A reminder again how quickly things can develop during this pandemic. To keep our members informed, SIV has provided a summary of state and Federal support available to industry with links to key information. Please appreciate that this is a rapidly evolving situation so the information contained is based on what is current and will be updated as more information is released.
Victoria to enter Phase D of the National Plan With Victoria set to hit the 90 per cent double dose milestone for eligible people in the coming days, the Victorian Government has announced nearly all remaining restrictions will be lifted statewide for fully vaccinated people from 11:59pm, Thursday 18 November – reaching Phase D of the National Plan.
This means that from 11:59pm, Thursday 18 November 2021
The vaccinated economy will remain, as will face masks in some settings.
There will be no caps or density limits for cafés and restaurants.
Indoor dance floors will reopen.
Non-essential retail settings across Victoria will join the vaccinated economy. It will only be open to people who are fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption, and children aged under 12 years and two months.
All indoor and outdoor events with less than 30,000 fully vaccinated attendees will be able to proceed with no special approval. ACOVIDSafe Planis required.
Face mask requirements overview Face masks will still be required:
for workers serving the public at hospitality venues
for workers and customers at indoor retail
for workers in corrections
for workers in meat, poultry and seafood processing
for visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities
for people using public transport, taxi and rideshare and planes
for primary school staff and visitors and for students in Years 3 to 6.
Unless the health services see a significant jump in hospitalisations, customers for retail will no longer need to wear masks after 15 December - in line with settings in New South Wales.
Significant changes to isolation rules and the management of COVID-19 exposures and cases from 11:59pm Thursday 18 November 2021 have also been announced. This includes:
Self-quarantine obligations are to be reduced across the board for COVID-19 cases and fully vaccinated contacts, empowering people who test positive to take action to protect others with simple advice and guidance to help them inform their social contacts on what to do.
The vast majority of people who come into contact with a confirmed positive case outside their home won’t have to self-quarantine. These contacts will be required to get a standard (PCR) test and isolate until they get a negative result.
This means exposure in places like offices, restaurants or nightclubs won’t automatically result in quarantine for the patrons or staff, who previously would have been designated Primary Close Contacts at Tier 1 exposure sites.
Businesses will be asked to self-manage their exposure in line with public health guidance. COVIDSafe practices are strongly encouraged and a COVIDSafe Plan is still required.
Workers exposed at work, and children who are exposed at school or early childhood centres, will need to show a negative PCR test result to return to work or school – with recommended RAT testing thereafter.
In addition to isolation changes for contacts, people who have COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days, instead of 14 days.
Vaccine Requirements for Industry and Workers Information for industry and workers required to be vaccinated. Select workers will be required to show evidence of their vaccination to their employer by a certain date in order to continue working outside their home.
Employee Obligations: From 22 October 2021, to work onsite at a work premises, workers must be able to provide evidence to their employer that they have either:
received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
have a booking to receive a first dose by 22 October 2021, or
have a medical exemption from an authorised medical practitioner.
From 26 November 2021, to attend work, workers will also be required to provide evidence to their employer that they have received a second dose - unless they have a medical exemption. The new Directions apply to employers of select workers, including contractors, volunteers and students on placement. A full list of workers can be found here.
Employers need to sight a certificate of immunisation, or an immunisation history statement obtained from the Australian Immunisation Register (electronic evidence can be accessed through myGov/Medicare and the Service Victoria app) and record a worker’s name, vaccination status, details of the individual who checked evidence of compliance, the date the evidence was recorded, and the nature of the evidence.
If the worker is partially vaccinated, employers must record and hold appointment booking information that the worker is to receive second dose by 26 November 2021.
If the worker is unvaccinated by the due dates or refuses to show evidence, the employer must treat them as unvaccinated. An employer must not permit an unvaccinated worker to work outside their home unless they have certification from a medical practitioner.
An Authorised Officer may request an employer to produce workforce vaccination-related information.
What information should be recorded by employers? A record should include:
the name of the worker or individual accessing the site
their vaccination status
their vaccine appointment booking (if relevant)
who sighted the evidence
the date the evidence was sighted
the nature of that evidence (for example, COVID-19 vaccine digital certificate, immunisation history statement, or medical exception letter or certificate)
Please encourage your workers to book their vaccination today. To book an appointment visit coronavirus.vic.gov.auor call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their doctor or pharmacist.
Important information for businesses Every business has an important role to play. It’s critical for businesses and industry to continue to be COVIDSafe and comply with restrictions. COVID and Workplaces
Stay COVIDSafe Wear your mask correctly – covering your mouth and nose Get tested immediately if you are ill When open, make sure everyone checks in everywhere, every time Update your COVIDSafe Plan Support your workers to get vaccinated when they’re eligible.