Frequently asked questions - COVIDSafe Settings
Last updated: 20 April 2021
What are the current face mask requirements?
Face masks continue to be mandatory in some locations, unless a lawful reason not to wear one applies.
Is electronic record keeping mandatory for my workplace?
From Friday 26 March 2021 most customer-facing venues and facilities are required to use the free or a for electronic record keeping. A 28-day compliance amnesty applies until 6.00pm Friday 23 April 2021.
Supermarkets, markets, retail and shopping centres are highly recommended to use either of these record keeping options, but it is not mandatory for these businesses.
See the complete list of . Workplaces which are not included on this list and which are not included in the are still subject to the record keeping requirements in the . This means that record keeping is required in these settings, but electronic record keeping is not mandatory (meaning the record keeping can be paper-based).
All businesses are encouraged to use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or the Victorian Government API (Application Programming Interface) to keep records.
What is the density quotient , and does it include workers or only members of the public?
To make sure we stay safe and stay open, limits apply to the number of people who can be in a space at the same time.
Shared spaces are not accessible to the public, but can be used by multiple workers, such as lunchrooms. In shared spaces, only workers are included in the density quotient.
In publicly accessible spaces, members of public are always included in the density quotient. Where workers tend to engage in the same activities and occupy the same space as members of the public, workers are included in the density quotient. This includes places such as physical recreation facilities, retail stores and hairdressing salons.
Workers are not included in the density quotient if they occupy publicly accessible spaces only for a short amount of time or spend most of their time in separate (non-publicly accessible) spaces. For example, waiters moving in and out of a dining area at a restaurant are not included in the density quotient.
Whether the two or four square metre rule applies depends on the setting.
What is the density quotient and how do I apply it to my workplace?
To make sure we stay safe and stay open, restrictions apply on the number of people who can be in a venue or facility at the same time.
From 6.00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, the density quotient of applies in all settings except for where a density quotient of applies.
The of one person per two square metres is calculated by dividing the size of the room by two. This means that a room of 20 square metres can have ten people. If the space is publicly accessible, then the density quotient includes customers in addition to workers.
I am providing exclusive use of my venue to a single school, does the density quotient still apply?
The following facilities are not required to comply with the density quotient if providing an exclusive venue for the exclusive use of a single school at any one time for educational or school gathering purposes:
- community facilities
- entertainment facilities (indoors and outdoors)
- food and drink facilities (excluding food courts)
- creative art facilities
- dance floors
- physical recreational facilities (indoors and outdoors).
The private gathering limits do not apply in areas of an accommodation facility which are being exclusively used by one or more schools for educational purposes (for example, a school camp).
How many people are allowed on a dance floor?
From 6:00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, there is no cap on the number of people permitted on a dance floor, but the density quotient relevant to the venue applies.
How can I provide feedback on COVIDSafe Settings restrictions for industry?
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions continues to consult with industry in conjunction with the Department of Health about changes to restrictions.
Do the six COVIDSafe principles apply to workplaces during COVIDSafe Settings?
Are labour hire workers currently restricted in how many worksites they go to each week?
Unless working in care facilities, hotel quarantine or high-risk hospitals (visit for a definition of a high-risk hospital), there is no requirement for workers to reduce work across work sites during .
If someone is working for more than one employer in care facilities, hotel quarantine or high-risk hospitals, the worker must provide a written declaration to each employer to advise them that the worker is working at more than one work premises, and provide details of the other work premises to each employer. In addition, each employer must keep a record of all workers who have advised that they are working across more than one work premise.
What is meant by 'workforce bubbles'? How do I put one in place?
For example, this may include keeping groups of workers rostered on the same shifts and in the same areas of a worksite. You should ensure groups of workers do not overlap in shift changes where it is practical and safe to do so.
Do I need to close my business if a worker tests positive for COVID-19?
You must follow the advice for managing a confirmed case if one of your workers tests positive for COVID-19. This may include closing part or all of your business premises. The Department of Health will contact you in the event of a positive COVID-19 case as part of contact tracing.
Workers have an obligation to tell their employer if they test positive for COVID-19 to help keep other workers safe. The employer must not disclose the identity of the worker unless they have permission from the person.
If a worker is working from home and not attending the work premises, are they required to notify their employer if they test positive for COVID-19?
No. Workers are only required to inform their employer if they attended the workplace 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms, or 48 hours prior to when they had the test if they never had symptoms (i.e. they were asymptomatic).
Are casual workers eligible for test isolation payments?
I have a concern about compliance with business and industry restrictions. How can I report it?
How can I maintain physical distancing with contractors, such as delivery drivers?
Delivery drivers and other contractors visiting a premise should minimise interaction with workers.
Use electronic paperwork and payments where possible and, instead of a signature, send a confirmation email or take a photo of the goods on-site as proof of delivery.
Do all transactions need to be cashless?
Cash can still be accepted as a form of payment, but it is recommended that all businesses use contactless payments whenever possible.
Handling of cash is safest when:
- hand hygiene is performed after handling
- the touching of faces and/or masks is avoided – if faces and/or masks must be touched at any time then hand hygiene should be performed both before and after touching.
Where can I access signs and posters about current restrictions to display at my workplace?
We are a diversified business with operations across several industries. Which set of industry restrictions do we follow? For example, an aged care business with a head office, retail stores, labour hire and health professionals.
Restrictions are determined by the primary function or use of each specific work premises. This may mean that a business operates under different restrictions at each different work premises.
For a business that , retail stores, and health clinics, the head office will be governed by the '' restrictions, the retail stores are subject to the '' restrictions and the health clinics are subject to the '' industry restrictions.
I operate a business from my home. Am I subject to the same restrictions as other businesses in my industry?
Home-based businesses no longer require a discrete work area in order to operate, subject to the restrictions of each industry.
What type of face mask should I provide for workers who do not have their own?
When the work or task requires the use of specific types of face masks in the workplace, they must be provided by the employer. In all other circumstances, a fitted face mask that covers the nose and mouth should be provided.
A face mask with three layers is recommended by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
Are COVIDSafe Plans required by all work premises?
- businesses with no on-site operations (i.e. the entire workforce is working from home)
- certain transport sector work vehicles.
Employers that operate transport services with two or more vehicles in a fleet (for example rideshare, taxis and public transport) need to have a COVIDSafe Plan for their business, but not an individual plan for each vehicle in their fleet. If an employer only controls one commercial passenger vehicle, then it must have a COVIDSafe Plan for that vehicle.
For employers that do not provide transport services, to achieve physical distancing, numbers should be limited to one person per vehicle per trip, where possible. If this is not possible, workers should use both the back and front seats in order to maintain physical distancing. Workers are strongly recommended to wear a face mask if they are in the car with someone who is not a member of their household, unless they .
Do I need to submit my COVIDSafe Plan to the Victorian Government?
You must produce your COVIDSafe Plan upon request by WorkSafe or other relevant authorities.
What should a business consider when reviewing their COVIDSafe Plan?
- how their usual workplaces and operations are configured to ensure each worker has the necessary space () to perform their tasks
- continuing to ensure workers work from home if they can.
- ensure physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres
- carry a and wear it in mandatory settings
- practise good hygiene
- keep good records and act quickly if workers become unwell
- avoid interactions in enclosed spaces
- create workforce bubbles.
Who is enforcing COVIDSafe Settings restrictions?
How is COVIDSafe Plan compliance being monitored?
Site operators are being selected for independent compliance review and asked to demonstrate compliance with the . To facilitate these compliance reviews, operators are required to retain and make available for inspection their , project resourcing plans, site rosters, time and attendance data, payroll data and other site attendance records as requested by relevant authorities.
All members of the community can report a suspected breach of public health restrictions, including isolation, a mass gathering or business breaches, by contacting the Police Assistance Line on or reporting it online at .
Is there infection control training available to help make my workplace safer?
Yes. Free, short, accredited training is available to help workers identify and manage the ongoing risk of COVID-19 infections in the workplace.
Completing will help businesses prepare to safely reopen and ensure customers and the workforce is protected.
What do the cleaning schedule audits involve?
Cleaning schedule audits should include daily checks of cleaning logs to ensure cleaning is completed.
Can I organise a work event, such as work drinks or a work party?
Yes. Work events can be organised, subject to public gathering limits. Any gathering held at a venue will need to comply with restrictions at the venue, that includes meeting the density quotient requirements and record keeping.
Private gathering limits also apply if work parties are held in a private residence.
During the event, practise good hygiene and wash your hands regularly. If you don’t feel well, don’t go to the event. Get tested for COVID-19 and stay home while you wait for your results.
Should start, finish and break times be staggered?
Staggering start, finish and break times supports physical distancing of 1.5 metres in the workplace. It helps reduce the congregating of workers around entry and exit points, in busy walkways and in common areas (such as bathrooms and kitchens).
For high-capacity buildings, this includes points of entry and exit and the use of elevators.
Staggering start and finish times also reduces risk when workers commute, by helping spread peak demand on public transport networks.
As a guide, it is recommended that high-capacity workplaces, like manufacturing facilities, have staggered start and finish times over one and a half to two hours.
What cleaning is required for fabric chairs in offices and venues?
Offices and venues should focus on frequently touched surfaces and should consider regular inspections of seating and undertake spot cleaning as and when required.
Chairs should be cleaned after each use. For fabric chairs, clean the surfaces of the item that can be wiped with a damp cloth. For soft or porous surfaces like fabric or leather, follow advice from the manufacturer about what cleaning products can be used.
Where possible, it may be more effective to use a removable washable cover, or a disposable cover on chairs. Disinfectant is not suitable on fabric surfaces as it only works with extended contact time with the surface.
For more information visit the .
I run a mobile business that provides services inside private residences. What restrictions must I adhere to?
Businesses that visit private residences must:
- have a that provides for visits to other premises, including keeping records for 28 days of appointments and locations visited
- not have workers attend if a client or the people they live with are unwell, or if workers are unwell
- adhere to the current
- where possible, provide services in a separate space to where other occupants of that private residence are, or request that other occupants leave while services are provided
- provide the services outdoors, where possible and safe to do so
- follow the .
Do I need to adjust air conditioning (HVAC) for ventilation purposes?
Yes. Where possible, open doors and windows, and adjust air conditioning to enhance fresh airflow. Air conditioning should not be set to ‘recirculation’ mode.
How can workers safely provide reading material to customers, for example, in waiting rooms?
Reading material should be either laminated and disinfected after each use, or single-use paper material. General non-contact signage or QR codes can also be used to communicate information.
Are individual commercial passenger vehicles required to have a COVIDSafe Plan?
Employers that operate transport services with two or more vehicles in a fleet (for example rideshare, taxis, public transport) need to have a for their business, but not an individual plan for each vehicle in their fleet. If an employer only controls one commercial passenger vehicle, then they must have a COVIDSafe Plan for that vehicle.
From 6.00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, commercial passenger vehicles must make a digital record keeping service available and should encourage passengers to check in when they ride in the vehicle.
Does the density quotient or physical distancing recommendation apply in courts, tribunal buildings or Parliament House?
No, from 11.59pm Friday 9 April 2021, the does not apply in a court or tribunal building when in use for the ordinary purposes of courts or tribunals, or in Parliament House when it is used for the ordinary purposes of the Parliament of Victoria.
There are no physical distancing requirements in courtrooms or court facilities used for jury trials.
However, in areas of courts, tribunals and Parliament House where the public are roaming for general visitation purposes and not for the operations of courts or Parliament, 1.5 metres of physical distancing is recommended, where possible.
Reviewed 20 April 2021