Premier Dan Andrews has revealed what the stage four lockdown means for businesses
03.08.2020

Premier Dan Andrews has revealed what the stage four lockdown means for businesses

Words by Kate Streader

Significant boosts in penalties and enforcements to ensure Victorians are doing the right thing will be announced tomorrow.

Yesterday, Premier Dan Andrews upgraded Melbourne from its ‘State of Emergency’ status to a ‘State of Disaster’ and enforced a stage four lockdown across the metropolitan area to last six weeks. The announcement involved details of how daily life would be affected by the new restrictions.

This afternoon, Andrews held another press conference to explain what the stage four lockdown means for businesses. There will be progressive announcements over the next few days to provide clarity around the new rules.

Businesses that will be allowed to remain open and will not be affected by the move to a stage four lockdown include supermarkets, grocery stores, bottleshops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, news agencies, post offices and all frontline services involved in Victoria’s pandemic response.

“People do not need to be buying six weeks of groceries,” stressed Andrews, explaining that the government has been in “deep conversation’ with the likes of Coles, Woolworths and Aldi to ensure that people are still able to access essential items across the lockdown.

Industries and sectors that will need to close from Wednesday August 5 include retailers, some manufacturers and some admin services.

Retailers will be allowed to work onsite to fulfil online orders, however. Andrews gave the example of Bunnings, which will be closed to the public with contact-free click and collect available.

Emergency trade visits will be permitted, such as having a plumber attend your property to fix a broken pipe, but non-emergency trade visits will not be allowed.

“There’ll be no cleaners going to your house,” said Andrews. “There’ll be no-one mowing your lawns. There’ll be no-one providing anything other than emergency support.”

“It’s not the time to be painting your house or having unnecessary work happen.”

The third category of businesses, which will remain open but operating at a significantly reduced capacity, include meatworks and construction.

Meatworks and abattoir workers will be tested, temperature checked and required to dress in full PPE, including mask, face shields and gowns, “essentially as if they were a healthcare worker”. Production will be cut by one third in these industries.

This will come into effect from midnight Friday August 7 and will be the only rule implemented statewide.

All businesses which have been forced to close in regional Victoria will be eligible for a $5,000 government payment. Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire businesses, which were able to apply for the same $5,000 grant as part of the stage three lockdown, will now be eligible for an additional $5,000 payment.

Businesses in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will also receive other financial support in the form of waived taxes and refunds.

Significant boosts in penalties and enforcements to ensure Victorians are doing the right thing will be announced tomorrow.

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