On Sunday 6 September, the Victorian Government announced its steps to reopening, outlining how restrictions will be eased and the key ‘trigger points’ that must be met for this to happen.
Under each of the following 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 by ensuring staff work from home wherever possible, applying density quotas, some sectors can have additional staff and patrons, and no carpooling to work. Practise good hygiene by auditing of cleaning schedules. Keep records and act quickly if staff become unwell by asking staff to declare verbally before each shift that they are free of symptoms, and creating workforce bubbles by limiting the number of staff members working 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
|Regional Victoria||Metropolitan Melbourne|
|First step only applies to Metro Melbourne.||
(11:59pm 13 September)
11:59pm 13 September
28 September and when we reach an average daily case rate in metro Melbourne of 30 to 50 cases over a 14-day period with public health advice regarding transmission source
When daily average number of cases in the last 14 days is less than five and there are less than zero cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days
26 October subject to trigger points and public health advice
All of state (From 23 November when there are no new cases for 14 days across Victoria)
Subject to public health advice the state can enter the COVID Normal when there are no new cases for 28 days and no active cases (state-wide) and no outbreaks of concern in other states and territories.
- 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
For COVIDSafe Plans templates and further information on employer obligations visit Business Victoria. There are also further resources to help you enact a COVIDSafe Plan, understand permit requirements, and an overview of the support available to your business on the Victorian Chamber’s COVID-19 resources for business webpage.