Covid-19 Victoria: Melbourne tradies protest tea room closures at construction sites

It seems Melbourne’s tradies aren’t happy with their tea rooms being closed, with dozens taking to the streets in protest.

Melbourne’s tradies have taken to the streets in a bizarre way on Friday morning to protest against the closure of tea rooms on construction sites.

Premier Daniel Andrews revealed tea rooms on worksites needed to be closed due to the increasing risk of Covid-19 transmission within the construction industry.

On Friday, workers took their smoko and lunch break to the street to protest against the new rule.

Workers set up an outdoor break room at the intersection of A’Beckett and Elizabeth streets in Melbourne’s CBD, blocking cars and holding up traffic.

Similar protests were also held outside construction sites in Spencer St and in Richmond.

Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar has warned tea rooms were one of the “most dangerous” spots for the spread of the virus as case numbers continue to rise among construction workers.

Mr Weimar said a number of cases in the latest outbreak, including at construction sites, were being transmitted in tea rooms.

“It’s probably where we drop masks to eat and drink and where we see people,” Mr Weimar said.

The Premier announced on Thursday that tea rooms would be closed at construction sites and food or drink cannot be consumed indoors at work.

Mr Andrews said worker shift bubbles must be practised and all sites will require a CovidSafe marshal.

Construction employees are now unable cross the metropolitan-regional boundary for work and will need to have their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination by 11.59pm on September 23 to be able to continue working during the lockdown.

“Construction workers have a week to get, if they’ve not already got a first dose, to go and get a first dose of any of the vaccines,” Mr Andrews said.

“We have seen too many cases in construction.”

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Originally published as Melbourne tradies protest virus tea room closures at construction sites


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