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Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Issue 36.0 

Due to the COVID developments that took place yesterday afternoon (Tuesday,
7 July), this additional VACC COVID Update has been created to provide the latest information to members.

1.  GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Metropolitan Melbourne returns to Stage 3 lockdown

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews has announced a lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne, as the state records the highest increase in cases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


VACC assures members that at this point automotive will remain open as normal and is regarded as an essential service.  For members feeling overwhelmed, the Chamber urges them to uptake the free counselling service available.

From Tuesday, 8 July, 11:59pm, metropolitan Melbourne residents must stay at home, leaving only for:

  • Shopping for food or other essentials
  • Medical purposes and caregiving
  • Work and study, if it can't be done from home (only VCE students, and special needs students, are set to return to classrooms as normal)
  • Exercise.

This Stage Three lockdown is set to continue for six weeks until Wednesday, 19 August, 11:59 pm.

Although automotive remains open, other business sectors will be greatly impacted by the new restrictions:

 

  • Cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars can do takeaway only
  • Arenas, food courts, cinemas, casinos and gaming, beauty services, holiday accommodation, campgrounds, pools, playgrounds, saunas, galleries, museums and zoos will close.

Members can read more here.

Summary of Restrictions

The Premier has provided a detailed list of the specific changes to restrictions that will be enforced in metropolitan and regional Victoria from 11:59PM Wednesday 8 July. Some highlights of this list are detailed below, members can view the full summary and statement from the Premier here.

METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE AND MITCHELL SHIRE LGA FROM 11:59PM WEDNESDAY 8 JULY

Reasons to leave your house

Change

  • Stay at Home, except for four reasons: necessary goods or services; work and education if necessary; medical care or compassionate reasons; exercise and recreation.
  • Exemptions include visiting a person with whom you are in an intimate personal relationship, including outside metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire LGA.
  • Cannot leave restricted areas for exercise or recreation

Gatherings of people

Change

  • Private: no visitors. • Public: up to 2 people or household members only.

Employer Obligations

No change

  • Work from home: Must not allow employees to work from workplace if reasonably practicable to work from home

Schools

Change

  • Year 11 and 12s and Year 10s doing VCE, and special schools to return next Monday 13 July for the start of Term 3.
  • Extension of pupil free days for one week for Prep-10.

Travel

Change

  • Travel within Victoria outside restricted areas: allowed for work, education (if necessary), necessary good and services and care/compassionate purposes only.
  • Holiday accommodation and camping: closed except for residents, emergency accommodation, or work purposes.
  • Second place of residence – You cannot visit second place of residence outside restricted area with limited exceptions (e.g. emergency or maintenance; shared custody; to stay with intimate partner who does not live with you).
  • People on holidays can complete their holiday. From 11.59PM on 8 July, people cannot travel for a holiday.
Police out in force across Melbourne and Mitchell Shire

Victoria Police will dramatically increase their presence in and around metropolitan Melbourne to ensure Victorians are following the most recent directions of the Chief Health Officer.  Click HERE for the latest media release.

Restrictions map

Click HERE to find your location and the restrictions in place from 11.59pm, 8 July 2020.

Automotive Essential Services - Register your complaint

VACC has received several calls and emails from members regarding customers being instructed that purchasing a vehicle or having their own vehicle serviced or repaired is not essential. There has also been reports of automotive business owners being told that they are not permitted to open particularly those located in the restricted post code areas.

VACC has again raised these concerns with the office of the Minister of Police, The Hon Lisa Neville MP. The following advice was provided by the Minister office:

In addition, police officers are not meant to be stopping people from travelling for work or restricting trade of businesses that can and should remain open as long as they are maintaining density quotients and physical distancing.

Accordingly, the Office of the Minister for Police has provided VACC's correspondence to the Chief Commissioner’s office to ensure it informs the ongoing messaging to police members during this time.

VACC is correct in that the automotive trade is not being prohibited from work or opening, so staff can work, and customers engage as appropriate and consistent with the CHO requirements around density quotients and physical distancing.

The Ministers Office has requested VACC members provide specific instances where police have not conformed to the guidance as stated. This will allow for the Ministers Office to identify where the message is to be reinforced. VACC has agreed to this.

Register your complaint here.

Members operating across borders

Keep abreast of the latest developments including NSW police enforcement.

VACC expects this landing page ought to be updated regularly as issues come to hand: https://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/about-rdv/cross-border-commissioner.

To apply for a Covid-19 NSW border entry permit, please visit the NSW Government website
HERE

VACC has also developed a ‘Confirmation of Employment’ proforma letter which may also be used.  This, together with the Services NSW Covid-19 border declaration permit will assist you and your employees to cross the border for essential work and business purposes.  The border declaration permit is mandatory to cross the border. This letter can be used as supporting evidence associated with your travel when crossing the border.  Click
here for a copy of the proforma letter.

If you or your workers need to travel outside the greater Melbourne metropolitan area for work, you can use the
attached proforma letter as supporting evidence and assistance during travel. 

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact VACC IR on
(03) 9829 1123.

Definition of critical infrastructure

The NSW cross border cross border eligibility criteria specifically related to automotive businesses falls under “ a person providing critical services including:

  • freight and logistics
  • maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure


The Australian and state and territory governments share the following definition of critical infrastructure:
‘those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks which, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would significantly impact the social or economic wellbeing of the nation or affect Australia’s ability to conduct national defence and ensure national security’

Critical infrastructure provides services that are essential for everyday life such as energy, communications, water, transport, health, food and grocery, banking and finance, and the Australian Government. Secure and resilient infrastructure supports productivity, and helps to drive the business activities that underpin economic growth.

For more information click
HERE


2.  PREVIOUS UPDATE ISSUES

You can read previous Updates of COVID-19 HERE.


Geoff Gwilym
Chief Executive Officer




Disclaimer:  The information gathered has been drawn from a number of sources and VACC strongly recommends that members revert to the primary source of information for any clarification.