What does the lock-down mean for our industry?

On Tuesday afternoon, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that stronger lock-down measures will once again take effect for all of metropolitan Melbourne due to spikes in COVID-19 cases. A return to Stage 3 lock-down measures will take effect at 11:59 pm tonight, Wednesday 8 July, and will be in place for six weeks until 19 August 2020.

Why 6 weeks? The life cycle of the COVID-19 virus is 14 days, Premier Andrews stated that the six-week lock-down “means we have three of those full cycles”. University of Melbourne epidemiologist, Professor Tony Blakeley, said four weeks may have been enough to control the spread of COVID-19, but six weeks of lockdown would help bring the state closer to complete elimination. Dr. Yarwood stated, “The challenge for Victoria compared to the rest of Australia is that they never got to zero cases, like other states did”.

What does this mean for our industry?

Well thankfully, the building and construction industry is still classified as an essential service, so our industry will continue working. For all workers active during this stage 3 lock-down, it is important to be aware of the following:

  • If you live and work in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire you can continue to work if required with an essential letter (see below).
  • If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire and work outside of metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, you can continue to travel for work if required with an essential letter (see below).
  • If you live outside of metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, but work in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, you can continue to travel for work if required with an essential letter (see below).
  • It is important that if you live in a lock-down area that you return home directly after work.
  • Everyone must continue to practice all protocols and restrictions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
  • There will be ‘booze bus-style’ vehicle checks in areas in and out of metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire. This is likely to result in longer travel times. It is also important to be ready to provide information about where you are working, such as through an essential letter (see below).
  • Those living and working in all other parts of Victoria must be vigilant in following current protocols and restrictions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and minimise any risk of these measures being introduced elsewhere.

What is an essential letter?

An essential letter provides evidence of the legitimacy of your activity if you are questioned by Victorian Police while performing your work. These letters are not a free pass and should be used in appropriate circumstances only, and only while in full compliance with physical distancing and hygiene requirements. Please note that the final determination of legitimacy remains the prerogative of Victorian Police and that these letters are not a requirement.

If you feel you require an essential letter, please call the office on 1300 10 12 14.

Are you affected?

Affected areas of Melbourne include Mitchell Shire, and all 31 Melbourne metropolitan Local Government Areas: Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Mornington Peninsula, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Nillumbik, Port Philip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra, Yarra Ranges.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, how to stay safe, and how you are affected, visit
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-update

To discuss how we can help you during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact MC Labour on 1300 10 12 14.

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