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Covid-19 News Updates


COVID-19 restrictions to ease in LGAs of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan and more from 4pm today

COVID-19 restrictions to ease in LGAs of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan and more from 4pm today

A number of Queensland local government areas (LGAs) will have restrictions eased from 4pm today in line with the rest of the state, after no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were recorded overnight.

The LGAs of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island will see some restrictions removed, allowing more people to gather at venues and permitting dancing in clubs.

On the advice of Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young, cafes and restaurants will return to one person per two square metres indoors and outdoors, and stadiums and events can have full capacity.

Up to 100 people can gather in homes, with no limit for people gathering in public spaces.

Visitors are once again permitted at aged care, correctional centres, hospitals and disability centres, and up to 200 people can attend funerals and weddings.

Some restrictions will remain, however, with Queenslanders still required to check-in at venues and wear masks where social distancing is not possible (like in shopping centres and on public transport).

“Because Queenslanders have done a great job, Dr Young has advised us this morning that those restrictions can ease,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Updated at 12pm AEDT on 8 October 2021.

Returning Queensland residents to take part in home quarantine trial

Returning Queensland residents to take part in home quarantine trial

Queensland may have the nation's highest levels of net interstate migration as Australians in locked down areas pull up stumps to move to the Sunshine State, enticed by the affordability, climate and relatively free lifestyle, but it has not come without its costs.

One of those costs - or indeed deterrents - is hotel quarantine, but starting next week the state will start trialing a new home quarantine system to make life easier for new arrivals, provided they have been fully vaccinated with at least two weeks having passed since the second dose was received.

Following pilot programs in South Australia and New South Wales that will form the basis for a nationwide set-up once international borders reopen, from 11 October 1,000 returning Queensland by air will be given the opportunity to trial the new model.

"We are so excited for this trial of home quarantine to commence in Queensland where we will see up to 1,000 returning Queenslanders offered an opportunity to participate," Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath said.

"On 11 October, Queensland residents currently located in a COVID-19 hotspot, who have already applied to return home, will be invited to trial this new model.

"Those who have already applied to return to Queensland will be contacted by the Government to ascertain their eligibility to participate."

Minister D’Ath said it was important for participants in the trial to take it seriously.

"We ask that those Queenslanders taking part in the trial take the requirements of quarantining at home very seriously, to give the trial the best chance of success and possible future expansion," she said.

She said participants would need to nominate their quarantine address, which must be located within one of the eight approved local government areas (LGAs) - Brisbane (excluding Moreton Island), Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast, Redland (excluding the islands of the Redland LGA).

"These Local Government Areas have been chosen because they are within safe driving distance of the port of arrival, in this case being Brisbane Airport," Minister D'Ath said.

"Where a returning Queensland resident has nominated a private residence to complete the home quarantine trial, any other people who normally reside at the same location, and who will remain there during the quarantine period, will also need to quarantine.

"As all Queenslanders would want, strict criteria must be met by the person taking part in the home quarantine trial."

Apart from vaccination and the need for them to arrive by air, other requirements for trial participants include the following:

  • Have returned a negative PCR test within 72 hours of entry;
  • Use the home-quarantine check-in system;
  • Quarantine at home for 14 days;
  • Subject themselves to tests on days one, five and 12; and
  • Have a suitable home with a direct entry.

Interstate arrival statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in August show a net migration into Queensland of more than 7,000 in the March quarter and 9,763 in the December quarter. These figures are 5-7 times the state with the second-highest net migration rate - Western Australia.

Updated at 3.23pm AEDT on 7 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 

Hardship panel for NSW businesses that “fell through the cracks” welcomed by peak body

Hardship panel for NSW businesses that “fell through the cracks” welcomed by peak body

A new ‘Hardship Review Panel’ established in New South Wales to consider financial support for businesses that did not quality for existing COVID-19 assistance measures has been welcomed by the state’s peak business organisation.

The panel will assess, on a case-by-case basis, businesses which did not meet the eligibility requirements for the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, Micro-business Grant and JobSaver payments.

It will consider a broad range of factors in determining whether a business has experienced financial hardship, with the Chief Commissioner of Revenue NSW to be ultimately responsible and make the final determination for applications.

Factors that the hardship panel will consider include whether the business is an employer, in a highly impacted industry, in a local government area (LGA) of concern or has unavoidable costs for which no other support is available.

Businesses will be back-paid to the fortnight where they can demonstrate the required decline in turnover with the Panel. Hardship applications for JobSaver are now open with hardship COVID business grants and Microbusiness grants to open later this month.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the Review Panel would help those businesses experiencing genuine financial hardship that were previously ineligible for support payments and grants.

“COVID-19 has affected so many businesses in NSW and even though we have a number of support measures in place, there are still some businesses under severe financial strain that aren’t eligible for assistance for a number of reasons. We want to plug that gap as much as we can,” Tudehope said.

Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said the Panel is an important initiative and one the organisation is “more than happy to support”.

“There is concern amongst the business community that some may ‘fall through the cracks’ when it comes to the support packages,” Hunter said

“Establishing a panel to assess each case that doesn’t automatically fit the criteria gives business the confidence to put their case forward.

“The pandemic has shown that different industries have been impacted in different ways, and different parts of the state have been impacted at different times.”

Updated at 12.27pm AEDT on 7 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

New Premier accelerates NSW freedom roadmap as 70 per cent double dose target hit

New Premier accelerates NSW freedom roadmap as 70 per cent double dose target hit

After New South Wales hit the coveted target of 70 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated yesterday the newly appointed Premier Dominic Perrottet today announced some changes to his predecessor’s roadmap, bringing forward some easing of restrictions.

The changes alter the previously announced roadmap which will see stay-at-home orders lifted from Monday 11 October, and allow for larger gatherings at home and outdoors, the reopening of swimming pools, and more attendees at funerals and weddings.

New Premier Perrottet says the changes are able to be made because of the sacrifices and efforts made by the people of NSW to hit the 70 per cent double dose milestone.

“We’ve always said vaccination is the key to our freedom and the sacrifices and the efforts of people right across New South Wales have ensured that we can open up as quickly and safely as possible,” Perrottet said.

As such, from Monday, 11 October:

  • Swimming pools will reopen for swimming lessons, squad training, lap swimming and rehab activities
  • The number of people allowed to visit homes will double from five to 10 people
  • Up to 30 people will be permitted to gather together outdoors
  • Weddings and funerals can have up to 100 people in attendance

In addition, Premier Perrottet has brought forward the reopening of all schools, with all students to return to class by the 25 October.

Changes have also been made to what will happen once 80 per cent of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated.

Once that happens, masks will no longer need to be worn in the office, outdoor venues will be allowed to apply for an exemption to the 5,000 person cap for major events, and more people will be allowed to gather in homes and outdoors generally.

“I want to thank every single person right across New South Wales,” Perrottet said.

“This is not over, but to get to 70 per cent is incredibly successful for everybody right across New South Wales.

“If we continue to work together, if we continue to make the effort and make the sacrifices that we have all been making, New South Wales will be open again.”

In addition, Deputy Premier Paul Toole said workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose. 

"This move ensures we get businesses in the regions re-open and local economies buzzing again. It's about ensuring we make this a roadmap that works for everyone,” Toole said.

Confirmation that businesses will be able to reopen on Monday are a cause for celebration within the business and broader community according to Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter.

“We have reached the milestone quicker than initially expected, thanks to the community across NSW stepping up, and as a result, business can re-open,” Hunter said.

“Premier Perrottet has also confirmed that when we reach the 80 per cent milestone, masks won’t be required to be worn in office environments. That will have a huge impact on the return to work procedures of many businesses and will provide a big boost to the various CBD’s across the state."

“Next Monday is being called ‘back-to-business day’ because that’s what it is for hundreds of thousands of business owners and their employees across our state."

Updated at 9.29am AEDT on 7 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

Vaccination soon mandatory for WA resource workers

Vaccination soon mandatory for WA resource workers

The Western Australian government has made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all workers in mining, oil and gas exploration, as well as visitors to operations and fly in fly out (FIFO) workers from December. 

The State has also made the jab mandatory for all workers at regional and remote mine sites, in addition to people who run critical infrastructure, which includes remote train and port control.  

Workers must receive their first dose by 1 December to continue accessing their workplace, and be fully vaccinated by 2022.

Employers will be responsible for recording the vaccination status of their employees, with exemptions for approved medical reasons.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said he was urging workers to get vaccinated.

"To all the impacted workers who have done their share throughout the pandemic, stay the course and heed the health advice. I'm urging you to take this next step and get the COVID vaccine now," said McGowan.

"We've worked with industry along the way and what is not lost on all of us is that because the resources sector was able to operate during the height of the pandemic, Western Australians have benefited and enjoyed freedoms other places in the country cannot.”

To accommodate the shift, the State government is opening a pop-up vaccination clinic at Perth Airport on 11 October, encouraging FIFO workers to get the jab on their way to and from work.  

The new move will address risks posed by the movement of resource workers and aims to protect Aboriginal people in remote communities, as well employees.

"If a resources worker became infected with COVID-19 and the virus was then transmitted to one of our remote Aboriginal communities where people are very vulnerable to the illness, the consequences would be disastrous,” Health Minister Roger Cook said.

"We want to avoid that dreadful scenario and ensure all Western Australians are protected.

"So, my message for resources sector workers is 'Roll up for WA' - and do your bit to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community."

To register and book a vaccination, click here.

Vaccines to be required in all City of Melbourne facilities

All staff, contractors and visitors attending City of Melbourne operated facilities must be fully vaccinated from Friday, 5 November as part of the Victorian capital's push to reopen safely from COVID-19 restrictions.

City of Melbourne CEO Justin Hanney announced the mandate today, which will apply to any City-run site including libraries, recreation centres, community facilities and administration offices like Town Hall.

"We believe that COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to reopen our city, while protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and our broader community. Our people have overwhelmingly told us they agree," Hanney said.

"As we continue to provide essential services and support our community, we want to ensure the City of Melbourne is a safe and healthy place to work, and our facilities remain safe places to visit.

"This is a complex decision that we have not made lightly, and we’re currently working through next steps."

The mandate does not apply to those with a valid medical exemption.

Updated at 9.41am AEST on 6 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

Victorian construction restarts amidst record daily case numbers of 1,763 COVID infections

Victorian construction restarts amidst record daily case numbers of 1,763 COVID infections

After restrictions on the Victorian construction sector eased overnight permitting some workers to return to sites today, the state hit a new daily case record of 1,763 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections this morning.

This represents the highest daily record for any Australian jurisdiction since the pandemic began, and comes as four people with COVID-19 died in the last 24 hours.

Despite the large number of cases recorded in Victoria every day the state is trucking along with its plans to reopen swathes of the economy, beginning with the construction sector which exited a two-week pause overnight.

As of 11.59pm on Monday, 4 October, the construction industry was allowed to reopen as long as all workers carried an Authorised Worker Permit and had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

In addition, every construction site in Victoria must also have a designated and fully-trained COVID Marshal to ensure compliance with the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

As part of the reopening of the sector, up to five workers and a supervisor will be able to work onsite for small scale projects, while large scale sites can have up to 25 per cent of workers on the ground.

Further, if crib rooms meet best practice and the entire workforce is fully vaccinated, large scale construction sites can have up to 50 per cent of workers onsite.

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 the 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.

“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,” Victorian Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas said.

“I want to thank the large number of men and women from the construction sector who have gone and got vaccinated, and if you haven’t booked your jab – get it done today.”

SA border communities under tightened COVID-19 restrictions

Three border communities in the southeast of South Australia were placed under Level 3 restrictions at 4pm yesterday, giving health authorities time to trace the movements of a Mount Gambier resident who tested positive to COVID-19.

The local government areas (LGAs) of Mount Gambier City, District Council of Grant and Wattle Range Council saw the new restrictions introduced yesterday which cap gathering numbers in the home and in venues.

New restrictions for Mount Gambier City, District Council of Grant and Wattle Range Council:

  • One per four square metre density for all defined public activities
  • No communal consumption facilities
  • Seated food and beverage consumption only
  • COVID Management Plan events of more than 1,000 people outside only
  • Shisha ban
  • Masks for high risk settings, passenger transport services, health care services and personal care services (except for the person receiving the service, if necessary for the provision of the personal care service)
  • Restrictions on dancing and singing
  • Gathering at home cap: Residents plus two people (gatherings at residential premises, including residents of residential premises)
  • Private activity cap: 10 people (private activities at non-residential premises)
  • Masks for shared indoor public places (except bridal parties during ceremonies) and indoor fitness facilities (except while exercising).

Updated at 8.40am AEST on 5 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

Universities praise TGA recognition of new vaccines to help international student recovery

Universities praise TGA recognition of new vaccines to help international student recovery

One of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic received welcome news today when the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced it would recognise two vaccines that are widely used around the globe - Coronavac (Sinovac) and Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India).

The recognition has far-reaching ramifications for the international students who contribute to one of Australia's largest export industries, as it means if they've had these vaccines they will be able to enter the country once borders reopen under a one-week home quarantine scheme.

The two vaccines have been administered in two of Australia's largest sources of international students - China and India - but Sinovac is also used in Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Egypt, Libya, Oman, Turkey, the Ukraine and elsewhere.

Group of Eight chief executive Vicki Thomson said the decision gives certainty to Australia’s international students.

"This is a major milestone in ensuring a smooth transition for their return to Australian campuses, when the Federal and State Governments deem it safe to do so," Thomson said.

"Importantly, we can now provide clear advice to our international students, who while continuing their studies offshore have had to rely on the vaccines made available to them."

The Group of Eight, Australia’s leading research-intensive universities which enroll the majority of international students, wrote to the Minister for Health Greg Hunt last week, seeking urgent advice on the Government’s position on the vaccination requirements for international students.

"The Go8 has around 30,000 international students studying offshore, they have stuck by our world class universities during the pandemic with the expectation that they can eventually be back in Australia to resume their studies on campus," Thomson said.

"Today’s announcement will provide a much-needed boost to our international student community.

"The recent announcement of the phased return of international students into NSW by the end of the year is also welcome and a key step forward in Australia’s post pandemic recovery."

She explained international students comprised a significant proportion of research cohorts studying in key areas such as engineering, information technology and agriculture.

"Without these students, Australia risks suffering skills gaps in the very areas that we are increasingly going to need to be competitive in a post-pandemic environment," Thomson said.

"We are especially pleased to see the emphasis on safety in the NSW Government’s announcement. While we have been strong advocates for the importance of international students to our community and economy, we have also always emphasised the need to maintain safety by following the expert health advice."

Updated at 4:49pm AEST on 1 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


International travel restrictions to be lifted for vaccinated Australians in November

International travel restrictions to be lifted for vaccinated Australians in November

International travel is on track to reopen for fully vaccinated Australian travellers under Phase C of the National Plan, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison expecting a new system to be rolled out in November with proof of vaccination documents.

"It will be time very soon that we'll be able to open those international borders again," the Prime Minister told a press conference this afternoon.

The new arrangements include seven-day home quarantine for returning Australian citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated, but this will only be valid with vaccinations that are recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

In positive news for many Australians struck overseas and also for the higher education sector, the TGA took steps today towards recognising the commonly used Sinovac and Covishield vaccines.

People who are unable to be vaccinated, for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition, will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of travel.

The implementation of the home quarantine plan is still subject to the results of home quarantine pilot programs in New South Wales and South Australia.

For arriving travellers who are unvaccinated the standard 14-day managed quarantine would apply.

States and territories are however set to begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates, but Morrison said when they hit the 80 per cent vaccination target and move into Phase C the caps at airports will be lifted.

"We've already got the technology and the other things in place that will support those states being able under Phase C of the plan to enable their residents and citizens to leave the country and return, and also those residents and Australians who are overseas to return to Australia if they are vaccinated with uncapped restrictions on their arrival in those states," the PM said.

"We're also offering facilitated commercial flights for Australians overseas into states and territories that agree to commence those home quarantine trials, and I look forward to discussing that further with my colleagues this afternoon.

"Once changes are made in November, the current overseas travel restrictions related to COVID-19 will be removed."

The government is also working towards establishing quarantine-free travel to certain countries such as New Zealand when it is safe to do so.

"Once restrictions are remove, we'll be able to access an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document - that will be in the coming weeks - to prove their vaccination status abroad, and that proof of vaccination for international travel will include a QR code that is readable globally."

Updated at 1:17pm AEST on 1 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

Mid-October deadline set for Victorian worker vaccinations, plans slated for construction recovery

Mid-October deadline set for Victorian worker vaccinations, plans slated for construction recovery

All workers on Victoria's authorised worker list will be required to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 15 October if they wish to continue working on-site, with a second dose necessary by 26 November.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made this announcement today for workers in both Melbourne and regional Victoria, after the state recorded 1,143 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and three deaths from the virus.

"Yesterday's case numbers [1,438] I think took a lot of people by surprise. It's probably fair to say that many people would have been quite concerned, scared even, to see a number as high as that," the Premier said.

"Today obviously is less than that, and we're pleased, although we shouldn't underestimate the challenge that 1,143 COVID patients present for whether it be our hospitals in the ultimate sense, contact tracers, all the other support services, and of course the challenge that they'll face having to isolate away."

The Premier emphasised the new vaccination requirements were not about stopping people from going to work, but making sure the state can open up safely.

"These steps are not taken lightly, but they are critically important," Andrews said.

"The good news is that many, many of those around 1 million to 1.25 million authorised workers will already have had a first dose; a bunch of them will have had two doses - this is about making sure that we go that extra mile to protect the roadmap to opening.

"We know that vaccination is our way through this. Vaccination is the most effective weapon against getting infected, and then if you do happen to get infected...it is the most effective tool against becoming really, really sick."

To ensure authorised workers can receive their vaccine in time, the state government is also expanding its GP and pharmacy grant program to priority local government areas (LGAs) in regional Victoria and doubling the number of grants available for the existing LGAs.

This will provide more of Victoria's primary care network with $4,000 and $10,000 grants.

"We've been well oversubscribed, and we're going to fund in the first instance all of those who have applied, so it's around another 90 to 100 GP surgeries and pharmacy businesses that will receive those grants that will allow them to employ more staff to operate longer hours, to perhaps rent some space where their clinic or their pharmacy business is not quite big enough to be able to run essentially a mini-vax hub," Premier Andrews said.

"I don't know [if] there's any other state doing this. We're very pleased to partner with both the AMA (Australian Medical Association), the College of General Practice, individual GPs, the Pharmacy Guild and of course pharmacists who are doing a fantastic job.

"These are simple, common-sense partnerships that will mean more jabs in more arms."

Victoria will also have a walk-up Moderna blitz from 4 October to 10 October 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

"If you’ve been putting it off or waiting to get vaccinated, don’t wait any longer. The best vaccine is the vaccine you can get today and we all need to do our bit to protect the community and get back to the things we love," added Minister for Health, Martin Foley.

COVIDSafe reopening plan announced for Victorian construction

The Victorian Government has also announced an easing of restrictions for the construction industry from 11.59pm on Monday, 4 October, following close collaboration between the government, industry and unions.

In order to work on-site, all workers will need to continue to carry an Authorised Worker Permit and have had at least one vaccine dose. Every construction site in Victoria must also have a designated fully trained COVID Marshal to ensure compliance with the Chief Health Officer‘s directions.

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.

In order to make this process as easy as possible, 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 on-site 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 practice 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 our 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 on-site workers must be fully vaccinated by 13 November.

Fully vaccinated workers can travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in order to work on-site.

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.

"A massive effort has gone into getting the 18,000 strong Big Build workforce vaccinated and project sites ready to return to work in compliance with new construction public health orders," Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan said.

"This is a challenging time for Victoria, and we are focused on keeping our sites safe – to slow the spread of coronavirus, and continuing to build big for Victoria."

"I want to thank the large number of men and women from the construction sector who have gone and got vaccinated, and if you haven’t booked your jab – get it done today," Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Pallas, said.

Updated at 12:27pm AEST on 1 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

North Kirra, Greenmount surf clubs among exposure sites as QLD records three new cases

North Kirra, Greenmount surf clubs among exposure sites as QLD records three new cases

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the Kirra Beach Surf Club was an exposure site, based on the CHO's announcement that the 'Kirra Surf Club' was a site. However, Queensland Health's updated list reveals the location in question was in fact the Greenmount Beach Surf Club.

Two iconic locations in the southern Gold Coast are among new COVID-19 exposure sites listed after a locally acquired case was active in the area while infectious for four days from 25 September.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called on people in the area to come forward for testing if they have any symptoms, with Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young noting one new case attended the North Kirra Surf Lifesaving Club, the Kirra Surf Club [since clarified as Greenmount Beach Surf Club], Timezone, local cafés and Woolworths at the Strand.

The individual is linked to the aviation training facility cluster and is believed to have caught the virus while at the office, after which he went to the Gold Coast with his family and stayed at the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort.

There were three new COVID-19 cases in total reported this morning, one of whom was in hotel quarantine and is not believed to be a risk to the state, and another who acquired the virus interstate and had been in the Queensland community for one day on 29 September.

"This is a gentleman who travels up and down from New South Wales picking up animals and relocating them, so he was infectious in the community for a short time in the Gold Coast when he was picking up an animal there - he was contacted by New South Wales health that he was a positive case," Dr Young said.

Queenslanders have responded positively to calls to get the current outbreak under control with 19,764 tests conducted yesterday.

"That gives us an added layer of confidence at this stage but we do want to see continual high rates of testing to make sure we do not have any community transmission," the Premier said.

"What's really important at the moment, and the fundamental reason we are not in lockdown, is because we do not have any seeding or unlinked community transmission.

"If we do see any unlinked community transmission I'm quite sure Dr Young will not hesitate to recommend a lockdown."

Queensland Health administered 21,712 vaccines yesterday, taking the state total to two million so far, equating to 65.72 per cent of the state's population that has received at least one dose and 46.74 per cent with two doses.

"Don't forget all of our hubs accept walk-ins, so if you have not had your vaccine, today is the day to go and get your vaccine.

"If you don't go to the vaccination hubs, go and see one of your local GPs or of course the pharmacies are administering that as well."

The news follows Queensland's implementation of Stage 2 restrictions in the local government areas of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island from 4pm yesterday for a timeframe of two weeks.

Updated at 10:34am AEST on 1 October 2021.

This update is brought to you by Employment Hero.

Click here to go to Employment Hero’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for essential resources to help employers, managers and HR specialists navigate the ongoing pandemic. 


 

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