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Last Updated: 18/10/2021

 

UPDATE 18/10/2021 SAFE AND SENSIBLE ISOLATION CHANGES AS WE HIT 70%

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, from 11.59pm Thursday 21 October, non-household primary close contacts (PCCs) who are fully vaccinated will only need to quarantine for 7 days.

This change will also apply to industry, where all workplace primary close contacts will be required to isolate for 7 days if they are fully vaccinated. Household and unvaccinated PCCs will still be required to isolate for 14 days.

PCCs required to isolate for 7 days will need to return negative test results on both day 1 and day 6 of their quarantine.

Critical industries such as health services and supermarkets will maintain their own furlough arrangements that have been developed based on public health advice and in recognition of their unique settings.

Household contacts of a positive case will need to continue to isolate for 14 days as they continue to have the highest risk of infection, with on average 45 per cent of all household PCCs testing positive even when fully vaccinated – a far greater risk of infection than Tier 1 PCCs.

Full press release 


UPDATE 18/10/2021 70% DOUBLE DOSE VACCINATION TARGET TO BE REACHED THIS WEEK 

After an incredible effort from Victorians and record vaccination rates, Victoria is set to hit its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target in the Roadmap nearly a week early and significant restrictions are set to be eased.

Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan has set Victoria on a hopeful path to opening while preserving our health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most.   

The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

With our first dose vaccination rate at almost 90 per cent, Victoria will this week hit a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over having received both their vaccine doses.

Because of this, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has determined that at 11.59pm on Thursday 21 October, Victoria will move forward in opening up and more restrictions will be eased.

With more than 3.5 million Victorians now fully vaccinated and having taken the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family, their friends and the entire community, Victoria is heading towards being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world. Victoria has delivered more vaccines through our state-run hubs than any other state or territory in Australia.

These vaccination rates, in addition to revised Burnet modelling and lower than predicted length of stays in hospital mean further steps will be able to be taken at the 70 per cent double dose that were not previously outlined in the Roadmap, including visitors to the home and larger patron caps in certain businesses.

Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne. To ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.

Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated.

Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.

In regional Victoria, indoor settings – like restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated.

Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people.

A density quotient of 1 per 4 sqm will apply to indoor settings and a density quotient of 1 per 2 sqm will apply to outdoor settings

Full Press Release 

Updated Roadmap for Regional Victoria 


UPDATE 8/10/2021 INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER 

The purpose of these directions is to impose obligations upon employers in relation to the vaccination of workers, in order to limit the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within the population of those workers.

The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions commence at 11:59pm on 7 October 2021 and end at 11:59pm on 21 October 2021.
 

FULL DETAILS CLICK HERE

Information for industry and workers required to be vaccinated

Information about workers who are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19
CLICK HERE


UPDATE 27/09/2021 - VICTORIA TO HIT 80 PER CENT FIRST DOSE VACCINATION TARGET

Read full media release

After another big week of vaccinations, Victoria is set to hit its first vaccination target on the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan and a modest easing of restrictions will be able to occur this week.

Victoria’s Roadmap sets out a hopeful path to opening while also preserving our health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most.

The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds including hospitalisation rates, and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

On Tuesday, Victoria will pass its first threshold on the Roadmap with 80 per cent of Victorians having received their first vaccine dose. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that at 11.59pm on Tuesday 28 September there will be a modest easing to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, in line with the Roadmap.

In regional Victoria, outdoor settings for restaurants and cafes will have their outdoor venue cap increase from 20 to 30 people. Masks may be removed if the service requires it in hair and beauty salons, so facials and beard trimmings can recommence.

Full table of restrictions 
 


UPDATE 22/09/2021 - BALLARAT LOCKDOWN LIFTED FROM 11.59PM WEDNESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER

Read full media release

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home.
  • Residents of regional Victoria must not travel to metropolitan Melbourne (or City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire), other than for permitted reasons. These include:
    • for authorised work or permitted education
    • to visit an intimate partner
    • for care and compassionate reasons, including permitted child minding
    • to access necessary goods and services provided they are from the facility that is closest to where you live;
    • other limited reasons such as moving house
      • While in these areas, you need to follow the restrictions in place.
  • You cannot go to metropolitan Melbourne (or City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire) to get a COVID-19 vaccination, even if you have a pre-existing booking, unless you are only going to a Local Government Area that is adjacent to where you live in regional Victoria.
  • There are no restrictions on travelling to other parts of regional Victoria. If visiting an Alpine resort, you must have a COVID-19 test performed and receive a negative less than 72 hours before entering the resort.
  • Face masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors for people aged 12 and over and are highly recommended for primary school aged children. You do not need to wear a mask in your own home, or if a lawful exception applies.
  • If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested for COVID-19.
  • Businesses in regional Victoria must conduct a I.D check to ensure that patrons attending do not reside in metropolitan Melbourne or City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.

CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER DETAILS

 


UPDATE 19/9/2021 - VICTORIA'S ROADMAP OUT OF LOCKDOWN

roadmap

 

 


 

SUPPORT CONTINUES FOR VICTORIA'S REGIONAL BUSINESSES

Cash grants for regional businesses most affected by the current lockdown will proceed next week, unaffected by today’s announcement that restrictions in most areas outside of Melbourne will be lifted from Friday.

Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula and Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford said full payment for the two weeks from 2-16 September  – automatic deposits ranging from $5,600 to $40,000 – would go ahead, as had always been intended.

Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four grants will be made to about 18,000 regional business at tiered levels, depending on worker numbers.

Businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000 will receive $5,600 – equal to two weekly payments of $2,800. Businesses with a payroll of $650,000-$3 million will get $11,200 (two weekly payments of $5,600) and businesses with a wages bill of $3 million-$10 million will receive $16,800 (two weekly payments of $8,400).

The grants can be used to pay for costs such as wages, rent, utilities and insurance by businesses including gyms, cafes, hairdressers, nail salons, dance and swim schools, and accommodation, tourism and events businesses.

Some 2,300 eligible cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars in regional areas will receive automatic payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund. Venues with a capacity of less than 100 people will receive $10,000 for the fortnight, those with a capacity of 100-499 will receive $20,000 while the largest venues will receive $40,000.

The Victorian Government will assess which sectors remain under severely impacted settings before making further announcements on arrangements for the two-week period from 17 September.

The $700 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund provides $20,000 to eligible businesses who do not qualify for other Government programs and is open to all Victorian businesses, regardless of location.

More than 16,000 Hardship Fund grants have so far been paid to businesses that have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent due to the effects of the pandemic.

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme requires landlords to provide proportionate rent relief for businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that have experienced a fall in turnover of 30 per cent or greater, regardless of location. More information on the Scheme is available at vsbc.vic.gov.au or by calling 13 87 22.

The Government has provided more than $10 billion in direct economic support to business since the start of the pandemic, including $3.3 billion in cash grants to 145,000 businesses since the May/June lockdown.

For full information on available business support grants, go to business.vic.gov.au or call 13 22 15.


UPDATE: LOCKDOWN TO END FOR REGIONAL VICTORIA

From 11:59pm tomorrow night, with the exception of the Shepparton area, the lockdown will end for Regional Victoria.

 

Stay at home requirement:

• no stay at home requirement

• removal of 5km travel limit

 

Face coverings:

• must be carried at all times

• must be worn indoors and outdoors by Victorians aged 12 years or

over except if at home, or when visiting an intimate partner’s place

of residence or if an exception applies

• recommend primary school age children wear masks indoors and

outdoors, except at home or if an exception applies

• exception for food and drink limited so that face coverings can only

be removed to eat and to drink non-alcoholic beverages

 

Work: If you can work from home, you should work from home. Office

work – 25 per cent return or up to 10 people if total workplace is 40 or less,

density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm applies

 

Indoor fixed seated entertainment: Open with maximum of 20 people per

space

Outdoor fixed seated entertainment: Open with up to 25 percent capacity

with maximum of 300 people per space, whichever is lesser

Non-seated indoor venues: Open with maximum of 20 people per space

Non-seated outdoor venues: Open with up to 25 percent capacity with maximum of 300 people per space, whichever is lesser

 

All retail: Open. Density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. Check-in

required

Masks mandatory at all times and cannot be removed for eating/drinking

in retail settings

 

All beauty/personal care: Open with a cap of 10 - masks must remain on

for duration of service

 

Food and drink facility: Open for seated service only with maximum of 20

outdoors and 10 indoors subject to density limits

 

Inspections: Open for private inspections only with a maximum of 10

people plus real estate agent

Auctions: Open with a maximum of 10 people

 

Full statement and table of restrictions can be found HERE 

 


Coronavirus resources for your business

Coronavirus.vic.gov.au has useful resources to help businesses find information and plan.


 

UPDATE EMPLOYER'S RESPONSIBILITY - WORKERS PERMITS

Worker permits will now be required to leave the house for authorised work in Regional Victoria from 11:59pm Sunday 22 August. You must carry this permit and it must be signed by your employer.

Employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. Advice on how to access the authorised worker permit is provided below.

Download the authorised provider and authorised worker permit below. For more information, click here.

 


 

UPDATE FROM 1PM SATURDAY 21 AUGUST REGIONAL VICTORIA WILL JOIN LOCKDOWN
 

From 1pm today (Saturday 21 August) until 11:59pm Thursday September 2 

5 reasons to leave your home:

  • Getting food and supplies you need
  • Exercise for up to 2 hours
  • Care or care giving
  • Authorised work or education (Permits will be required for authorised workers from 11:59pm Monday 23 August)
  • To get vaccinated

Full Table of Restrictions
 

ADDITIONAL BUSINESS SUPPORT FUNDING
 

SMALL BUSINESS COVID HARDSHIP FUND 

The $180 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund (SBCHF) will support eligible small businesses:

• whose operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in place between 27 May 2021 and August 2021 • have experienced at least a 70% reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions
• are ineligible for other key COVID-19 Victorian Government business grant programs that have been announced since 27 May 2021.

The program offers grants of $10,000 to eligible small and medium businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses that are registered for GST. Applications open 12 August and close 10 September 2021. See further details on the Business Victoria website.
 

MICROBUSINESS CONCIERGE SERVICE 
 

A dedicated service to help Victorian sole traders and microbusinesses with an annual turnover of less than $75,000, who are not eligible for Victorian Government COVID-19 business support grants. The service is designed to help these businesses understand what support is available, including:

• Advice on eligibility for Victorian Government business grant programs
• Referrals to Victorian Government business support programs, such as the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program, Business recovery and resilience mentoring, and the Partners in Wellbeing Helpline
• Assistance to help understand the application process for the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

The service can be accessed by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 and selecting ‘3’ for the dedicated Microbusiness Concierge Service. Businesses can also book an appointment for a session, at a time of their choosing, with a Concierge team member to talk in more detail about available supports

 


 

    COVID Check In Marshals

    A COVID Check-in Marshal is an employee who is responsible for ensuring that each person who enters a venue uses the Service Victoria QR code to check in on arrival (or an alternative record keeping method, where relevant). A COVID Check-in Marshal can only request that people entering show them confirmation of a successful check-in and cannot compel anyone to do so.

    If a person refuses to show evidence of a successful check in, the COVID Check-in Marshal can ask that person not to enter the venue. If the person does not comply with the request, the COVID Check-in Marshal is not required or encouraged to enforce the refusal of entry. 

    Venues are encouraged to contact security or the police if refusal of entry enforcement is required. 

    QR Codes 

    All businesses are now required to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service, unless an exemption applies.

    Businesses must ensure that every customer and visitor has checked-in, no matter how long they are at the premises.

    A reminder that the enforcement amnesty for retailers ended Thursday 17 June 2021, and retail businesses that do not comply with QR code requirements will risk fines from this date.

     


    Support for businesses

    There are a number of support programs available to businesses that have been impacted by the restrictions.

    For more information and to apply, visit Business Victoria.

     

    Other important information for businesses

    Anyone with symptoms should get tested immediately – please encourage your workers to get tested if they are unwell. The list of testing sites includes wait times.

    All Victorians over the age of 40 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on how to book your vaccine appointment, visit the Coronavirus website

    As restrictions ease, it’s important to check your COVIDSafe Plan is up to date.

    For more information, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

     


     

    Circuit Breaker Business Support Package

     
    The Victorian Government has announced a $250m Business Support Package.
     
    Package to assist small to medium businesses and sole traders, under the circuit breaker restrictions announced on 27 May 2021.
    The package includes:
     
    - a $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program - The program provides $2,500 grants for eligible employing and non-employing businesses in sectors most impacted. This includes businesses operating in an industry that cannot operate under the circuit breaker restrictions and which cannot work remotely.
     
    - $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund - The $40.7 million Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 program provides businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 grant per premises.
     
    - $20 million in targeted support for the events industry - The $20 million package dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit-breaker restrictions.
     
    More info & updates: https://bit.ly/3wEFM2D
     

     


     

    Letter to State Government


    We partnered with other regional organisations, including Committee for Ballarat and Ballarat Regional Tourism to urge the State Government to explore a more balanced and detailed approach to any future lockdowns. You can read our letter HERE.

     


     

    Victorian Travel System - Traffic Light Permit System

    Victoria is establishing a permit system for all domestic travel into Victoria.

    From 5:59pm on 11 January, you will need to apply for a permit to enter Victoria from anywhere in Australia. The permit application system will be available shortly.

    The permit system is based on a traffic light system which allows for areas across Australia to be designated as green, orange or red according to their risk.

    The permit system is for both travellers to Victoria and residents of Victoria returning home from interstate travel.

    Find more HERE.

     

     

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