Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has announced all “authorised workers” will need to have the COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to maintain the state’s trajectory for ending lockdown on 26 October.
All “authorised workers” across Victoria will be required to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Friday 15 October in order to continue working onsite.
“Authorised workers” will also need to have received their second dose by November 26.
The Victorian Government’s authorised workers list includes, “Any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of… services related to property inspections, settlement or commencement/end-of-lease”.
While they have yet to make a statement on the vaccine mandate, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria has previously shared its support for vaccinations.
“There is a clear message from health professionals and government that vaccination rates will be the key determining factor in the relaxation of restrictions,” REIV said in a statement last month.
“The real estate sector’s response to COVID-19 has been inspiring. From a swift and professional initial response to ongoing agility and continuous integrity, people in real estate have been exceptionally resilient since COVID-19 struck.
“As we look forward, we thought it is important to urge members to play their part in ensuring a quicker return to business as usual. Vaccination is the only way and we all have a role to play in helping the state get back to business.”
Mr Andrews said while restrictions have been the state’s “primary weapon” through the pandemic, they can now look towards vaccination rates.
“With the supply of vaccine finally becoming widely available, we’re able to choose a different path – to protect workers who can’t do their essential work from home, protect our health system, and our reopening,” Mr Andrews wrote.
“On the advice of the Acting Chief Health Officer, and all authorised workers in Melbourne and regional Victoria will require their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday 15 October in order to continue working onsite.
“We know that the vaccine is our best protection. The modelling and our public health advice is clear: with authorised workers moving around the state the most, vaccination not only protects them, but also their families and our whole state.”
Barry Plant has previously called on the Federal Government to bring in vaccination passports quickly, with Chief Executive Officer Nigel O’Neil explaining it would be beneficial to the real estate industry.
“I think clients are going to want to view a vaccine passport and I urge our Federal Government to make this happen as a matter of priority,” he said.
“Whether we go down the path of putting agents’ vaccination status on their online profiles or not will really need to be thought through very carefully.”
Mr Andrews said in a press conference on Friday it was “critically important” the state does not see cases continue to climb, as the Victorian hospital system was already under “immense pressure”.
Victoria recorded 1143 new local cases of coronavirus on Friday and three deaths.
“I just won’t do that to our nurses, our doctors, to all of our teams of those dedicated health professionals and I won’t do it to non-COVID-19 patients who ought to be able to expect if they have a heart attack they can get the care that they need,” Mr Andrews said.
“The good news is that many, many of those around one million to 1.25 million authorised workers will already have had one dose, a bunch of them will have two doses.
“This is about making sure that we go that extra mile to protect that roadmap to reopening, to protect the 26 October or perhaps even a few days earlier and to make sure that we can open, be free and not have our health system overwhelmed with patients who are completely avoidable.”