Source: 7news / – With AAP
Tradesmen in Melbourne have appeared to protest a ban on ‘tearooms’ by setting up tables and taking their meal break in CBD streets.
On Friday, dozens of workers sat on plastic chairs in the middle of Lonsdale Street, Swanston Street, Spencer Street and Sydney Road.
They blocked traffic and forced the cancellation of trams on Spencer Street.
Similar protests have also occurred in Kew, Parkville and Richmond.
It comes after the Victorian government imposed tough restrictions on the industry, with 13 per cent of the state’s active COVID-19 cases linked to construction sites.
All construction workers will be required to show evidence to their employer that they’ve had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, by 11.59pm on September 23.
Limited medical exemptions and proof-of-booking exceptions will apply, in keeping with the vaccine mandate for aged care workers.
In further changes from 11.59pm this Friday, construction site workers are banned from crossing the metro-regional boundary for work, tearooms must shut, and food and drink can no longer be consumed indoors.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the decision was backed by health advice and designed to keep the construction industry open at its 25 per cent workforce cap.
“If they want to work and be part of that 25 per cent, they need to be vaccinated with one dose by midnight next Thursday night,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“If they’re not, they won’t be able to come on site. That’s keeping them open. The other thing would be to close them down to zero.”
The industry was earlier this week warned it risked losing its authorised worker status amid the launch of an enforcement and vaccination blitz.