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(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: VICTORIA: Police have arrested over 100-people protesting against #COVID19 vaccination rules day after state government announced mandatory coverage for around a million workers #AceNewsDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Oct.04: About 1 million Victorians are currently deemed authorised workers: Similar rules apply to authorised workers in local government areas of concern in New South Wales.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that The Victorian government on Friday set a two-week deadline for all authorised workers to be vaccinated with at least one dose of a #COVID19 vaccine… Treasurer Tim Pallas today said business groups had been “crying out for the state” to make the mandate to protect workers.Victorian workers react to vaccine mandates

Play Video. Duration: 8 minutes 10 seconds
Industry heads across Victoria react to recent news of a vaccine mandate for authorized workers, affecting around a million people.

A group of about 200 protestors walked from the Royal Botanic Gardens, through Southbank and towards the Shine of Remembrance on Saturday.

A group of protesters on a street.
The protesters chanted slogans against mandatory vaccination.(AAP: James Ross)

Chanting slogans such as “my body, my choice” — a slogan typically associated with the pro-choice abortion movement and now often used by people against mandatory vaccinations — the demonstrators held a banner reading “freedom”.

Victoria Police detain a protester near the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Police outnumbered protesters for much of the afternoon.(AAP: James Ross)

Victoria Police officers trailled the group as it moved.

A spokesperson later confirmed officers arrested 109 people “for various offences” and issued 108 penalty notices for breaching lockdown orders.

“Victoria Police will continue to have a highly visible presence to maintain public safety, and to ensure any protest activity that breaches the CHO directions does not impact on the broader community’s right to go about their daily lives,” a spokesperson said.

Under Melbourne’s lockdown rules, people are allowed to meet in groups of five fully vaccinated people from two households for recreation, or as two people who are not fully vaccinated.

Exercise and recreation is allowed within 15 kilometres of the home, and masks must be warn outside.

Unlike in late September, where violent scenes erupted at the Shrine of Remembrance, the group was dispersed before it reached the memorial site.Protesters marched across the Royal Botanic Gardens, trailed by groups of police officers.

The largely leaderless protest movement has been linked to far-right groups, with some experts expressing fears that people with legitimate concerns were being infiltrated by agitators.

While the group was largely broken up by the early afternoon, plans aired on encrypted messaging apps to converge on a different location did not eventuate in significant numbers.

He said that, if people were hoping to return to work soon without being vaccinated, history had shown the “insidious virus” did not go away easily.

“The one thing that can undermine our community resolve is people not doing the right thing and getting vaccinated,” he said.

He warned it would not be a “short-term aberration” and authorities needed to engage with people who were concerned about getting vaccinated.

The vaccination mandate has been met with a mixed reaction from industry groups.

Many stakeholder groups fully supported the move, while some wanted more consultation from the government.

The Liberty Victoria advocacy group has said the widespread use of vaccine mandates should be a last resort.

Instead, the group said time-limited incentives such as vaccine passports were preferable.

Victoria is on track to have the vast majority of its adult population vaccinated within coming months, with 81.5 per cent of those aged 16 years and over already receiving at least one dose.

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