Latest Victorian Coronavirus restrictions

Posted on : Monday, 3 August 2020

The Victorian Government has introduced further restrictions in light of a second wave of the Coronavirus. 

 

Metropolitan Melbourne now has stage 4 restrictions, while regional Victoria is on stage 3 restrictions. 

 

Residents in Australia's second biggest city are under curfew between 8pm and 5am and must wear a face covering whenever they leave home. 

 

Many businesses are closed or restricted in what they can do. 

 

All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this is not practicable, while sole operators can continue to operate if they do not have contact with the public, or with people other than those persons living in their primary household.  

 

Following FPA lobbying, fire protection appears still to be a permitted industry under the Directions of Victoria's Chief Health Officer.  

 

All businesses in Victoria must have a  COVIDSafe Plan in place by Friday, 7 August, 2020.   This may be a good resource for practitioners in other states as well - for help see:  

 

 

More information about the Victorian restrictions can be found here:  

 

 

 

Here's what is allowed.  

 

 

Construction

 

Large scale construction

 

For any building construction project of more than three storeys (excluding basement), a maximum of 25% of normal employee numbers is allowed on site. 

 

The project must have a High-Risk COVIDSafe Plan in place and must demonstrate that shifts are not being blended and workers are only working at one site throughout the period. 

 

The installation of fire safety systems would be included in this work.  

 

Small scale construction

 

Any building construction project of three storeys or less (excluding basement) can have a maximum of five workers (including supervisors). 

 

The project must have a Universal COVIDSafe Plan in place and must demonstrate that shifts are not being blended and workers are only working at one site throughout the period. 

 

The installation of fire safety systems would be included in this work.  

 

State and state civil construction

 

Government projects (including time critical new school builds) are exempt from reduction targets but will be required to implement a High-Risk COVIDSafe Plan

 

In addition: 

 

Construction of critical and essential infrastructure and services to support these projects is allowed with a COVIDSafe Plan in place. 

 

Critical repairs to residential premises are allowed, where required for emergency or safety, so if you repair fire safety systems your work is still permitted. 

 

Architectural, engineering, and technical services (which we believe may include BPAD work) are closed for onsite work according to the Chief Health Officer, but can still be carried out at home.  

 

 

Routine Service

 

Building and grounds maintenance are permitted to operate if they are providing support to an essential industry or where required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work. 

 

Any ancillary business involved in the manufacture, repair, or maintenance of equipment, goods, or services necessary for the operations of a permitted work site or for closed work sites where there are safety or environmental obligations can continue with a COVIDSafe Plan in place. 

 

Work sites that are in the closed category, can continue to provide access for the purposes of critical maintenance and safety works including meeting environmental obligations, subject to meeting the minimum requirements. 

 

In other words, if you maintain and assess essential safety measures, you will be able to continue providing your services.  

 

In addition, residential and commercial services that were booked before 5pm 3 August and are scheduled to be carried out before 5pm 17 August, that are essential to well-being or livelihood, will be permitted.  

 

 

Manufacturing

 

Various manufacturing activities are allowed, but fire equipment is not specifically mentioned. 

 

However, any ancillary business involved in the production, supply, manufacture, repair, maintenance, wholesale, distribution, transportation, or sale of equipment, goods, or services necessary for the operations of a permitted work site or for closed work sites where there are safety or environmental obligations is allowed to continue with a COVIDSafe Plan in place. 

 

 

Fire-fighting, bushfires

 

Emergency services, including bushfire prevention, and management, including relief services, are to continue. 

 

 

Responsibility to notify

 

In Victoria, the Occupational Health and Safety (COVID-19 Incident Notification) Regulations 2020 (OHS COVID-19 Regulations) has been temporarily amended from July 28, 2020 to include coronavirus (CoVID-19) as a notifiable/reportable incident.

 

The OHS COVID-19 Regulations will extend the operation of Part 5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) to require duty holders to notify WorkSafe if:

 

  1. an employer becomes aware that an employee or independent contractor engaged by the employer, and any employees of the independent contractor, has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and has attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received); or
  2. a self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and has attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received).

 

A penalty will apply for failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act - up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate.

 

For more information please visit the WorkSafe website https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au or call 13 23 60. 

 

 

More information 

 

These restrictions are likely to change as the pandemic develops.  For more information, visit the sites below:  

 

·         Architectural, Engineering and Technical Services