Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews announced on Monday 3rd of August that the most recent set of restrictions imposed around Victoria would affect many businesses and workplaces.
These changes, in addition to the previous restrictions, will mean around 1 million Victorians are no longer moving around the state for work.
This will see around a quarter of a million Victorians stood down form their jobs or told to stay home from work, as entire industries across Melbourne are required to close and many other businesses will have to operate at reduced capacity and with fewer staff to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
These additional restrictions will come into play across the next week and will run for a period of 6 weeks.
For the area of Metropolitan Melbourne, industries will be divided into 3 different categories.
- industries that can continue to operate supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, news agencies, post offices – plus everyone involved in our frontline response – will continue to operate.
- industries that must cease onsite operations: including retail, some manufacturing and administration. These businesses will all need to close by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shutdown safely.
- industries permitted to operate onsite with significantly restricted or industry specific obligations. Retail stores will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place, and hardware stores can remain open onsite, but for tradespeople only.
Below is a comprehensive list of industries effected, you can find a more in depth list here.
All retail stores will be required to close except for:
- Supermarkets and grocery stores
- Bottle shops
- Convenience stores and newsagencies
- Petrol stations
- Post offices
- Hardware, building and garden suppliers retailing for trade
- Specialist stationery suppliers for business use
- Disability, health, mobility device and equipment retailers
- Maternity supply retailers
- Motor vehicle parts for emergency repairs, only agricultural retailers (drive through only)
The Victorian Government said it considered the meat production and seafood processing industries to be essential, but high-risk. They will be allowed to continue across the state, but with the following restrictions:
- Businesses must reduce their production by a third of peak capacity
- Workers can only work at a single site, and must wear PPE
- Supermarkets will be required to reduce their distribution centre workforce by a third of its peak level
Manufacturers of these products must close:
- Metallic mineral products
- Fabricated metal products
- Wood products
- Leather tanning, fur dressing and leather goods
- Knitted products
- Clothing and footwear
- Domestic appliances
Manufacturing of these products can continue with a 'COVID safe' plan:
- Food and beverages
- Medical equipment and PPE
- Petroleum and coal products
- Basic chemicals
- Coffins and caskets
- Aluminium smelting
- Cement and lime
- Pharmaceutical goods
- Sanitary products
- Telecommunication infrastructure
- Goods for defence or security industries
- Residential building supplies
- Pulp, paper and converted paper products
- Cleaning products
- Fertiliser and pesticides
- Printing and support services
- Glass and glass products, including lenses
- Computer and electronic equipment
- Critical infrastructure public works goods
- Heavy trucks
- Specialised machinery and equipment
- Transport equipment
- Polyethylene and resins
These operation can continue with skeleton staff, to ensure facilities and equipment are safely maintained and environmental requirements are met:
- Polymer and rubber manufacturing
- Other basic chemical production manufacturing
- Primary metal and metal product manufacturing
- Basic polymer manufacturing
Construction sites will have the following restrictions:
- Any building project of more than three storeys can only have a maximum of 25 per cent of normal employees on site
- Any building of three storeys or less must have a maximum of five workers, including supervisors, on site
- Each site must have a COVID safe plan
- Workers can only work at one site during stage four
- There must not be blending of shifts
Financial and insurance services
The following can continue to operate:
- Bank branches
- Critical banking services to support credit and payment facilities
The following can only operate outside the office:
- Non-depository financing
- Financial asset investing
- Insurance and superannuation funds
Horse and greyhound racing
Horse and greyhound racing will be allowed, with limits on the people who can attend.
The following sites will be closed:
- Whole trade unrelated to food and medical supplies, except where it is critical to supply a permitted service
- Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts wholesaling
- Furniture, floor coverings and other goods wholesaling
- Commission-based wholesaling
The following will be allowed with a COVID safe plan:
- Grocery, liquor, tobacco wholesaling
The following will be closed on site:
- Personal care, including hairdressers
- Photographic film processing
- Car washes
The following can continue with a COVID safe plan:
- Laundry and dry cleaners
Information, media and telecommunications
These businesses will close onsite activities:
- Book publishing
- Directory and mailing list publishing
- Other publishing
- Software publishing
- Motion picture and sound recording activities
- Library and other information services
These workplaces can continue with a COVID safe plan:
- Telecommunication services
- Newspaper and magazine publishing
- Radio and television broadcasting
- Internet publishing and broadcasting
- Internet service providers, web search portals and data processing services
- Screen production
- Production, broadcast and distribution of supporting services for critical functions such as law enforcement, public safety, medical or other critical industries
Rental hiring and real estate services
These businesses cannot continue in the workplace:
- Rental and hiring services
- Property operators and real estate services
These businesses can continue with a COVID safe plan:
- Rental and hiring services where supply is to a permitted service or industry
- Farm animal and bloodstock leasing
- Rental hiring and real estate services
Professional, scientific and technical services
These workplaces must close:
- Architectural, engineering and technical services
- Legal and accounting services
- Market research and statistical services
- Management and related consulting
- Professional photography
- Computer system design and related services
These workplaces can continue:
- Those involved in COVID-19 scientific services
- Hazard monitoring and resilience
- Biosecurity and public health
- Medical or other research where Australia has a competitive advantage and which cannot be shutdown
- Critical scientific facilities
Administration and support services
These services cannot operate in the workplace:
- Employment services
- Travel agency and tour group services
- Office administration services
- Document preparation services
These businesses can continue:
- Building and grounds maintenance, cleaning and pest control
- Call centres providing critical services
- Employment services that cannot be delivered online
As of 11.59pm Wednesday 5th of August, regional Victoria will return to Stage 3 Restrictions.
This means you must stay home except for the following four reasons:
- For food and essential supplies
- For study or work
- For care and healthcare
- And for exercise or outdoor recreation
When outside your home, you must wear a face covering.
No visitors are allowed at your home, and you are only allowed to gather with one person from outside your household in public.
A full list of Stage 3 restrictions can be found here.
To support businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program:
- $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of spending longer under restrictions
- $5,000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire)
Businesses which have already received a BSFe grant, or have applied for one, will not need to re-apply. Successful applicants will automatically receive this additional allocation.
Applications for the program will be extended until 14 September 2020.
This program is in addition to the first round of the Business Support Fund, which closed on 1 June 2020.
Businesses can apply where they meet all the criteria listed below. They must:
- operate a business located in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire
- be a participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme
- employ people
- be registered with WorkSafe on 30 June 2020
- have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
- be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as at 30 June 2020
- hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020
- be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.
Businesses that have received funding from other components of the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package are eligible to apply for this program.
Business owners that do not employ people (non-employing businesses) are not eligible for funding through this program. Employing businesses must provide their WorkCover Employer Number in the application form for verification.
Grant funds, for example, may be used to assist the business with:
- meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries or rent
- seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
- developing the business through marketing and communications activities
- any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.
More information and how to apply can be found here.
Find out if your business is eligible for any other Government funding here.