Business activity across Melbourne is now limited to permitted industries as part of an effort to reduce movement across the city and slow the spread of coronavirus.
The Stage 4 restrictions on businesses, which came into effect at midnight, will see hundreds of thousands of workers staying home rather than moving around the community, with all employees who cannot work from home now required to obtain a permit to confirm that they are working in a permitted industry.
“Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself in a position where I’d have to ask people not to go to work,” said the Premier.
“But right now, that is exactly what we are asking of so many Victorians to help slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
Access to childcare and kinder is also restricted to permitted workers – whether working on-site or from home – where there is no one else able to supervise their children, and to vulnerable children.
Under the new directions, high-risk industries including meat processing, supermarket and medical distribution, and construction will be permitted to continue operating on-site within strict guidelines and must implement High Risk COVIDSafe plans.
“I want to thank everyone for their understanding and patience over the past few days as we worked with industry and with unions to map out how Stage 4 would work. No process like this can be perfect but we will continue to work together in coming weeks,” said Mr Andrews.
“The decision about where to draw the line on different categories of jobs can never be simple or easy but there is no alternative but to take these steps. We must take unprecedented action in limiting the movement of people, and therefore limiting the movement of this virus – to do otherwise would be deadly.
“Unless we drive case numbers down to significantly lower levels, the Victorian economy will not be able to re-open and restrictions would continue indefinitely, forcing the contemplation of a much longer list of shutdowns.”
The Premier said operating reduction guidelines for all industries would be released later today and be made available on the Business Victoria website.