Details about stage 4 lockdowns

August 3, 2020

Uncategorized

The main issue that comes out of today’s announcements is the question of which industries must close, which can open and which can continue with restricted operations.

For those trying to work this out, you might want to have a look at this link to the Premier’s website that contains:

  1. the Premier’s press statement on business restrictions;  and 
  2. a link to a table detailing the restrictions (a copy of which is available by clicking on the button below).

The table contains a detailed list of the restrictions that apply to each industry and then to each sector within the industry.  However, I suggest that you read the Premier’s statement first, then review the table.

Practitioners should also be aware that the Government has set up an Industry Coordination Centre within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to consider cases that do not fit neatly into the categories in the Premier’s three list and the attached table.  I couldn’t find reference to the Centre on the website for the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, but I expect that it will go up in the next day or so.  Please send me a link or post it in the comments section below if you find it.

Some extracts of the Premier’s statement relevant to leasing lawyers are as follows (emphasis added):

Today I can announce three lists that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions.

First: supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, newsagencies, post offices —plus everyone involved in our frontline response — will continue to operate.

Second: Industries where onsite operations will have to cease for the next six weeks 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.

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.

The third and final list is made up of industries that are permitted to operate — but under significantly different conditions.

All open businesses and services will have until 11:59pm Friday 7 August to enact a COVIDSafe plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace — because beating this virus requires a rapid response wherever it rears its head.

In industries that can’t close, but where we’ve seen a number of cases or emerging new risks, we’ll be making some big changes to make these workplaces safer — for workers and for their families.

That includes mandated reductions to the number of workers onsite. In the meat industry — and based on the minimum required to operate safely onsite — the workforce will be scaled back to two-thirds. Unlike other changes, and recognising the risk these sites have posed here and around the world, this will apply to abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state.

Warehousing and distribution centres in Melbourne will be limited to no more than two-thirds the normal workforce allowed onsite at any one time.

Our construction sector, the lifeblood of our economy, will also move to pilot light levels. This will allow the industry to keep ticking — while also making sure we limit the number of people onsite.

For major construction sites, that means the absolute minimum required for safety — but no more than 25 per cent of the normal workforce onsite. Small-scale construction will be limited to a maximum of five people onsite.

These workplaces that are continuing to operate will also have additional requirements including extra PPE, staggering shifts, staggering breaks, health declarations and more support for sick workers to ensure they stay home.

And for those businesses and industries that fall into grey areas when it comes to their operation, the dedicated Industry Coordination Centre within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will consider their cas

About Sam Hopper

Sam is a property and insolvency barrister.

View all posts by Sam Hopper

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