Chairman Dan’ Stage 4 restrictions on businesses will see hundreds of thousands of workers staying home
On-site business activity across Melbourne is now limited to permitted industries as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce movement across our city and slow the spread of coronavirus after the Chief Health Officer’s directions came into effect at 11:59 pm last night.
The Stage 4 restrictions on businesses will see hundreds of thousands of workers staying home rather than moving around the community with all employees who cannot work from home now required to obtain a permit to confirm that they are working in a permitted industry.
Access to childcare and kinder is also restricted to permitted workers – whether working on-site or from home – where there is no one else able to supervise their children, and to vulnerable kids.
Under the new directions, high-risk industries including meat processing, supermarket and medical distribution, and construction will be permitted to continue operating on-site within strict guidelines and must implement High Risk COVIDSafe plans.
The Victorian Government has worked closely with businesses, industry groups and unions in developing the list of permitted work premises and the business operating reduction guidelines and we are grateful for the input of all stakeholders.
The decision about where to draw the line on different categories of jobs can never be simple or easy but there is no alternative but to take these steps. We must take unprecedented action in limiting the movement of people, and therefore limiting the movement of this virus – to do otherwise would be deadly.
Unless we drive case numbers down to significantly lower levels, the Victorian economy will not be able to re-open and restrictions would continue indefinitely, forcing the contemplation of a much longer list of shutdowns.
We know that today will be a very difficult day for many Victorian businesses and many Victorian workers, and significant support is available from the Victorian and Commonwealth governments to help get people through the coming weeks. JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments are available for eligible workers, and grants from the Business Support Fund are open for many businesses across both metropolitan and regional Victoria.
The Government will continue to consult with industry and workers and be guided by expert health advice as Victorians navigate these restrictions together over coming weeks.
Business operating reduction guidelines for all industries will be released today and will be available on the Business Victoria website.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself in a position where I’d have to ask people not to go to work. But right now, that is exactly what we are asking of so many Victorians to help slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
“I want to thank everyone for their understanding and patience over the past few days as we worked with industry and with unions to map out how Stage 4 would work. No process like this can be perfect but we will continue to work together in coming weeks.”