Today is a good news day for everyone involved in building and construction with the announcement that nearly all remaining restrictions are to be lifted state-wide for fully vaccinated people.
The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the continued constraints of the supply chain challenges, has made the past two years extremely challenging for everyone in building and construction.
But with Victoria set to hit the 90 per cent double-dose milestone for eligible people this weekend, almost all remaining restrictions in Victoria will ease from 11.59 pm tonight (Thursday 18 November 2021), including:
- There will be no density limits
- There will be no venue capacity limits
- There will be no restrictions on how many people can visit your home
- Face masks will no longer be required to be worn in most places, including the workplace (with exceptions, as per below).
To continue to minimise the potential transmission of COVID-19, face masks will still be required to be worn by:
- Primary school staff and students in Years 3 to 6
- Workers serving the public at hospitality venues
- Workers and customers at indoor retail
- Visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities
- People using public transport, taxi/rideshare, and on flights.
From 11:59 pm tonight, most people who come into contact with a positive COVID-19 case outside of their home will not have to self-quarantine.
These contacts will be required to get a standard COVID-19 (PCR) test and isolate until they receive a negative test result.
This means exposure to a positive COVID-19 contact in offices or worksites will not automatically result in quarantine for employees who were previously designated Primary Close Contacts at Tier 1 exposure sites.
However, the Department of Health will continue to manage emerging outbreaks of concern and super spreader events. It can impose a quarantine period on contacts on a case-by-case basis, depending on the evidence.
People that have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to notify their workplace as soon as possible. Upon beyond informed, workplaces will also have to identify and notify employees and sub-contractors – but not customers – who were exposed, to advise them to get tested.
In more good news, these changes effectively mean the end of mandatory deep-cleaning and the Departmental ‘clearance’ process saving our members time and money. Members will be able to self-manage their exposure in line with public health guidance. However, COVIDSafe practices are strongly encouraged, and adhering to a COVIDSafe plan is still required.
Exposure sites will no longer be published by the Department of Health. Instead, they will use the new alert function in the Service Victoria app, to notify people of higher-risk locations where positive COVID-19 cases have been present and advise them to get tested accordingly.
In addition to isolation changes for contacts, people who have COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.
We would also like to remind members that if you, or a member of your workforce, show any COVID like symptoms, please get tested as soon as possible. Getting tested for even mild symptoms is a safer alternative than taking a risk and potentially incurring a worksite shutdown.
Today is a very good news day, and a day many of us have been waiting for since the pandemic began.
Over the past two years, MBV has been proactive and on the front foot in ensuring our members' voices are listened to.
We have continued to support our industry’s best interests in our advocacy work to the Government, ensuring the majority of our members have been able to remain open.
We hope we have endeavored to keep members well informed of the changing COVID-19 landscape through our regular newsletters and social media updates throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Despite all these challenges and the uncertainty posed by a series of lockdowns, our members have demonstrated tremendous resilience and determination to get on with the job.
With all COVID-19 restrictions now set to lift from 11:59pm tonight, we can all look forward to a 'COVID-normal' summer, Christmas, and a brighter 2022!
In line with the release of the new COVID-19 settings, the Victorian Government will shortly release a new online portal offering clear and simple ‘checklist’ advice for COVID-19 cases, contacts, workplaces, and schools, which will be published at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist. This will also include advice on how to have the conversation with your family and friends.
Guidance to the new COVIDSafe settings will also be published at CovidSafe Settings.
For further information, please click here to visit our COVID-19 Resources page.