Statewide vaccine mandate comes into effect as Victoria records 2179 new COVID-19 cases, six deaths

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A vaccine mandate has come into effect for all Victorian authorised workers, as the state recorded 2179 new coronavirus cases and six deaths, and the ACT has been downgraded to an “orange zone” under the travel permit system.

Friday’s figures come from more than 73,942 COVID-19 tests and represent a drop of more than 100 cases from the national record, 2297 that Victoria set on Thursday.

About 1.25 million Victorians now have to be vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to continue attending their workplaces. Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

More than 38,752 Victorians received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a state-run clinic on Thursday. Victoria now has 21,324 active coronavirus cases.

A COVID-19 vaccine mandate came into effect for all authorised Victorian workers on Friday, with about 1.25 million people now required to be vaccinated with a first dose to keep attending their workplaces.

The deadline for a first dose does not apply to workers who already had a vaccine mandate in place under the Chief Health Officer’s directions prior to October 1, including construction workers, healthcare workers, aged care workers, and teachers.

All authorised workers must have their second jab by November 26 to keep attending their workplaces.

When Premier Daniel Andrews announced the mandate a fortnight ago, he said it was not a decision made lightly, flippantly, or “for fun”. “There’s too much at stake,” he said.

Mr Andrews said it was not a matter for businesses to enforce the mandate; rather, it would be enforced by the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

“Ultimately, if you want to come to work and you’re on the authorised list, you need to have your first jab by [October 15],” Mr Andrews said.

Authorities announced on Thursday that, from 11.59pm, the ACT would be downgraded from a “red zone” to an orange zone under Victoria’s traffic light travel permit system.

The change is in line with lockdown lifting in the territory, and means people in the ACT who are not residents of Victoria are now allowed to come into the state. It also means Victorian residents returning from the territory no longer have to quarantine for 14 days.

Residents and non-residents alike must isolate upon arriving in Victoria, get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving, and stay isolated until they return a negative test result.

Mr Andrews confirmed Victoria remains on track to follow its road map out of lockdown next week, despite the new national record for daily case numbers on Thursday.

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