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Information for business and industry for regional Victoria

Frequently asked questions for all businesses during the restricted activity period.

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  • Frequently asked questions

Read below for general frequently asked questions that applies to all businesses in regional Victoria. For frequently asked questions for specific sectors go to our Sector guidance main page.

For more information about the steps towards easing industry restrictions for regional Victoria is available on the Victorian Government roadmaps website.

Frequently asked questions

What is the coronavirus (COVID-19) reopening Roadmap for industry?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) reopening roadmap is the overarching plan to reopen Victorian businesses and industry as we continue to manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and keep people safe.

Each step of the Roadmap outlines the restriction levels that will apply to industries, businesses and workplaces during that step.

It also includes the “trigger points”, which are a point for review by our public health team to consider any potential changes to the restrictions, based on case numbers, testing numbers and other factors. Public health advice is also provided at each step.

More information is available at the Victorian Government website.

Under which restriction levels do the six COVIDSafe principles apply to workplaces?

The six COVIDSafe principles apply to all Victorian workplaces across each step of the reopening roadmap. This includes the wearing of face coverings, physical distancing, practising good hygiene and keeping good records to assist dealing with cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).

How much time will we be given to reopen our business?

The Roadmap is the overarching plan to reopen Victorian businesses and industry. Each Step of the Roadmap outlines the “trigger point” for review, based on the case number and transmission rates, and public health advice, that must be met before the next Step is enacted, and the restrictions on industries and businesses can be eased.

The Victorian Government has taken the advice of health authorities and industry in building the Roadmap. We will regularly communicate progress towards each Step of reopening and eased restrictions. Where the Chief Health Officer believes a proposed transition date may be required to change, we will alert business and industry as soon as is practical.

The six COVIDSafe principles for business include ‘wear a face covering’. Does this apply to people who have received an exemption from wearing a mask?

No.

What if I have a question about Victoria’s roadmap for reopening?

More information is available at Victorian Government roadmaps website.

How can I input to the coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery roadmap?

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is continuing to undertake consultation with industry regarding the roadmap for reopening.

If you are an individual business, please reach out to your peak body and industry leaders for more information or you can call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15.

How do I know which step of the recovery roadmap is relevant to my business?

You can find more information about the specific business restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria at each Step of the reopening roadmap:

When will I get more information about what restrictions mean specifically for my business?

The Roadmaps for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria provide an overview of the restrictions that apply to various businesses in each step of the pathway to reopening.

For more information visit:

We are working with industry bodies to clarify in greater detail what restrictions mean for each industry. If you are a business owner, please reach out to your peak body and industry leaders for more information. You can also call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15.

What is meant by 'workforce bubbles', and what can my business do with one in place?

Workforce bubbles limit the number of workers who come into contact with each other, by putting employees into groups and keeping those groups largely separate.

For example, this may include keeping pools of staff rostered on the same shifts and areas of a worksite and ensuring no overlap in shift changes where it is practicable and safe to do so.

Employers must not allow staff to work across multiple sites unless an exception applies.

Workers are required to declare to their employers when they are working at another site.

My business is not on the permitted list. When can I access the premises to prepare for reopening?

If your business is closed under First Step or Second Step restrictions, you can only visit:

  • to ensure the premises are closed safely;
  • to support employees who are working from home (e.g. organising IT equipment to be delivered to their homes);
  • in an emergency or if otherwise required by law; or
  • to carry out emergency maintenance.

If your business is reopening in the Third Step, you cannot visit before the start of the Third Step to prepare for reopening.

What additional funding and supports will be available to help businesses respond to these COVIDSafe restrictions?

The Victorian Government will continue to support businesses through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To support businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants for eligible businesses are available under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program. For more information on eligibility, business mentoring or mental health support initiatives for business owners and sole traders, visit the Business Victoria website.

Please continue to monitor the Business Victoria website and subscribe to the Small Business Victoria Update Newsletter to stay informed.

Under the Third Step, can my employees work on-site?

Under the Third Step, you must work from home if it is reasonably practicable to do so.

Which entertainment facilities remain closed under the Third Step?

The following entertainment facilities remain closed under the Third Step:

  • stadiums and arenas, except for the exclusive use by schools for education purposes
  • arcades, amusements parks, escape rooms, casinos, gaming machine areas and bingo centres
  • indoor facilities such as cinemas and theatres
  • similarly, brothels and sex on premises venues.

Retail betting venues are permitted to operate, subject to the relevant restrictions on retail or licensed venues (e.g. density quotient and seated service requirements).

When can volunteers begin training and volunteering in person?

Volunteers can continue to do volunteer or unpaid work if the organisation they are volunteering for is allowed to operate. Volunteers are treated no differently to any other worker. Their participation should be managed in the same way as paid workers, according to the relevant industry restriction levels for each step.

Under the Third Step, what are the restrictions on personal trainers when running outdoor training sessions?

Outdoor training groups can have a maximum of 10 people. The personal trainer is not included in the cap of 10 people. There is no cap if members are from the same household.

The outdoor space available must be suitable to ensure all members of the group and any members of the public are reasonably capable of maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. Equipment should not be shared between people in the group and should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.

What restrictions are there under the Third Step for restaurants and cafes?

Under the Third Step, food and drink facilities can open for seated indoor and outdoor service (for food and/or drink):

  • Maximum 10 people per group, seated 1.5m from other groups (both within the venue and between patrons at adjacent venues).
  • Tables must be cleaned after every customer.
  • Cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.
  • Businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that customers booking with them live outside of metropolitan Melbourne. This includes checking identification and refusing services to people who reside in metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Businesses must keep a record of customer details, including the date and time the person attended these facilities. These records should be kept for 28 days.

For indoor space: Businesses can serve customers indoors. There is a cap of 10 persons per indoor space, for up to two spaces per venue (for a maximum of 20 patrons), subject to density requirements of one person per 4m2.

For outdoor space: Businesses can serve customers outdoors. There is a cap of 50 customers seated outdoors per venue, subject to density requirements of one person per 2m2.

Pop ups: Should temporary new permits or licences be sought for pop-up hospitality venues, a cap of 50 patrons subject to the density quotient will apply.

Food courts: Remain open for takeaway and delivery only.

For more information go to the Accomodation and Food Services Sector Guidance page.

What constitutes 'outdoor service’?

'Outdoors' means:

  • a space with no roof; or
  • an open-air space designated for the consumption of food and/or beverage, which may have a temporary or fixed cover (e.g. awning or roof) so long as such cover has at least two open sides to allow for airflow. The open sides must remain open at all times while customers are present.

'Roof' is defined as any structure or device (whether fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes upward airflow, including a ceiling.

'Wall' is defined as any structure or device (whether fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes lateral airflow, including a closed window or door.

A temporary or fixed cover is defined as any structure or device (whether fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes upward airflow, including a ceiling, roof or awning.

Examples of outdoor areas include:

  • a balcony or veranda; courtyard
  • rooftop
  • marquee
  • street or footpath
  • any similar outdoor area.

Can physical property inspections or auctions occur in the Third Step?

Under the Third Step, auction houses are permitted to open, but must keep strictly to the density, signage, record-keeping and cleaning requirements set out in the Workplace Directions. Auctions can be conducted on-site if held outdoors and in accordance with public gathering limits (i.e. up to 10 members of the public present, plus the minimum number of people required to conduct the auction).

Under the Third Step, what beauty and personal care services are permitted to open?

Under the Third Step, beauty and personal care services will be allowed to open for services that can be provided while a client wears a face covering for the duration of the service or procedure.

Examples of these services include manicures, pedicures, body waxing and tattooing.

Services which require the client to partially or fully remove their face covering are prohibited under the Third Step. This includes services such as facials, face waxing and beard trimming.

Where beauty and personal care services are allowed to open, they must abide by the density, signage, record-keeping and cleaning requirements as per Workplace Directions.

I live in regional Victoria but work in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I travel to work?

If you work in a permitted industry, you may travel to work. You must have a Permitted Worker Permit on you at all times when you are travelling to and from work.

When travelling between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, workers should only travel alone or with members of their household.

Back to Sector guidance main page.

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.