Premier Daniel Andrews has announced Victoria will enter a five-day state-wide lockdown from midnight on Thursday night until 11:59pm on the following Tuesday night. The Premier also hinted that parts of Regional Victoria may be able to exit lockdown "before next Tuesday if it is safe to do so.”
“If we act now – while we’re right on the heels of this outbreak – we can give ourselves every chance of getting ahead of it.”
Victorian COVID-19 Response Commander, Jeroen Weimar, fronted the media earlier in the day to announce that 16 cases of COVID-19 were present in Victoria across multiple regions, resulting in more than 75 exposure sites.
This will be Victoria’s fifth lockdown since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the second without the support of the JobKeeper program.
“Victorian businesses are frustrated that they are again suffering the consequences of the virus migrating here from another state. Lockdown Five will be the last straw for some businesses and that’s incredibly sad. This must be short and sharp – if we’re going in quickly, we must come out quickly,” said Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra.
“Let’s stop talking about lockdowns and start rolling more money and resources into the vaccination program - because that’s the way we are going to get back to working and living normally. Our fight is not against each other, it’s against COVID-19 and the best weapon is vaccination. We need a vaccination sprint out instead of the current vaccination strollout.”
Given Victoria has again been forced into lockdown, the Victorian Chamber is advocating for a joint Federal and State Government assistance package to be applied immediately.
We would like to see this package endorsed by National Cabinet tomorrow (Friday) with COVID-19 relief payments for both businesses and workers flowing immediately, given that Victoria has barely emerged from Lockdown Four before being plunged back into restrictions again.
Victorians will once again only be allowed to leave home for five reasons:
- Shopping for food or essential items (within a five kilometre radius)
- To provide caregiving or medical treatment
- For exercise (up to two hours per day)
- Work or study if not possible from home
- To get a COVID-19 vaccine
Identical to the restrictions imposed during Lockdown Four, less than two months prior, restrictions include:
- Protective facemasks must be worn indoors and outdoors (except for at home)
- Essential businesses can remain open – supermarkets, post offices, pharmacies 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
Businesses are reminded to make sure all visitors to the workplace use the Service Victoria QR code checking-in system and to have a COVID check-in Marshal present, if required. All workers are also reminded to stay at home if feeling unwell and get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Help and support
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.