Victorian businesses close once again in seven-day snap lockdown
From 11:59pm pm on 27 May, Victoria will go into lockdown for seven days until 3 June in an effort to suppress the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
The decision came after a further 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Victoria - all of which were acquired locally through community transmission, bringing the total to 34 active COVID-19 cases and more than 150 exposure sites.
Victorians will only be allowed to leave home for the four reasons we have become familiar with, with one addition:
- Shopping for food or essential items (within a 5-kilometre radius of your home)
- To provide caregiving or medical treatment
- For exercise (outdoor only and only with one person in your household)
- Work or study if not possible from home
- To get a COVID-19 vaccine
While this will be the fourth time Melbourne has had to go into lockdown, it will be the first lockdown businesses will have had to face without JobKeeper support.
“This fourth wave lockdown will be devastating for business because there are no supports like JobKeeper or rent relief this time around. We estimated that the five-day Valentine’s Day lockdown cost Victorian business more than $1 billion so we are looking at a hit of around $1 billion this time around, and that’s if it remains confined to the seven days. The Victorian Chamber will be advocating for a substantial assistance package for impacted businesses,” said Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra.
“This lockdown will break some businesses, no doubt about it. So many were just hanging on by a thread and that thread has now been severed. The cost is not only monetary, there’s also the huge cost of jobs, confidence and reputation. We have taken a massive hit today about how we will be viewed on a national scale.”
How the restriction impact you
The snap lockdown will have a devastating impact on many businesses in Victoria who were just beginning to regain a sense of normalcy. The new restriction includes:
- Essential businesses can remain open – supermarkets, post offices, pharmacy etc.
- Pubs, bars, and nightclubs to be closed (takeaway allowed)
- Restaurants and cafes to be closed (takeaway and delivery allowed)
- Beauty and personal care services to be closed
- Gyms and indoor sports centers to be closed
- Galleries, museums, zoos to be closed
- Holiday accommodation and camping facilities to be closed
- Funerals restricted to 10 people (plus staff)
- Weddings cancelled
- Schools and universities to operate online only
- Property auctions must be held online
There are a number of social restrictions that Victorians will also have to comply with:
- Facemasks must be worn indoors and outdoors
- Exercise must be restricted to two hours per day
- No visitors in the home except for intimate partners
- No public gatherings
More information and help
For more information about what requirements are in place and what resources are available for your business, visit the Victorian Chamber’s COVID-19 resources page here.
As always, the most up-to-date information about restrictions are available on the Victoria Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website. For information about how restrictions affect your business, visit the Business Victoria website.
If you, as an employer or an employer’s representative feel unsure about what your organisation has in place or would like help in putting a plan in place, please do not hesitate to contact the Victorian Chamber’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) team on 03 8662 5196.
Members can also call our Workplace Relations Advice Line on 03 8662 5222 to discuss their employment obligations and any issues that arise.
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