Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced another 250,000 workers will be sent home from their workplace – to either work from home or without a job for the next six weeks – under tough new lockdowns in a bid to slow the state’s growing covid-19 numbers.
“If we’re serious about driving this thing down – and we absolutely must be – we need to take unprecedented steps in limiting the movement of people, and therefore limiting the movement of this virus,” he said.
“Today I can announce three lists that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions. These changes, in addition to the previous restrictions including working from home requirements, will mean around 1 million Victorians are no longer moving around the state for work.”
On Sunday Premier Andrews announced a range of personal movement restrictions under stage 4, including an 8pm curfew, a 60-minute limit to outdoor exercise daily and a requirement that people stay within a 5km radius of their home.
While essential services including supermarkets, chemists, petrol stations, bottle shops, and banks remain open, other retailers, manufacturers and service-based businesses will close. Some retailers can open for contactless ‘click and collect’ or delivery.
Other workplaces, including building sites and abattoirs, will operate on minimal mandated staffing levels.
The rules on what businesses can or cannot open are listed below.
Here are the key details:
- All open businesses and services will have until 11:59pm Friday 7 August to enact a COVIDSafe plan. This plan must focus on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace.
What stays open:
The following retail services (plus everyone involved in our frontline response) will continue to operate:
- grocery stores
- bottle shops
- petrol stations
- post offices
What has to close
Industries where onsite operations will have to cease for the next 6 weeks include
- some manufacturing
These businesses will all need to close by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shut down safely.
Retail stores not listed above will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place.
Hardware stores can remain open onsite, but for tradespeople only.
Industries permitted to operate
In industries that can’t close, but where we’ve seen a number of cases or emerging new risks, we’ll be making some big changes to make these workplaces safer – for workers and for their families.
This includes mandated reductions to the number of workers onsite.
- The meat industry workforce will be scaled back to two-thirds. This will apply to abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state.
- Warehousing and distribution centres in Melbourne will be limited to no more than two-thirds the normal workforce allowed onsite at any one time.
- The construction sector will also move to pilot-light levels. For major construction sites, that means the absolute minimum required for safety – but no more than 25% of the normal workforce onsite. Small-scale construction will be limited to a maximum of 5 people onsite.
These workplaces that are continuing to operate will also have additional requirements including extra PPE, staggering shifts, staggering breaks, health declarations and more support for sick workers to ensure they stay home.
Support for affected businesses
Businesses in regional Victoria can apply for a $5,000 grant.
Businesses in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for up to $10,000 in recognition of spending longer under restrictions.
The Premier said the Industry Coordination Centre within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will consider cases of businesses that “fall into grey areas when it comes to their operation”.
Here’s the Stage 4 restrictions for business