Here’s what Melbourne’s small business community can expect as the state celebrates an easing of lockdowns from 28 October.
It’s been an incredibly tough year for Victoria’s business community. But with luck – and careful monitoring, the worst could be over. Premier Daniel Andrews has announced an easing of restrictions from 28 October, and small businesses need to be ready for what Premier Andrews is calling the ‘Third Step’.
From Wednesday 28 October 2020
Under the Third Step, Melbournians will no longer face restrictions around leaving their homes. However, the 25-kilometre limit will remain, and the border between regional Victoria and Melbourne will stay in place until 8 November.
If you own a small business in Melbourne, here’s what you need to know for the Third Step:
Cafes, restaurants and pubs
You can re-open with up to 20 customers indoors, and a maximum of 50 outdoors. Businesses must follow COVID-safe plans and maintain staff/customer contact records.
Beauty and personal care services
Trading can resume trading for services where the client can wear a face covering.
You can reopen at last. Your business will need a comprehensive COVID-safe plan including logging all staff and customers, and limiting customer numbers depending on the size of the store. Both customers and staff must wear face masks.
PT, fitness and dance classes
Classes can be held outdoors with up to ten people.
Businesses no longer need to be on the ‘permitted work list’ to open their workplaces. Instead, the rule of thumb is now “if you can work from home, you must work from home”. Work permits will still be required for workers from Melbourne travelling into regional Victoria, and vice versa.
Weddings can have up to ten guests, and funerals up to 20. Community sport will re-open for outdoor contact sport among competitors aged 18 and under. Outdoor non-contact sport (where participants can maintain a distance of 1.5 metres) is permitted with only the minimum number of people needed for a game.
From Monday 9 November 2020
The 25-kilometre travel restriction will be removed, making intrastate travel possible, though face coverings will still be mandatory throughout Victoria. Plus, some additional changes have been announced for certain businesses and activities:
Capacity will be increased to 40 people indoors and 70 outdoors subject to density quotients.
Indoor gyms and fitness centres
You can open with limits including a maximum of 10 per class and a cap of 20 per venue. Controls will be imposed such as recommendations to wear face masks, limits on shared equipment, time between groups and a requirement for a COVID-safe marshal on site.
Indoor pools, including swimming classes, can open subject to pool maximum of 20 patrons or one person per four square metres.
In a year of great challenge, it can be hard keeping up with the latest COVID-safe requirements. For more details, head to the Victorian State Government Covid site.
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