Western Australia imposes COVID-19 vaccine on miners and natural gas workers

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MELBOURNE, Oct.5 (Reuters) – Western Australia said on Tuesday it would require all employees working with natural resources to have a first injection of COVID-19 starting in December to help protect vulnerable indigenous communities while as the country begins to open up.

People working in mining, oil and gas exploration must receive their first dose by December 1 and must be fully immunized by January 1, the government said. The mandate also applies to all workers entering and leaving remote sites and all visitors to those operations, he said.

“The new guidance will address the risks posed by the movement of resource sector workers (…) to and from regional and remote locations in Washington State, with many sites and operations located in or near communities. remote aboriginals, ”Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement. jointly with the country’s ministries of mines and health.

Western Australia, which produces more than half of the world’s iron ore and about half of its lithium, is home to major miners such as BHP Group (BHP.AX), Rio Tinto (RIO.L) and Fortescue (FMG .AX).

There are approximately 141,000 workers in the natural resources sector in Western Australia.

The state has been one of the most protected jurisdictions in the world during the pandemic, having largely locked down the virus by closing state borders, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lobbied heads of state for them to open their doors and learn to live with the virus.

Australia closed its borders to international arrivals last March. Morrison said last week that international flights would resume next month. Read more

Western Australia has recorded just 1,109 cases and nine deaths out of a population of around 2.7 million and has managed to avoid the months of lockdown seen in the country’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

Western Australia has fully vaccinated 54% of its population, more than the 46% of the population who received two vaccines across Australia.

(The story has been passed on to remove the superfluous word from the track and add changes to the last two paragraphs)

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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