950 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases on Wednesday
‘We knew that this was going to happen when we did eventually open up. Why wasn’t the system better prepared? We’ve had time.’
Deakin University epidemiology chair Professor Catherine Bennett on Wednesday predicted the outbreak was still a month away from peaking before infections start to drop in late October.
However Professor Peter Collignon told the Herald Sun that predictions of 3,000 cases per day in the coming weeks is a ‘a bit too pessimistic’.
The Australian Medical Association’s Victorian President Dr Roderick McRae on Thursday morning said the state’s hospitals were now in crisis mode
He said the forecast didn’t take into account that Australia was heading into warmer weather – when respiratory illnesses abate – and that vaccination rates were steadily climbing.
Victorian acting chief health officer Ben Cowie said on Wednesday the state’s outbreak was likely still some time away from reaching its peak.
‘We know from both modelling and experience in NSW our case numbers will continue to climb,’ he said.
‘But it is absolutely with in our power to slow the spread and to prevent thousands of cases and hundreds of people from becoming seriously ill and some people losing their lives.’
Another Victorian region has been being forced back into a snap seven-day lockdown a fortnight after being freed from restrictions.
Victoria’s acting chief health officer has ordered the City of Greater Shepparton into a seven-day lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday.
Shepparton residents will be subject to the same restrictions as those in metropolitan Melbourne, excluding the curfew.
Covid-19 cases have spiked again in Shepparton, with 24 active cases in the local government area as of Friday according to Victorian health department figures.
The regional city was released from its earlier lockdown on September 15.
Australia is set to announce new “no jab, no pay” rules for all health workers in a move that is set to inflame tensions with anti-vaxxers.
Authorities in New South Wales are threatening to jail Australians who don’t show a COVID-19 vaccination pass when they enter businesses.
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello threatened people who he described as “fraudsters” with arrest if they try to enter premises with “fake vaccine passports”
“If people want to do the wrong thing, if they get found out, as I said, it could be jail time there,” said Dominello.
According to the report, people who also try to enter without showing anything will also be subject to arrest.
“Mr Dominello reiterated that those who refuse to show their vaccine status when entering shops, restaurants and other venues should be reported to the police,” reports News.com.au.
Enforcing such a system may be problematic however, as the Police Commissioner of New South Wales recently asserted that his officers wouldn’t be checking medical papers.
“The role of police in terms of vaccine passports, we will not be walking through restaurants, cafes and pubs checking if people are double vaccinated,” said Mick Fuller.
We now face a two tier society where the unvaccinated are not only brazenly discriminated against, but actually thrown in prison if they try to engage in basic commerce or lifestyle activities.
As we previously highlighted, Australians who police merely suspect may be planning to attend an anti-COVID tyranny protest are being intimidated with home visits.