New rules for workers as Melbourne lifts lockdown

Melbourne has transitioned from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay safe’ regulations

New rules for workers as Melbourne lifts lockdown

The extended COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne has been lifted, allowing more retail and hospitality businesses to resume operations starting today.

“Now is the time to open up. Now is the time to congratulate every single Victorian for staying the course,” said Victoria premier Daniel Andrews. He announced the easing of restrictions after Melbourne recorded zero coronavirus cases for over four months.

Melbourne has entered the Third Step of reopening, transitioning from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay safe’ regulations. “As we take these steady steps towards reopening, the message remains the same: please stay safe and, if you have symptoms, you must get tested,” Andrews said.

Read more: COVID-19: Can you force employees to take the vaccine?

The 25-kilometre rule
The premier has ended restrictions on reasons to leave home, but the 25-kilometre rule – which prohibits residents from going beyond the 25km radius of their home – will still be implemented.

“I know it’s frustrating, but this is about making sure that even as we ease restrictions, we’re limiting the virus’ ability to travel,” Andrews said.

Melbourne will also continue to shut its borders off to regional Victoria “for just a bit longer,” the premier said. Workers travelling to and from the two areas will need to present their work permit to cross the boundary.

Read more: 'Slow and steady': Returning to work responsibly

Workplace restrictions
If employees have the option to work from home, then they must continue to do so. But offices, establishments and factories no longer need to be on the “permitted work” list to reopen their site.

Owners of restaurants, pubs and cafés can resume their operations but they must limit their capacity to 50 customers if seated outdoors and 20 if indoors.

Beauty and personal care services can once again welcome customers on site provided that customers are able to wear a face mask for the duration of the service.

Businesses preparing for their reopening are permitted to have employees working on site straight away, Andrews said.

Establishments will be subject to density quotas, record keeping and other COVIDSafe regulations for workplaces, such as the frequent handwashing of employees, wearing of face masks, physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres, and the avoidance of contact in enclosed spaces.

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