Lockdown Extended for Greater Melbourne

Yesterday afternoon the Victorian Government announced a two week extension to the lockdown for Greater Melbourne and a tightening of restrictions on residential building sites.

The lockdown in Greater Melbourne will now run until at least 11:59pm Thursday 2 September 2021.

New restrictions include:

  • from midnight tonight 16 August a curfew will apply to those living in Greater Melbourne between 9pm and 5am;
  • from 11:59pm tomorrow night, 17 August 2021 authorised workers will require a permit;
  • new limits will apply to working on multiple sites;
  • new limits will apply to the number of workers that can work on a building site at one time; and
  • external renovations work will be limited to one worker per site, with a limited exception if an extra worker is required for safety reasons.

The following restrictions will remain in place for the remainder of the lockdown period:

  • the 5km rule;
  • 5 reasons to leave home;
  • face masks to be worn indoors and outdoors (unless an exception applies);
  • restrictions to the VIC/NSW border bubble; and
  • the ban on internal renovation work in occupied homes.

Greater Melbourne – What has changed?

9pm curfew

From midnight Monday 16 August 2021 a curfew for Greater Melbourne will be imposed. This will require all residents living in Greater Melbourne to return home by 9pm.

Worker permit

Members will recall that during Victoria’s stage four lockdown in September last year a worker permit was introduced for Authorised Workers. The requirement to carry a permit has been reintroduced and they will be needed from midnight 17 August 2021.

Worker permits will be available on the coronavirus website later tomorrow and we will update you then.

Limits on working on multiple sites

Workers who work on multiple sites are expected to be restricted to working on 3 sites per week.

It is unclear at this stage if previous exceptions for workers before base stage and post fixing stage will be reintroduced.

HIA will advise members upon receiving further information from the Victorian Government.

Small Scale Construction – 5 workers on site

If you are a builder you will only be allowed to have up to five workers on site plus a supervisor or health and safety representative.

Large Scale Construction – 25% of workers

If you a builder, on a large scale site, you will only be allowed to have 25% of your workforce on site at one time.

Greater Melbourne – What is continuing?

Can building sites remain open?

Yes, subject to:

  • wearing face masks indoors, and outdoors (unless an exception applies);
  • continuing to use the Service Victoria QR Code contact tracing system;
  • continuing to follow your COVIDSafe Plan; and
  • adhering to the worker limits outlined above.

Can renovations and maintenance work continue in occupied premises?

No.

Renovation and maintenance work in occupied homes is not permitted during the continued lockdown. This means that businesses cannot enter a person’s premises to carry out internal building work where the premises is occupied.

Members must ensure they secure the site as soon as possible and comply with all health and safety obligations.

Urgent or essential repairs where required in an emergency situation are allowed.

During emergency visits and upon the client permitting entry to the home during the lockdown, members must ensure they comply with all COVIDSafe measures in place.

This will include:

  • wearing a face mask (unless an exception applies);
  • maintaining contact details (using the Service Victoria QR Code contact tracing system when possible);
  • social distancing;
  • adhering to the worker limits outlined above.

Can renovations and maintenance work continue in unoccupied premises?

Yes.

Subject to all COVIDSafe measures in place. This will include:

  • wearing a face mask (unless an exception applies);
  • maintaining contact details (using the Service Victoria QR Code contact tracing system when possible);
  • social distancing; and
  • adhering to the worker limits outlined above.

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