Victoria’s recovery set to accelerate as more COVID-19 rules scrapped

20 April 2022

The Victorian Chamber has welcomed the State Government’s announcement that most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from 11.59pm this Friday, April 22.

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Masks will no longer be required for hospitality, retail and personal services workers, household contacts will not have to isolate if they test negative to COVID-19 and are not experiencing symptoms and businesses will no longer be required to check the vaccination status of customers.

The key changes to the state’s pandemic orders include:

  • Patrons won’t need to have two doses or show their vaccination status to enter any venue. Staff and patrons will not need to check-in via the Service Victoria app, and operators will not need to keep attendance records or maintain a check-in marshal
  • Masks will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood, hospitality and retail settings, or at events of any size
  • Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine, though they are advised to wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. They will also need at least five negative rapid tests over the seven-day former isolation period
  • All visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed except for mask requirements. However, health services can tailor their own settings based on circumstances
  • Events with more than 30,000 people will not require public health pre-approval
  • Symptom-free international travellers will be recommended but not required to get a PCR or rapid test on arrival, and unvaccinated travellers will no longer complete seven days’ quarantine. Pre-departure tests for unvaccinated air crew will also be lifted
  • People do not need to test or quarantine for 12 weeks if they’ve had COVID-19 (up from eight weeks)
  • While individuals will need to notify their workplace and social contacts, workplaces won’t have to individually identify and notify each potentially exposed workers.

Some rules will remain in place. Anyone who catches COVID-19 must isolate for seven days. Masks are required on public transport, airports, justice facilities and care facilities. Existing two-dose and three-dose vaccination mandates for workers still apply.

The development follows a strong Victorian Chamber advocacy campaign for the changes.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra said: “The Victorian Chamber is delighted that today’s State Government announcement will put COVID-19 in the rear-view mirror and empowers business to accelerate into our recovery, leaving masks, check-in baggage and strict isolation requirements behind.

“It is exactly the right step from the State Government and passes the baton for the State’s recovery back to the business sector. It is a bold step, but it is a necessary step, and it is one that the Victorian Chamber has been pushing for over recent weeks.

“Hospitality, retail and personal services staff will relish being able to go mask free and no longer having to check the vaccination status of their customers and clients. The scrapping of isolation requirements for household contacts who test negative will have a huge positive impact on the current issues business faces around staff shortages.

“Importantly, we will now see the alignment of restriction levels for Australia’s two largest economies – Victoria and NSW. The handbrake is off, the light is green and we are ready to accelerate into our post-pandemic recovery.”

More Information

For more information about the implications for your business, visit the Victorian Chamber’s COVID-19 resources page here.

If you, as an employer or an employer’s representative, need further assistance, 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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