Australia Victoria records 445 new local cases as government eyes mandatory jabs for construction workers
US eyes booster jabs as Delta variant rages among unvaccinated
Biden decries ‘politicization’ of masking, vaccines with most new US cases in Republican states of Texas, Florida.“We believe sooner or later you will need a booster for durability,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease scientist, said at a briefing on Thursday.
Victoria has recorded 445 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths amid reports the government is considering introducing mandatory vaccinations for construction workers.
On Monday, 36,615 people received a dose of a vaccine.
Reported yesterday: 445 new local cases and 0 cases acquired overseas.
- 36,615 vaccines administered
- 42,694 test results received
- Sadly, two people with COVID-19 have died
Britain's daily Covid cases spike 68% to 27,989 but deaths rise by 5%
Department of Health chiefs posted more than 20,000 positive tests for the fourth day in a row. Scientists say the rise is being fuelled by the Indian 'Delta' variant and Euro 2020 tournament.Despite the country recording its highest number of new infections in a single 24-hour period in five months, daily deaths only nudged up five per cent with another 22 victims registered.— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH)
Of the new cases, 129 have so far been linked to existing patients and clusters.
The Department of Health on Tuesday said two people with COVID-19 have died. The department said 42,694 test results came back in the 24 hours to midnight on Monday.
The latest outbreak has peaked at 473 daily cases announced on Monday.
There are now 3799 active cases in the state.
Victorian Treasurer and Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas on Monday warned that the construction industry's permitted worker status was not guaranteed, following reports of people working maskless.
"We'll do everything that we can to ensure that the construction industry can continue in a COVID-safe way, but I have to say this … employers, unions are on notice. We've had significant transmission on building sites, and we simply can't afford not to act if that continues to grow," Mr Pallas said.
Victoria considers vaccine mandate for construction workers
The Victorian government is reportedly considering making COVID-19 jabs mandatory for construction workers in a bid to reduce transmission of the virus at worksites. The building industry was flagged as one of the main sources of COVID-19 hotspots in Victoria by Treasurer and Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas and a four-week compliance blitz targeting the sector was announced."This industry is in a very, very precarious position," Mr Pallas said."The construction industry is young, it is mobile as a workforce.
A senior government source, and an industry source, told The Age the
"There's every chance it'll be made mandatory," said the state government source, who was not authorised to comment on the issue publicly, said.
Video: Victoria records 25 new local cases as it aims for 1 million jabs in five weeks (Sky News Australia)
Victoria's Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said in a statement to its members last week that it supported vaccinations, but backed individual choice over a compulsory edict.
"If you are stood down or refused work based on your personal choice toward vaccination, we will represent you within the confines of the law," the union wrote.
"The CFMEU has consistently stated that we believe in individual choice regarding vaccination."
Dan Andrews to unveil what restrictions he will lift in Melbourne
The premier will set out what freedoms will be restored to Melbourne residents in the coming weeks as the state's vaccination rate steadily increases.The premier will set out what freedoms will be restored to Melbourne residents in the coming weeks as the state's vaccination rate steadily increases with 41.44 per cent fully jabbed so far.
Nick Brown, co-founder of construction company Icon and the current managing director of Riversdale Co, said mandatory vaccinations will have to be accepted.
"I think that everybody will accept mandatory vaccinations that have to happen. This is one of those industries where you can't just do things individually," Mr Brown told radio station 3AW on Tuesday morning.
But it wouldn't be without backlash, with Mr Brown saying he has lost workers who refused to get vaccinated for subcontracting jobs.
Mr Brown questioned why rapid antigen testing couldn't be introduced for multi-storey sites.
"The outbreaks have happened on multi-storey sites where you can have control because you have one entry, you have a lift where people go up, why can't we have rapid antigen testing?" he said.
"Then you know that everybody that you're working with, everybody that you come in contact with, you understand doesn't have COVID."
Over the coming week, the state government will open 20,000 priority Pfizer and unlimited AstraZeneca bookings for the state's 320,000 construction workers.
Victoria records 423 new cases as state waits on restrictions lifting
Victoria recorded 423 new cases in the past 24 hours to midnight, with 149 linked to known cases, as the state waits for Premier Daniel Andrews to announce a lifting of some restrictions.Two people were reported to have died with Covid-19. The deaths bring the toll from the current outbreak to eight deaths.
Teams of officials will also be sent to worksites to crack down on compliance with public health rules.
Victoria would become the first jurisdiction in the country to make jabs mandatory for construction workers if it commits to the plan.
Aged care is the only sector where vaccination is compulsory, while NSW has mandated all teachers be vaccinated by November 8.
It comes as casino giant Crown became the latest company to announce it has plans to introduce mandatory vaccinations for staff and a ‘no jab, no entry' policy for visitors to its Melbourne, Sydney and Perth resorts.
"This is about protecting every Australian - we want to create a safe environment for people to come to work, and also for our guests to come to enjoy themselves," Crown Resorts chief executive Steve McCann said in a press release on Tuesday.
The plan follows similar moves from Qantas, Telstra and Virgin Australia to introduce mandatory vaccinations for staff.
According to the federal Health Department's data, 66.8 per cent of eligible people in Victoria have had one dose of a vaccine while 40.95 per cent have had two.
Dan Andrews wants mandatory jabs for ANOTHER group of workers .
The Victorian government is set to announce vaccine mandates for another industry just days after rolling out the measure for construction workers sparked violent mass protests in Melbourne.Education Minister James Merlino is set to announce the policy for teachers this week, with department drafts detailing plans to have all staff fully-vaccinated by the end of the year, according to the Herald Sun.