Victoria has recorded 1,220 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths overnight as the state recovers from another day of anti-vaccine protests attended by angry workers soon to be sacked by vaccine mandates.
More than 100 anti-vaccine protestors marched through central Melbourne on Saturday, with Victoria Police forced to make several arrests.
The demonstrators flooded the city just one day after sweeping vaccine mandates were announced by the Victorian Government.
Authorised workers must have received their first vaccine dose by October 15 and a second by November 26.
The requirement will cover retail workers, personal trainers, MPs, journalists, faith leaders, judges, police, lawyers, actors and professional sportspeople.
Victoria has recorded 1,220 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths overnight (pictured, a woman shopping in Melbourne)
There were 36,248 vaccines administered and 71,275 Covid-19 tests conducted in the last 24 hours (pictured, a woman receives a Pfizer vaccine in Melbourne)
Under the plan, constructions sites can reopen for workers who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. They must be fully vaccinated by November 13.
At around 1pm, dozens of anti-vaxxer protestors marched through Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens along the Yarra River, some chanting ‘my body, my choice’.
The group travelled past the National Gallery of Victoria and the ABC’s Melbourne Headquarters, with police separating the crowd into smaller groups to make arrests.
By 2pm, the angry crowds had mostly dispersed as it appeared protestors were outnumbered by police.
The protest is believed to be the largest in size since hundreds of demonstrators rioted at the Shrine of Remembrance on September 22.
Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar expressed his frustration at the actions of anti-vaccine protestors during a press conference on Saturday.
‘We get the fact that people are frustrated, we get the fact that we’re upset. You’re not helping yourself, you’re not helping anybody,’ he said.
‘At best, you run the risk of generating more transmission. At worst, you know you’re creating, you’re fuelling a bonfire, that’s already on fire. I just think it’s a really unhelpful thing to do.’
Sunday’s 1,220 new cases comes the infections announced on Saturday smashed the pandemic record of 1,438 recorded on Thursday, with 1,488 new infections
Construction workers who have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to return to the worksite from Tuesday (pictured, construction workers on Chapel Street on Saturday)
It comes as the cases announced on Saturday smashed the pandemic record of 1,438 recorded on Thursday, with 1,488 new infections.
VICTORIA’S NEW VACCINE MANDATES
*From October 15 every authorised worker in Victoria will need at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine
*Authorised workers will need to have had two doses by November 26
*Construction sites are set to reopen on October 5
*Sites can only be attended by workers who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine
*Construction workers must be fully-vaccinated by November 13
There were 36,248 vaccines administered and 71,275 Covid-19 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. There are 11,785 active cases of the virus across the state.
The state’s vaccination rate is currently sitting at 85 per cent first dose and 51 per cent double-dosed.
Meanwhile, construction workers will be allowed to return to the worksite from Tuesday, with several safeguards in place.
All operators will need to formally attest their site complies with the industry-wide health directions.
Workforce caps remain for some building sites, except for outdoor state government projects, and single-dose workers can set up ahead of Tuesday’s reopening.
Fully vaccinated workers can move between regional Victoria and Melbourne, while tearooms will reopen with enhanced cleaning, density limits and additional ventilation.
The reopening comes after the construction industry was placed into a two-week lockdown following anti-vaccination demonstrations.
Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar (pictured) expressed his frustration at the actions of anti-vaccine protestors during a press conference on Saturday
Premier Daniel Andrews has given all authorised workers an ultimatum: get vaccinated within the next two weeks or risk losing their jobs (pictured, a pedestrian in Melbourne on Saturday)
Premier Daniel Andrews has given all authorised workers an ultimatum: get vaccinated within the next two weeks or risk losing their jobs.
It comes as Greater Shepparton and Moorabool Shire, to the west and north of Melbourne, both entered snap, seven-day lockdowns to contain growing cases.
Shepparton and its surroundings recently battled a major outbreak that sent about a third of its population into home quarantine, before the region emerged from lockdown just over two weeks ago.
Students in regional Victoria are set to return to classrooms from Monday after several weeks of remote learning at home.
Children in prep to Year Two, as well as students in their final year of study, will return to classrooms full-time from October 4.