Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Lockdown Five will end across the State from 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 July. While thousands of businesses and employees will be able to get back to work, strict restrictions will remain in place for two weeks.
“To every Victorian who checked in with our QR system, who got tested and quarantined, and stayed home to slow the spread of this virus, thank you – it’s because of you we’ve able to get on top of this Delta outbreak and open up our state,” said the Victorian Premier in a statement.
While businesses in both Metropolitan and Regional settings will be able to reopen their doors to the public, households are required to keep their doors shut to friends, family and visitors.
Key changes to restrictions announced include:
- Removal of the ‘five reasons to leave home’
- Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria unrestricted
- Schools to reopen for all year levels
- Hospitality and retail to reopen with a density limit of one person per four square meters with a patron cap of 100
- Offices can reopen to 25 per cent capacity with masks to be worn
- Funerals and weddings can proceed with a limit of 50 people
While New South Wales continues to battle its COVID-19 outbreak, the Victorian Government has toughened State border restrictions, with the City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and the Murrumbidgee Council to no longer be included in the cross-border bubble.
The announcement to ease restrictions has come as a welcome relief as millions of Victorians get back to businesses.
“Victorians have for the second time quashed an outbreak of the Delta variant. Businesses have made enormous sacrifices for the health of our community,” said Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra.
“Business is battered and bruised. The financial reserves are gone; the emotional reserves are gone. We need to see some further financial support coming from the State and Federal Governments to enable businesses to restart: restock, pay the rent, pay wages and get going again.”
Business restrictions explained
Coming into effect at 11:59pm on 27 July, the five-kilometer travel limit will end along with the ‘five reasons to leave home’.
While many restrictions have lifted, masks will continue to be required ‘always’ - meaning outdoors and indoors – including the workplace, even if workers are not public-facing.
Despite the working from home directive being lifted with the scrapping of the ‘five reasons to leave home’, office workers are encouraged to continue working from home if possible.
Offices will be able to open to 25 per cent capacity or up to 10 people if the workplace is 40 or less. The same density quotient of one person per four square meters applies to office settings.
Masks will continue to be required to be worn at all times in the workplace.
Pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, and food courts are once again permitted to host seated guests only – no standing service. As public gatherings are limited to 10 people, hospitality venues may only accommodate groups of up to 10.
Venues will be required to honor a venue capacity of 100 patrons, with a density quotient of one person per four square meters. Venues smaller than 100 square meters can have up to 25 people per venue before the density quotient applies.
COVID-19 Check-in Marshals must ensure all patrons check-in using the Service Victoria QR Code system.
Dancefloors remain closed.
All retail businesses will be able to open their doors to the public, but maintain a density quotient of one person per four square meters. Businesses smaller than 100 square meters will be allowed up to 25 customers at a time. As always, QR code check-in systems are required and all visitors must check-in before entering the premises.
Hairdressing, beauty, personal care
While these businesses will require the same density limits as those for retail business, beauty and personal care services will be the only businesses to receive an exemption for where masks are required.
Hotels and accommodation services will once again be allowed to welcome guests for single households, intimate partners, or single bubbles. Premier Daniel Andrews urged Victorians and accommodation businesses to treat each booking as a ‘home away from home’, meaning the same no-visitor restrictions that apply to the home, also apply to home.
Entertainment and events
Indoor fixed seated entertainment venues including cinemas can open to a maximum of 100 people per space with a group limit of 10 people. Density quotient of one person per four square meters applies in non-seated areas. The same restrictions apply to video game arcades, escape rooms, and bingo centres.
The MCG, Marvel Stadium and AAMI Park will remain silent as major events remain closed to the public. Smaller outdoor fixed-seating entertainment can open to a maximum of 300 people per outdoor space.
Drive-in cinemas are the only entertainment venues where no patron cap applies.
Weddings and funerals
Both weddings and funerals for the next two weeks will be limited to no more than 50 people per event, regardless whether the event is indoors or outdoors.
Wedding celebrant and photographers are not included in the 50-person cap, along with those necessary to conduct the funeral.
Dancefloors will not be permitted at weddings.
Travel to regional Victorian Alpine Resorts is permitted to visitors, on the condition that visitors and workers have received a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Children under 12 years of age are not required to present a negative test.
All visitor and workers must be able to show evidence of a negative test as a condition of entry onto all ski fields.
For more detailed information about what restrictions are currently 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 Victorian Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website. For specific 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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