COVID-19

Australia: Construction sites closed after anti-vaccine protests

Authorities in Melbourne, Australia, decided on Tuesday to close construction sites in the city, due to non-compliance with anti-COVID-19 rules by workers working there and after protests against the new and stricter rules. .

• Also read: More than 200 arrests in Melbourne during an anti-lockdown rally

• Read also: United Kingdom will send four million doses to Australia

These sites will be closed for two weeks in response to the lack of compliance with anti-COVID-19 regulations and the protests that have occurred, according to authorities in Australia’s second city.

More than a hundred construction workers expressed their anger on Monday in central Melbourne, where they broke windows to protest against their obligation to get vaccinated.

The city of Melbourne has lived for seven weeks in strict containment in the face of the rapid progression of the Delta variant. But sources of infection have been identified in construction sites where compliance with regulations is more lax, according to authorities. “We have been clear: if the rules are not followed, we do not hesitate to take action,” said Victorian Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas, announcing the authorities’ decision to close the works.

“We have warned the industry [du bâtiment] a week ago. We have seen scandalous behavior on construction sites and on the streets, so we are acting decisively and without hesitation, “he said.

This administrative closure of the sites puts tens of thousands of workers into technical unemployment, and demonstrations are expected on Tuesday after this decision.

The head of the local construction union, John Setka, denounced, in the strongest terms, the behavior of the most violent protesters.

“These dumb and drunken fascists, unworthy of Australia, are the reason construction workers will be staying home unpaid for the next two weeks,” he said.

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