COVID-19 Update, Metropolitan Melbourne, 28 September 2020
Yesterday Premier Andrews announced that, from 11:59pm on 27 September 2020, Metropolitan Melbourne moved to the Second Step of the Government’s ‘Roadmap for Reopening’.
The Roadmap sets out four steps towards the reopening of the Victorian economy and society. (A copy of the Roadmap is available at: https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-reopening-roadmap-metro-melbourne.)
These steps are being undertaken gradually to mitigate the prospect of a third wave of COVID-19 infections. In that light, the Roadmap represents a graduated form of risk management for the opening up of Victoria to a level commensurate with the number of COVID-19 infections.
The Roadmap aims to:
- move Victoria towards ‘COVID normal’ (ie, achieving each of the four steps in the Roadmap) by the end of the year; and
- provide businesses and the community with an understanding of when and under what circumstances the Victorian Government will relax COVID-19 related restrictions.
Do note that the current Roadmap deviates from the original Roadmap set out in our earlier updates, and is based on medical advice surrounding the Victorian community’s success in adhering to restrictions and controlling community transmission in our state.
Overview of Second Step (Metropolitan Melbourne), Effective as at 11:59pm on 27 September 2020
The below list is not exhaustive; however the key points include:
- the Metropolitan Melbourne curfew ended from 5am today, Monday 28 September;
- public gatherings of people from one household, or a limit of five people from no more than two households, will now be allowed;
- a $4,957 penalty for illegal gatherings will be imposed;
- exercise is now permitted within 5km of your workplace (for permitted workers only);
- face shields alone, scarves and bandanas will no longer be permitted (you will need to wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth; a two-week grace period applies for this rule);
- large-scale construction has increased from 25% to 85% of the total workforce. Specialist contractors on small-scale sites can visit up to five sites per week with a maximum of two per day;
- gardening, landscaping and garden maintenance businesses with an ABN have been added to the permitted worker list and can resume operations (conditions require they work alone, outside and have no contact with customers);
- Dental & Allied Health services are now allowed (with a COVIDSafe Plan);
- aged care facilities and hospitals will allow one visitor per day for two hours (for those under 18, two parents or carers can visit with no time limit);
- for secondary students, remote and flexible learning will continue in the Second Step when Term 4 resumes, except for Years 11 and 12;
- in Term 4, from 12 October, there will be a phased return for onsite learning for Prep to Grade 6, VCE (Years 11 and 12 or those doing VCE or VCAL subjects) and special schools;
- religious gatherings can also take place outdoors with five people plus a faith leader (you can only travel up to 5km from your home to attend a gathering, and only for two hours);
- private inspections for residential real estate can also resume with one client (dependants and a partner may also attend). Inspections are limited to 15 minutes and residents who are living in the home must not be present;
- weddings are limited to five people (including the couple); and
- funerals will remain limited to 10 people plus infants and the celebrant.
Four Reasons To Leave Your Home
The four reasons for leaving your home remain; however some changes have been made to the restrictions.
For example, exercise and outdoor social activity is now permitted with members of your household or up to five people (including you, and from a maximum of two households), provided you do not travel more than 5km. This must be in a public outdoor space, and does not apply to people’s backyards or outdoor spaces connected to a home.
For more information on these restrictions, see here: https://www.vic.gov.au/second-step-coronavirus-road-to-recovery#second-step-restrictions-metropolitan-melbourne.
The Third Step
The Premier announced that the Third Step has been brought forward by one week, to the week commencing on 19 October 2020. This change is subject to the number of new cases in the coming weeks.
Our service delivery will continue as follows:
- As always, we will communicate with you remotely and will provide high-level service through our existing technology infrastructure.
- We will provide you with relevant legal updates (via email and our social media platforms) when new information is released by the authorities.
- We will encourage you to submit documentation electronically rather than physically, to avoid postal service delays.
- Our reception will continue to operate remotely via the usual contact number: + 61 3 9608 2000.
Victoria is on the right track to control this virus and the public health risks it presents. We would like to thank all Victorians for adhering to the Government’s public health measures: the case numbers speak for themselves. As always, we wish you well in the months ahead.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding the above matters – or beyond – please reach out to your Cornwalls contact.