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See current COVIDSafe Settings for business and industry in Victoria

Sensible winter settings to keep Victorians safe

From 11.59pm Friday 24 June the following changes to the pandemic orders come into effect:

  • Masks must still be worn on public transport, taxis, ride shares, and planes, but will no longer be required at airports. Masks are also still required in sensitive settings such as hospitals and care facilities.
  • Positive cases must still isolate for seven days from the day they took their test but may now leave home to drive a household member directly to or from education or work without leaving their vehicle. They can also leave home to get medical care, a COVID-19 test, or in an emergency, including the risk of harm.
  • To protect the most vulnerable during winter, three COVID-19 vaccine doses are still required for workers in residential aged care and disability care, healthcare, and custodial and emergency services, including police.
  • Government imposed third dose mandates in education, food distribution, meat and seafood processing and quarantine accommodation sectors will be lifted. In line with other jurisdictions around Australia, COVID-19 vaccination policies will be the responsibility of individual workplaces to consider as part of their workplace conditions
  • Rules requiring general workers to work from home unless they are double-vaccinated are lifted. Employers can consider setting COVID-19 vaccination policies as part of their own workplace conditions.
  • Visitor caps to care facilities, including residential aged care and disability are removed. Residents can see any number of people, provided they test negative on a rapid antigen test that day. If a test is unavailable, a person can only be present for limited reasons such as end-of-life visits. Centres may introduce their own visitor rules to respond to local risk.

Guide to COVIDSafe workplaces

1. Respond to a symptomatic worker or a COVID-19 case in the workplace

If a worker has COVID-19 symptoms, their employer must:

  • not require them to attend the workplace
  • direct the worker to get tested as soon as possible.

A worker must isolate for 7 days if they test positive for COVID-19, unless the worker has isolated due to COVID-19 in the previous 12 weeks.

For more information, visit Checklist for COVID cases.

If an employer or operator becomes aware a worker attended the workplace in the 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic, the employer must follow mandatory steps, including advising workers who are potential workplace contacts:

  • to monitor for symptoms: and;
  • to undertake a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms.

If a worker tests positive for COVID-19 and is required to isolate, and their employer becomes aware they attended the workplace during their infectious period, the employer has additional obligations. The definition of a worker includes contractors, consultants and volunteers. Find out more about a Case in the workplace.

Learn more about how to determine someone’s infectious period and how to manage a case in the workplace, including any additional steps and obligations:

  • Workers who test positive after working indoors while infectious are obligated to notify their employer, social and workplace contacts if they are required to isolate. For more information, read the Checklist for COVID cases.
  • Additional obligations to notify the Department of Health may also apply if a workplace has identified multiple cases of COVID-19. This includes requirements to report cases to the Department of Health (or a delegated entity listed on the department’s website) and comply with any directions from the department or WorkSafe in relation to business closures or cleaning. For more information visit the Department of Health’s Case, Contact and Outbreak Management PolicyExternal Link .
  • Operators of education facilities, for example, such as childcare centres or schools, have additional requirements. For more information visit Education – information for parents, students and educators.

2. Understand close and social contact requirements

Mandatory requirements apply to a person who is a close contact or a social contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

A close contact is:

  • a person who has spent more than four hours with a diagnosed person or probable case indoors at a private residence, care facility, or,
  • a probable case indoors at a private residence, care facility, or accommodation facility during the person’s infectious period.

This does not apply to a person who has isolated due to COVID-19 in the previous 12 weeks.

Close contacts can leave their home during the 7-day quarantine period if they:

  • wear a face mask in indoor settings when outside of their home
  • notify any education facility they are enrolled at or a work premises they are likely to attend for work within 24 hours of becoming a close contact
  • undertake five Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) during the self-quarantine period with a negative result each time, with a minimum of 24 hours between each test
  • need to escape the risk of harm (including harm relating to family violence or violence of another person at the premises)
  • are required to do so by law, or in an emergency situation.

A close contact must not attend certain settings – such as a hospital or care facility – unless they have approval from a relevant hospital or care facility executive or unless they are a worker of those facilities then special requirements apply. Learn more at Checklist for COVID contacts.

A social contact is a person who has spent more than 15 minutes face-to-face, or more than two hours in an indoor space with a person who is a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case, during that person’s infectious period. This does not apply to a person who has isolated due to COVID-19 in the previous 12 weeks.

A social contact must take a RAT if they have symptoms, and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result or for 7 days post-test, whichever comes first. A social contact includes a person who has been in contact in the workplace with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Visit the Checklist for COVID Contacts to confirm what type of contact you are, and what requirements you need to follow.

3. Create and review COVIDSafe Plans

Businesses or organisations with on-site operations (including home-based businesses) must have a COVIDSafe Plan. The Plan should be regularly reviewed to ensure it is current. and includes any other measures a business or an organisation is adopting to manage COVID-19 in the workplace. For more information, visit COVIDSafe Plan.

4. Check face mask requirements

Face masks must be carried at all times when outside the home and are required to be worn in some indoor situations, unless an exception applies.
This includes:

  • sensitive settings such as hospitals and care facilities
  • public transport
  • while in a vehicle operated by a licensed tourism operator
  • while travelling by plane within Australia.

Visit Face masks - when to wear a face mask.

5. Check whether vaccination requirements apply to your workplace

Workers in some sectors must be vaccinated to work outside their home, unless an exception applies.

This applies to workers and contractors in:

  • residential care
  • aged care,
  • disability care,
  • healthcare,
  • custodial services
  • emergency services
  • specialist school facilities that are registered for the main purpose of providing instruction for students with a disability.

In these settings, to work outside the home:

  • workers over the age of 18 years require three COVID-19 vaccine doses
  • workers under the age of 18 years require two doses (or one dose of a single dose vaccine).

This applies to all workers, including:

  • contractors
  • volunteers
  • students on placement
  • workers of home-based businesses not living on the premises.

Workers in these settings must show their employer evidence of their vaccination status, and employers must collect, record and hold worker vaccination information.

Operators of healthcare and aged care facilities can also allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated workers to onsite operate under exceptional circumstances, provided the relevant facility operator take all reasonable steps to ensure that the worker wears PPE , at all times while on the premises of the facility. PPE should include, at a minimum, a surgical mask and face shield.

To find out more, including the exceptions that apply, visit Worker vaccination requirements.

Visit Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and your rightsExternal Link for frequently asked questions about vaccine requirements.

6. Improve ventilation

Improving ventilation and encouraging air flow from outside can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the workplace.

7. Display signage

Where face masks are required, signage must be placed at each public entry to advise people of the requirement, noting that exceptions may apply.

Visit Face masks - when to wear a face mask to find out where face masks are required.

Signs, posters and templates for your workplace are available in various languages to support COVIDSafe workplaces.

8. Other industry-specific settings

Some industries have specific requirements in addition to those outlined above. For information on industry-specific settings, visit Pandemic (Workplace) OrderExternal Link .

  • The Secretary of the Department of Health, Chief Health Officer or Deputy Chief Health Office has published a protocol that specifies requirements for the use and operation of cruise ships on the Pandemic Orders RegisterExternal Link .

Reviewed 30 June 2022

COVID-19 business support

The Business Victoria hotline provides information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to COVID-19.

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

Contact Business Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. The COVIDSafe Information hotline diverts to the national hotline every day from 8pm to 8am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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