Updated 9 November 2020, 5:30pm
On Sunday 6 September, the Victorian Government announced its four steps to reopening.
From 11.59pm Sunday 8 November, metropolitan Melbourne became aligned with regional Victoria in the third step of easing restrictions. Among the changes, the ‘ring of steel’ border and 25km rule was removed. Workplaces will no longer need to be on the permitted work list to open and worker permits to travel into regional Victoria are no longer required.
From 11.59pm Sunday 22 November, Victoria will move into the last step of the roadmap before entering COVID Normal. These changes include an increase on private and public gatherings, an increase on density limits for some businesses, and a further reopening of businesses in the entertainment and leisure industries.
A summary table is found below.
Under each of the steps, businesses will fall into one of four categories: closed, heavily restricted, restricted, or open with a COVIDSafe Plan. What a business must do under each of these categories will vary based on the industry they operate in and whether they are in metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria. The below provides a summary of the restrictions. More information on industry restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria can be found on the following Victorian Government websites.
What restriction levels mean for business
|Closed:||No people on site except for emergency maintenance and repairs|
|Heavily restricted:||Staff can only attend work if permitted. Staff in permitted work premises must work from home if they can. Density quotients will apply. Staff levels will be reduced and the number of patrons will be limited. Businesses will also need to keep records and act quickly if staff become unwell. They will be required to ask staff to declare in writing or electronically before each shift that they are free of symptoms, have not been in contact with a confirmed case and have not been directed to isolate. Employers must ensure that staff members are not working across other work sites.|
|Restricted:||Ensure physical distancing with staff working from home wherever possible, applying density quotas, some sectors can have additional staff and patrons and no carpooling to work. Practice good hygiene with auditing of cleaning schedules. Keep records and act quickly if staff become unwell. Ask staff to declare verbally before each shift that they are free of symptoms and create workforce bubbles by limiting the number of staff members operating across other work sites.|
|Open with a COVIDSafe Plan:||Staff should work from home wherever possible, density quotient applies and ensure staff follow current public health directions when carpooling.|
Further details of the restriction levels can be found on the Victorian Government website.
Summary of steps towards COVID Normal
|All of state|
Regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne aligned from 11.59pm Sunday 8 November
From 11.59pm Sunday 22 November
Please visit our Business Restrictions – all of state page for further information on individual sectors.
Victoria will move into the last step of COVID-normal subject to public health advice.
- No restrictions on leaving home
- No restrictions on public gatherings but organisers encouraged to keep records of attendees
- No restrictions on visitors at home
- Schools open for onsite learning with safety measures
- Hospitality and retail all open
- No limits on weddings or funerals but organisers encouraged to keep records of attendees
- Galleries, museums and other entertainment venues open with safety measures and record-keeping
All open businesses and services are required to enact a COVIDSafe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace. For COVIDSafe Plans templates and guides, see below download links. For further information on employer obligations visit Business Victoria.
The Victorian Chamber is partnering with the Victorian Government to deliver a business mentoring program to help small businesses navigate the economic challenges posed by restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Click here to view more details about the program.
The Victorian Chamber’s Business Restart Services page can help support businesses to restart safely.