Victoria announces restrictions to ease from tonight in metropolitan Melbourne
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that from 11:59pm tonight, metropolitan Melbourne will be taking the second step on the Roadmap to Recovery. The National Retail Association welcomes further steps towards reopening, in particular noting that partial return to work for postal and distribution centres will help bolster supply chains for the upcoming holiday season. However, this progression is nowhere near enough support for the retail industry in Australia’s second largest city, particularly as Christmas looms on the horizon.
The workforce limits for supermarkets and food distribution centres, for example, will return to full capacity. Abattoirs, seafood and meat processing plants will also increase.
At the same time, and recognising the increased risk in some of these environments, there will be additional obligations for employers, including regular surveillance testing of staff, nightly deep cleaning, separating workers into consistent bubbles, and providing regular training for their workers.
In his statement (see below) Premier Andrews has also announced that scarves, bandanas and face shields are no longer sufficient as face coverings. Victorians must now wear a fitted face covering that covers the nose and mouth to reduce chances of transmission as the state reopens.