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Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector guidance

Sector guidance for Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing business within metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

See below for up to date operational guidance and frequently asked questions for this sector.

For frequently asked questions that applies to all businesses go to our

Frequently asked questions — regional Victoria

Updated on: 16 September 2020

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria. Find out more about Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Farming

You must wear a face covering when you leave home, including to go to a permitted workplace.

If you’re working alone on your own farm or with people from your own household, you do not need to wear a face covering.

However, if workers, advisors or contractors from outside the household come onto the farm, everyone must wear a face covering to prevent spreading infection.

You should use common sense and take other steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others, and regularly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

Workers must not travel in private vehicles to and from work with a person with whom they do not ordinarily reside, unless it is not otherwise reasonable and practical for either person to get to work (e.g. they don’t have a licence or access to a car).

Where possible, other arrangements, such as getting driven to and from work by another household member, should be made.

The number of people traveling together should be limited where possible (i.e. at reduced passenger capacity) to maintain physical distancing.

The enclosed space of a car or minibus presents a heightened risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). If traveling in a vehicle with people who are not from the same household, physical distancing should be maintained, and a face covering must be worn. Increased ventilation in the vehicle is advised by not having air on recirculate and opening windows wherever possible.

Vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned after each passenger or driver. More information about cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Pet care

These frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria.

Yes, pet groomers can operate. Businesses are advised to complete a COVIDSafe Plan, review the relevant guidance and implement appropriate measures to keep staff and customers safe.

Yes, pet boarding facilities can operate. Businesses are recommended to complete a COVIDSafe Plan, review the relevant guidance and implement appropriate measures to keep staff and customers safe.

Yes. The emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife can continue. If you are conducting wildlife rescue or care you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.

Yes. Council pounds and shelters will continue to operate.

Yes, if you are already employed and provided that the work you are doing is classified as permitted. You must have a valid Worker Permit in order to travel to regional Victoria.

Your COVIDSafe Plan should recognise that while working in regional Victoria, you must operate to the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne. This means that if a permitted worker travels into regional Victoria for work – their restrictions travel with them. For example, a permitted worker who has travelled from metropolitan Melbourne to work can’t visit a restaurant, have a beauty treatment or access any service that isn’t currently available in metropolitan Melbourne.

Yes. The emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife can continue. If you are conducting wildlife rescue or care you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.

Frequently asked questions - metropolitan Melbourne

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to metropolitan Melbourne, which is currently at Step One of Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Plant nurseries

Yes, plant nurseries retailing for trade are permitted to operate under Step One.

Retail plant nurseries can operate for ‘click and collect’, or home delivery services only.

Pet care

These frequently asked questions apply to metropolitan Melbourne.

Yes, pet stores are open as they supply necessary food and husbandry products for pets. Pet grooming services (including self-service) co-located within pet stores are not permitted to operate.

No, pet groomers cannot operate. If a pet’s welfare is impacted due to an urgent requirement for grooming, the owner should consult with a veterinarian.

Yes, pet boarding facilities can operate if failure to provide boarding services would create an animal welfare issue for the pet and no other options are available. You must complete a COVIDSafe Plan if you are operating and have 5 or more employees.

Yes. The emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife can continue. If you are conducting wildlife rescue or care you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.

Council pounds and shelters can accept admission of strays, surrendered animals and facilitate reclaims and adoptions. All pick up, delivery and fee payment must be contactless and by appointment only. All the requirements for the animal’s safe transfer must be prearranged online or by phone as there will be no public access.

Under the First Step, workplaces that remain open must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless there are fewer than 5 workers at the premises).

All of Victoria is under restrictions. A veterinary practitioner who would normally travel in or out of metropolitan Melbourne may continue for the provision of necessary veterinary services. These activities should be carried out in accordance with the practice’s COVIDSafe Plan and they will require a permit to travel for work.

No. If the whelping dog is under a person’s care, you may not leave home to attend the delivery of puppies.

No, dog walkers cannot operate. If a pet’s welfare is impacted due to an urgent requirement for walking, the owner should consult with a veterinarian.

Yes, you can leave home to care for your animals or insects, if it is necessary to do so and you are not able to make alternative arrangements. This includes travelling beyond 5km from home or leaving Melbourne for this purpose. Please be mindful that you may be required to provide evidence (about your animals / insects and their location) for leaving restricted areas as police are conducting spot checks.

If you need to leave home to attend to your animals or insects, the restrictions travel with you and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home. You should wear a mask and practise good hygiene, including washing and sanitising hands before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.

If you live in regional Victoria, you may leave home to care for your animals or insects, however travel should be limited where possible. If the animals or insects are located on someone else’s property, you must discuss the requirements for the visit with the landowner via video or phone prior to the visit.

Yes. The emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife can continue. If you are conducting wildlife rescue or care you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.

Yes, pet rescue, rehoming groups and community foster care networks can continue to operate with some limitations.

Pets can still be transported to and from a place of care, including to a foster carer, if there is a genuine animal welfare issue. In-person prospective home inspections or meet and greets are not permitted. Virtual home inspections or meet and greets may provide a useful alternative.

For those people undertaking activities on behalf of your organisation outside of their homes, the organisation must issue a permitted worker permit.

Workplaces that remain open must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless there are fewer than five workers at the work premises).

During curfew (9pm to 5am) animals cannot be transported unless for emergency veterinary care.

Yes, pets purchased prior to the date this clarification was provided by government on 13 August 2020, can be delivered to their new home. You must discuss the requirements for the new pet via video or phone prior to the delivery, to minimise the time the hand-over takes. The person delivering the pet must have a Permitted Worker Permit to be able to carry out the delivery. Pets purchased after this time cannot be delivered during First Step restrictions.

Always maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people when delivering a pet and wear a face covering.

Pet groomers will be permitted to provide contactless service to their clients when metropolitan Melbourne enters into the Second Step. Pet owners will be able to drop off their pets to the venue, and then pick them up when the service is completed, similar to other forms of “click and collect” services.

Only pet groomers working out of retail facilities will be allowed to operate from the Second Step. Mobile pet groomers will be able to operate when metropolitan Melbourne moves into the Third Step.

Under the Second Step, you can travel into regional Victoria to use a pet grooming service at a retail store if it is your nearest provider. This does not include mobile pet grooming services or businesses that operate on residential properties. Where possible, you should postpone pet grooming if it will require you to travel beyond 5km unless the grooming is for animal welfare reasons.

For some people the nearest pet grooming services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria website and hotline provide information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.