Disclaimer: This is a developing story. Please visit the Department of Health & Human Services for more accurate and up-to-date news and information on this announcement and how it affects any particular business, sector or industry.
Premier Daniel Andrews has released a statement confirming the temporary closure of many businesses for at least six weeks in Victoria as the state implements stage four lockdown restrictions.
Among industries affected by the closures are those in the manufacturing sector. From 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 5, the following manufacturing business closures will be implemented:
A. Closed for On-Site Work
- Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing
- Fabricated metal product manufacturing
- Furniture and other manufacturing
- Other wood product manufacturing
- Textile manufacturing
- Leather tanning, fur dressing and leather product manufacturing
- Textile product manufacturing
- Knitted product manufacturing
- Clothing and footwear manufacturing
- Domestic appliance manufacturing
B. Open for On-Site Work (operating under a COVID Safe Plan)
- Food and beverage production manufacturing
- Meat and meat product manufacturing
- Seafood processing
- Dairy product manufacturing
- Fruit and vegetable processing
- Oil and fat manufacturing
- Grain mill and cereal product manufacturing
- Bakery product manufacturing
- Sugar and Confectionery manufacturing
- Other food and beverage product manufacturing
- Medical equipment and PPE including cloth masks
- Petroleum and coal product manufacturing
- Basic chemical and chemical product manufacturing
- Coffin and casket manufacturing
- Aluminium smelting
- Cement and lime manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical products
- Sanitary products
- Telecommunications infrastructure
- Goods and material necessary for or related to supporting defence or security industries
- Manufacturing to support residential building industry
- Pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing
- Printing and support services
- Fertiliser and pesticide manufacturing
- Cleaning compound and toiletry preparation manufacturing
- Glass and glass product manufacturing, including lens
- Computer and electronic equipment manufacturing
- Heating and ventilation manufacturing
- Manufacturing to support critical infrastructure public works
- Manufacture of polyethylene and resins
- Heavy truck manufacturing
- Specialised machinery and equipment
- Microelectronics and semi-conductor products
- Heating and cooling equipment
- Household paper products
- Transport equipment manufacturing (critical to public transport service; spare parts manufacturing critical to continuity of service)
C. Restricted Operations or Industry Specific Obligations
- Meat, meat product and seafood processing and distribution centres are considered a high-risk industry and subject to industry tailored High Risk COVID Safe plan
- 33 per cent reduction compared to peak capacity
- Statewide – Regions included
- Single site only – no site hopping
- Supermarket distribution centres will implement a 33 per cent reduction of peak workforce will be implemented upon commencement of the directions
The following manufacturing businesses may maintain skeleton staffing to ensure facilities and equipment is managed safely and in line with environmental requirements and EPA advice or continue where they provide an ancillary service critical to the operation of a permitted activity or industry.
- Polymer and rubber production
- Polymer product and rubber product manufacturing
- Other basic chemical product manufacturing
- Primary metal and metal product manufacturing
- Basic polymer manufacturing
In the mining sector, mining exploration activities will be closed, while coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying, and petroleum production, will remain open provided there is a COVID Safe Plan in place.
All open businesses and services will have until 11:59pm Friday 7 August to enact a COVID Safe plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace.
Industries that are permitted to operate such as food production, waste collection and supply chain logistics may continue to do so under ‘significantly different conditions’. Industries that are unable to close but where clusters of cases have spiked will have to implement safety restrictions, including mandated reductions to the number of workers onsite. As an example, abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state will need to scale back their essential workforce to two-thirds.
Workplaces that will continue to operate may do so under a tougher set of rules including including extra Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), staggering shifts, staggering breaks, health declarations and more support for sick workers to ensure they stay home.
Meanwhile establishments selling essential items, including supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, news agencies, post offices and everyone involved in frontline response will continue to operate.
“These changes will be enforceable. And the onus will be on employers to make sure they’re doing the right thing by their workers, including ensuring those with symptoms — and potentially the virus — do not come to work,” said Mr Andrews.
“As always, this work will be done in consultation with industry and with unions.”
Victoria has recorded 429 new cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths since yesterday, with the total number of cases now at 11,937.
Meanwhile the Federal Government has committed to a $1,500 “disaster payment” for paid pandemic leave for workers in Victoria who need to self-isolate but do not have sick leave or payments through JobKeeper or JobSeeker.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people who are meant to be self-isolating do not have a reason to go to work.
“That means that for those who need to self-isolate as a result of an instruction by a public health officer, there is no economic reason for you to go to work,” Mr Morrison said in his address.
The payment will become available to workers in other parts of Australia if a disaster is declared, as it has been in Victoria. Workers in the state would be able to apply for the payment over the phone from Wednesday.