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Current restrictions - how we work metropolitan Melbourne

The Victorian Government has announced the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne from 11:59pm Thursday 17 June.

This page is your key resource for current restrictions applying to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne during this time. It replaces the FAQs and industry guidelines available on the sector guidance pages. Check back here for information while current restrictions are in place.

For the restrictions that apply to regional Victorian businesses, see Current restrictions - how we work regional Victoria

Changes to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions from 11:59pm Thursday 17 June.

For a detailed overview of the changes, see the Table of Restrictions (PDF) at the bottom of the Statement from the Acting Premier.

The Victorian Government has announced that every Victorian business must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service to check-in their workers, customers and visitors, with some limited exemptions.

For customer-facing venues and workplaces, such as hospitality venues and retailers, it is already mandatory to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service. 

For businesses that have not previously been mandated to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service prior to Thursday 11:59pm 10 June 2021 an enforcement amnesty is in place until Thursday 11:59pm 1 July 2021.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is undertaking consultation with businesses and industry to ensure business feedback is part of the implementation process.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

General Business FAQs

What areas of Victoria are in metropolitan Melbourne?

To find out which areas of Victoria are in metropolitan Melbourne, use the postcode, suburb and address checker.

Can I operate a home-based business?

Yes. Sole trader and home-based businesses can operate from home across Victoria but there are restrictions. These restrictions include:

  • home based businesses can operate where the business has a separate entrance to the home, such as a bungalow operating as a hairdressing business
  • customers cannot enter the home unless the customer is there to receive necessary goods and services (example, health services), or in the case of retail home-based businesses, where there are separate entrances for members of the public and residents, or visitors
  • having a COVIDSafe Plan that complies with requirements around record keeping, density quotients, face masks and cleaning requirements
  • maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres from others, where possible wash and sanitise hands frequently, comply with the current restrictions and get tested for COVID-19 if unwell (even with mild symptoms)
  • staff and clients must wear a fitted face mask at all times indoors – except while eating or drinking, or unless an exception applies
  • clients can remove their face mask while receiving a beauty treatment but must then put it back on once the treatment is complete.

All COVIDSafe requirements apply to your home-based business, just as they would to any workplace.

Is door knocking permitted for sales lead generation? 

Yes, under the current restrictions door knocking is permitted in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. Workers are also permitted to enter private residences to carry out work.  

When carrying out door-knocking activities:

  • follow the current face mask requirements. For a full list of settings where face masks are mandatory, see face masks
  • no one should conduct door knock sales if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, do not go to work and immediately get tested for COVID-19, see getting tested
  • you should also aim to maintain at least 1.5 metres physical distance from other people at all times when indoors and outdoors. Wearing a face mask is encouraged outdoors where physical distancing of at least 1.5m cannot be maintained. 

I’m a commercial transport / freight service worker, working across the Victorian/South Australia border. Can I get tested without symptoms to meet South Australian ‘essential traveler’ requirements? 

Yes, you can now get tested without experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.  

I’m from metropolitan Melbourne and am travelling to an alpine resort, can I get tested without symptoms in order to meet the entry requirements?

Yes, travel from metropolitan Melbourne to regional Victorian alpine resorts is permitted. Residents of metropolitan Melbourne must have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departing Melbourne, or within 72 hours of arriving at the resort, and have received a negative test result. Testing is not required for children 12 years and under and you must provide proof of your negative test result, such as a text message from your testing provider. If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to isolate while waiting for your test results. You must have a negative test result to be able to enter the alpine resort. 

Density quotient

Does a density quotient apply during the current restrictions?

Yes, a density quotient of one person per four square metres applies in all premises and spaces that are open and accessible to the public, and in shared spaces within workplaces (such as lunchrooms).

A density quotient is the number of people allowed in each space. It is designed to support physical distancing and minimise close contact between people to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Workers in publicly accessible spaces are counted in the density quotient if they are in the space on an ongoing basis (and not on an ad hoc basis).

Face masks

Can businesses refuse service to someone if they are not wearing a face mask?

Businesses should not refuse service to patrons, who may have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask. For more information on face masks and human rights, visit the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission website.

Am I required to wear a face mask at work?

You must follow the current face mask requirements at all times, including in the workplace. If your work is indoors, you must wear a mask at work whenever masks are mandatory indoors, unless an exception applies. Likewise, if your work is outdoors, you must wear a mask at work whenever outdoor mask wearing is required. For current face mask requirements see face masks.

Record keeping

Are retail businesses required to use electronic record keeping?

Yes. From 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June 2021, it is mandatory for all customers, workers, and visitors in retail settings to check-in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app.

The need for fast and accurate contact information for anyone who has visited a COVID-19 exposure site is vital and by checking in at every location, we will play our part in protecting our businesses and communities.

This means every visitor must check-in, no matter how long they are at the premises. The 15-minute threshold for checking in no longer applies.

From Thursday 3 June 2021, retailers will have a 14-day amnesty to set up QR codes and introduce processes to ensure customers check in. After 14 days, businesses that do not comply risk fines.

Customers should have the opportunity to check-in on arrival at the store, and at the cashiers. Food courts should have a QR code displayed at every table.

Retail businesses are responsible for displaying Service Victoria QR codes in multiple locations and asking customers to check-in. They are also responsible for ensuring workers and visitors always check-in and that electronic records are up-to-date.

Businesses face an on-the-spot fine of $1,652 if they fail to comply with electronic record keeping requirements. When a business is repeatedly non-compliant, it can face a further $9913 fine. For continued, blatant, or wilful non-compliance, a business may face prosecution.

Retail businesses include supermarkets, retail stores, retail shopping centres, and markets or market stalls. Find out more information on the venues and businesses where electronic record keeping is required.

Where is it not mandatory to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service?
Every Victorian business must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service to check-in their workers, customers and visitors, with some limited exemptions. These exemptions include:

  • schools and early childhood education centres – check in not required for students, teachers and school staff. Check in is required for visitors and contractors.
  • hospitals and care facilities - check in is not required for admitted or residential patients and ambulance workers. Check in is required for visitors.
  • farms - check in is not required for contractor or work-related farm visits
  • contactless delivery of pre-ordered goods (but not in relation to picking up the goods)
  • contactless ‘click and collect’ services
  • customers collecting takeaway food or drink through drive-through venues
  • customers using contactless payment methods at the bowser at service stations
  • any work undertaken at residential properties.
  • guests utilising shared spaces for example a lobby who are staying overnight at accommodation facilities such as hotels, B&Bs and hostels.

When does the compliance amnesty to implement the Victorian Government QR Code Service end?

  • For retail and takeaway food, amnesty ends at 11:59pm 17 June 2021.
  • Businesses and workplaces that were not required to implement the Victorian Government QR Code before 11:59pm Thursday 10 June the amnesty ends on 11:59pm Thursday 1 July 2021.

Do owners’ corporations of residential buildings need to use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service?

Yes, owners’ corporations must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app to check-in residents, workers and visitors accessing areas such as gyms, pools, cinemas and other communal facilities.

Residents, workers and visitors are not required to check-in to access individual residential apartments or common property areas such as lifts, foyers, and hallways.

For more information about QR codes, please see Checking in with QR Codes.

I operate a service station. Do I need to record customer details using the Victorian Government QR Code Service? 

Yes. It is mandatory for all customers and workers entering a service station to check-in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app. Check-in is not required where a customer does not enter the service station and makes a contactless payment at the bowser. 

You should display the print-out QR codes inside or at the point of entry of the retail store of the service station. For further information see About the free Victorian Government QR Code Service.

My business offers ‘click-and-collect’ for customers. Is it mandatory for ‘click-and-collect’ customers to check-in using the Victorian Government QR Code Service?  

‘Click-and-collect’ services that do not require entering the premises or any dwell time are not required to check-in using the Victorian Government QR Code Service. ‘Click-and-collect’ services are listed as one of the lawful exceptions for checking in with the app. For more information, see Victorian Government QR Code Service. If the customer enters the premises, or spends time in assigned collection areas (whether indoor or outdoor), they must check-in using the Service Victoria app. Where in doubt display and encourage check in with the Service Victoria app.

Do businesses need to record the details of ‘drive-through’ or ‘drive-and-collect’ customers?

No. Customers who visit your premises for the sole purpose of collecting takeaway food at a drive-through window do not have to check-in, although it is encouraged. 

Similarly, customers who ‘drive-and-collect’ goods other than takeaway food are not required to check-in as long as they do not enter the venue or leave their car, and use a contactless form of collection. 

Industry FAQs

Allied health

I am an allied health practitioner living in metropolitan Melbourne and working in regional Victoria. Can I continue working in regional Victoria during the current restrictions?

Yes, movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is no longer restricted. Allied health practitioners from metropolitan Melbourne can travel to regional Victoria for work, if they are unable to work from home. However, we recommend using telehealth where possible and clinically appropriate.

I am an allied health practitioner living in regional Victoria and working in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I continue working in metropolitan Melbourne during the current restrictions?

Yes, movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is no longer restricted. All allied health practitioners can travel for work when that work cannot be performed from home. We recommend using telehealth where possible and clinically appropriate. When in metropolitan Melbourne, you must abide by the restrictions that apply there. 

I am an allied health professional. What are the density quotients for my premises?

In hospital clinical areas, there is no density quotient. However, a density quotient of one person per four square metres applies to non-clinical areas of the hospital where possible. For non-hospital premises, one person per four square metres is the current restriction.

I am an allied health practitioner working in regional Victoria. Can I provide group therapies or interventions during this time?

Yes, group interventions of up to 50 people are allowed in regional Victoria. However, we recommend providing individual therapy or interventions where possible.

I operate an allied health private practice in Victoria. Do I need to use a QR code service in my workplace?

Yes, from 11:59pm Thursday 10 June 2021, all businesses in Victoria must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service in the workplace unless it is exempt. One such exemption is for hospitals and care facilities for admitted or residential patients and ambulance workers. 

Businesses that did not have QR Code obligations prior to 11:59pm Thursday 10 June, will have an amnesty until 11:59pm 1 July to time to set up QR codes. From 11:59pm Thursday 1 July, businesses that have not complied with these new requirements will risk fines. 

I operate an allied health private practice from my residential address. Can I continue to operate?

Yes, if this is your usual place of business. You do not need to be a provider of essential clinical care. However, we recommend using telehealth where possible and clinically appropriate.

All COVIDSafe requirements apply to your business just as to any workplace. This includes having a COVIDSafe Plan and complying with requirements around record keeping, density quotients, face masks and cleaning.

You must make sure clients know they are not to attend their appointment if unwell, and, if they do attend unwell, that you have a procedure to manage this.
It is recommended that the practice:

  • have a separate entry from the residence, and
  • have separate space, with separate facilities from the residence.

All COVIDSafe principles should apply to the work premises, including maintaining physical distancing where possible and encouraging regular hand hygiene. 

Construction

Is building, construction and renovation work allowed to continue in metropolitan Melbourne?

Yes. All indoor and outdoor construction and renovation work can continue in metropolitan Melbourne at occupied and unoccupied premises.

Workers must wear a face mask indoors unless there is a lawful reason not to wear one.

Businesses must follow COVIDSafe requirements:

Are there any restrictions to maintenance and service works in metropolitan Melbourne?

No. All aspects of maintenance and service works can continue in metropolitan Melbourne. This includes indoor work.

Workers must wear a face mask indoors unless there is a lawful reason not to wear one.

Creative studios

What is the definition of a creative studio? 

A creative studio or facility is a workplace for artists or other creative professionals. 

It is a dedicated space and may include specialised equipment such as lighting, sound or editing equipment, or facilities such as a sprung floor. 

Examples include visual arts and craft studios, recording studios, game development studios, fashion design studios and rehearsal studios (for example for dance or music). 

Hospitality

Can pubs, bars and clubs open under the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne?
Yes, licensed premises, including pubs, bars and clubs can open in metropolitan Melbourne for the purpose of:

  • operating a bottle shop
  • takeaway food and drink
  • seated service food and drink for up to 150 patrons (maximum of 75 patrons permitted indoors) with a density quotient of person per four square metres
  • providing accommodation
  • operating a retail betting venue in accordance with current retail betting restrictions. Other activities normally provided by the venue that are not listed above can be provided, but dance floors must remain closed.

Can nightclubs open under the current restrictions?
Yes, nightclubs are permitted to open in metropolitan Melbourne for up to 50 patrons with a density quotient of one person per four square metres. Dancefloors are closed.

Can patrons stand in a bar?  
No, only seated service is permitted. A density quotient of one person per four square metres and a patron cap of up 150, with a maximum of 75 people indoors, applies for the venue. Group limits are capped at 10 people.

Offices

Which workers count as part of the return to office cap?

All workers, employees, subcontractors (and their workers), and volunteers are counted as part of the cap.

Workers who were always on site because they cannot work from home are not included when calculating your return to office cap. 

Do I need to reintroduce workforce bubbles and ensure physical distancing in the office?

No, you do not need to reintroduce workforce bubbles for office workers, but workers should maintain 1.5 metre physical distancing where possible.

Will employers be required to let employees work from home?

All employers must allow workers to work from home where they can. A person may only attend a work premises when they can’t work from home.

Caps on the number of people working in an office remain in place.

Professional sport

Who is included as a professional or high-performance sportsperson?

A professional sportsperson means a person who meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • performs their sporting activity in an open-aged national or international competition (at the highest level as identified by the recognised national body)
  • employed to perform that sporting activity as their primary source of income (e.g. employed by a professional club or recognised national body)
  • holds a National Institute Network Scholarship or equivalent level national categorised athlete.

Real Estate

Can inspections operate during the current restrictions?
Yes, real estate inspections for purchasing or renting a property may operate in line with the following restrictions:

  • All inspections must be by private appointment only
  • The maximum number of people permitted during an inspection is limited to the density quotient of one person per four square metres or 10 people, whichever is fewer. Those required to facilitate the inspection are not included in the density quotient. For example, if the density quotient allows for eight people, and there is also one real estate agent running the inspection, the total number of people permitted including the real estate agent is nine.

Can auctions operate during the current restrictions?
Yes, outdoor auctions can be held on-site with a density quotient of one person per four square metres or 50 members of the public, whichever is fewer. The minimum number of people required to conduct and broadcast the auction and the owners/residents of the property are not included in the density quotient.

Can people travel more than 25kms to attend an inspection or auction?
Yes, there are no restrictions to travel in Victoria.

Can inspections times be advertised?
Yes, as long as the inspection is conducted in line with current restrictions. An appointment is required.  

Can inspections for appraisals for sale be conducted?
Yes, but the inspection must be conducted in a contactless way. Only the minimum number of people required to undertake the appraisal are permitted on-site. 

Can styling and professional photos or videos be taken for marketing purposes?
Yes, photographic or video services are permitted for work purposes. Photo shoots and condition reports are permitted in consultation with residents. Any necessary marketing services (for example, photography, videography, and stylists and rental furniture providers) should be limited to one agent and one service provider. Agents should not accompany the service provider unless necessary for access. 

Can people who live in regional Victoria travel to metro Melbourne for an inspection or auction?
Yes. There is no restriction to travel between regional Victoria and metro Melbourne.

Travel

Can I travel further than 25km from my home for work or education?
Yes, you can travel further than 25km from your home for work or education.

Reviewed 20 June 2021

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Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

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