What you need to know about Victoria’s restrictions

03 August, 2020 by
Madeline Woolway

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced further restrictions for businesses across the state.

Melbourne is now under stage 4 restrictions and regional areas will enter stage 3 restrictions from 11.59pm on Wednesday 5 August. Mitchell Shire, which entered stage 3 restrictions with Melbourne on 8 July, will remain under the same conditions.

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From 11.59pm this Wednesday 5 August there will be three categories of businesses, with specific conditions in place for each. A number of industries and sectors will need to close for the six-week period until 13 September. These conditions apply to metropolitan Melbourne only.

Category two businesses may remain open for on-site work with COVID Safe plans under stage 4 restrictions. This category includes restaurants and cafes, which can provide delivery and takeaway only, as well as roadhouses, which may offer dine-in in order to comply with national heavy vehicle regulations.

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Although pubs, clubs and bars were originally listed under category one businesses, which are required to close for on-site work, the Department of Health and Human Services has since confirmed they may continue to offer delivery and takeaway. RSLs and other multi-purpose venues may also operate for takeaway and delivery.

Under stage 4 restrictions, venues in Melbourne can continue offering delivery and takeaway as per stage 3 rules. However, between 8pm and 5am customers cannot leave their home to collect takeaway, so venues will be limited to delivery during these hours.

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People must also remain within a 5km radius of their home, including when picking up food, and each household is only allowed one trip to ‘the shops’ each day, so operators should expect increased demand for delivery. Staff can travel more than 5km from their home for work.

Adjacent industries that are facing tougher restrictions include meat processing and distribution centres. This will mean changes to supply chains for restaurants and cafes.

Meatworks, which have been tied to a number of outbreaks in Victoria, will be operating at two-thirds capacity. Restrictions on abattoirs will apply across the entire state. Warehousing and distribution centres within Melbourne will also be restricted to two-thirds capacity.

Businesses that are remaining open have until 11.59pm on Friday 7 August to implement a COVID Safe plan.

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 5 August, all hospitality venues in regional Victoria can only operate for takeaway and delivery. This includes restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars.

All restrictions will be in place until at least Sunday 13 September for the whole state.

On-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 to businesses will be issued for non-compliance.

Businesses that have been forced to close in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for grants of up to $10,000 and regional businesses can apply for $5,000 grants.

Premier Andrews acknowledge the process of implementing restrictions would not be perfect.

“And for those businesses and industries that fall into grey areas when it comes to their operation, the dedicated Industry Coordination Centre within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will consider their case,” he said.

There will be further announcements regarding restrictions, penalties and financial support over the coming days.

Updated at 2.47pm on Thursday 6 August