How long into 2022 this lockdown lasts depends on your choices in the next few weeks. Be safe and if you plan to get vaccinated, book now.

Qantas will require its frontline staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November, making it the second major Australian company to do so, after SPC’s announcement last week. Qantas admin staff must be vaccinated by the end of March, 2022.

“One crew member can fly into multiple cities and come into contact with thousands of people in a single day,” said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

“Making sure they are vaccinated given the potential of this virus to spread is so important and I think it’s the kind of safety leadership people would expect from us.

“We understand there will be a very small number of people who decide not to get the vaccine, and that’s their right, but it’s our responsibility to provide the safest possible environment for our employees and for our customers,” Joyce said.

Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash called a meeting of employer associations and unions on the vaccine rollout and workplaces to discuss the issue today.

“Vaccination is free and voluntary, but we strongly recommend that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as they can,” Senator Cash said. “A key focus of (today’s) discussion will be on how businesses can comply with their work, health and safety obligations, including without mandating the vaccine.”

Mandatory vaccination with a vaccination rule managed by access control systems is the only way to seamlessly manage workplace COVID-19 vaccination as Australia faces down the Delta variant. Relevant for security managers is that because Delta is as infectious as ordinary ‘flu, a single infected staff member could infect dozens during the working day.

It’s also clear that NSW’s tightened lockdown is not suppressing case numbers, with 633 new cases announced today. To the observer it’s clear the NSW state government is trying to slow the infection rate in order to preserve a stretched hospital system but does not believe it can stop the outbreak. Further, SEN contacts in the healthcare industry report talk at higher levels that the current lockdown will extend through Christmas.

For organisations in the security industry across Australia and New Zealand, the message is clear. Pointing fingers at layers of government which have all the operational sensitivity of a watchmaker wearing oven mitts, denies personal responsibility. Follow basic COVID safety procedures, including masking and distancing, and get your team vaccinated as quickly as possible.

There’s some good news in the latest COVID-19 figures – there were 106,000 vaccinations in NSW yesterday, the highest level yet.