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Work and volunteering

Find information about how extended restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne affect work, study and volunteering.

Summary of restrictions

From 11:59pm on Thursday 17 June 2021, if you live in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home.
  • If you can work from home, you should continue to work from home. If you can’t work from home, you can go to work.
  • If you are attending work, you need to abide by a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in public or shared areas.
  • Capacity limits are in place for workplaces such as offices, with an increase in capacity to 50% or a cap of 20 workers, whichever is greater.
  • You must wear a mask indoors unless working in an office by yourself or if an exemption applies.
  • Service Victoria QR Code check-ins are compulsory for all workplaces, with limited exceptions.
  • School students have returned to on-site learning. Schools are open with a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in shared staff areas and areas open to the general public.
  • Universities and higher education facilities are open with a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in shared staff areas and areas open to the general public.
  • Students aged 12 years and over must wear a face mask when indoors unless they are attending primary school or outside school hours care, or unless a lawful exception applies.
  • Students aged 12 years or over who are attending primary school, or outside school hours care, do not have to wear a face mask when indoors. 
  • It is not compulsory for teachers, educators and carers to wear a face mask while teaching or caring for children. Face masks can interfere with their ability to clearly communicate with students or children in their care. Teachers, educators and carers can choose to wear face masks if they wish when teaching or providing care for children. Teachers, educators and carers must wear face masks in other indoor areas of the school/facility when not teaching or providing care.
  • Even while wearing a face mask, you should keep at least 1.5 metre distance between others.  
  • As restrictions ease it is important to stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and keeping at least 1.5 metres from others.
  • Masks are required for all Victorians 12 years and over when using public transport and ride-share vehicles like taxis.

Work

Can I go to work?

Yes, if you can't work from home you can go to work. However, if you can work from home, you should continue doing so.

For office-based work premises, a maximum staff capacity of 50% has been put in place. This will allow organisations to provide plenty of space between workers where it is practical to do so. Workplaces with 40 or fewer employees can have up to 20 workers on site, or 50% of workers, whichever is greater.

A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in shared and public areas applies.

Staff and visitors must use the Service Victoria QR Code App to check in before entering a workplace. For more information on workplaces involved, see QR code service.

If you work indoors, you must wear a face mask unless an exception applies.

You must wear a face mask indoors unless you are working in an office by yourself or an exemption applies.

All businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan if they have on-site operations including businesses operating from a home.

Businesses do not need a COVIDSafe plan for individuals working from home who would ordinarily attend on-site operations outside their home. Businesses with no on-site operations (for example, sole traders working from home who do not have business-related visitors) are not required to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Can I open my home-based business?

Home-based businesses can only operate where the business has a separate space with its own entrance to that of the home, for example, a bungalow operating as a hairdressing business.

Staff and clients must wear a fitted face mask at all times indoors – except while eating or drinking, or unless an exception applies – and the business must have a COVIDSafe plan.

Clients can remove their face mask while receiving a beauty treatment, and must then put it back on once the treatment is complete.

I live in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I travel interstate for work?

Yes. If it is not reasonably practicable for you to work from home, you can travel interstate for work provided you comply with the requirements under that state or territory’s laws.

You should check the rules your destination state or territory has in place. 

I live in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I travel to regional Victoria for work?

Yes, there are no travel restrictions in place between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

I live in metropolitan Melbourne but travel to the Alpine Resorts for work, do I have to get tested?

Yes. Residents of metropolitan Melbourne, including workers, must have a COVID-19 test in the 72 hours before departing for the Alpine Resorts and receive a negative test in order to be permitted entry (children under 12 years old do not need to be tested). There is an exception for workers providing essential services, such as emergency workers.

Melbourne workers will need to carry and present evidence of the negative test. A text message, email, or printed out note from your testing provider is sufficient.

Workers will not be permitted entry to the Alpine Resorts without proof of a negative test.

You may be asked by police, authorised officers or any employee or representative of the resort to provide evidence of a negative test on entry to the Resort.

Does my employer have a responsibility to support me to work from home?

Your employer must support you to work from home, if you can work from home. For more information, see 'What responsibilities do employers have to support staff to work from home on the Working from home - information for business page.

By working from home, you are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are keeping those who cannot work from home safe.

Do workplaces need electronic record keeping and check ins?

QR check-ins are compulsory for all workplaces, with very limited exceptions.

Workplaces must use the Service Victoria QR code App. For more information, see QR code service.

Volunteering

Can I do volunteering work?

Yes. You can continue to volunteer if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating. You must wear a face mask, unless an exception applies, when volunteering indoors.

It is also strongly recommended you wear a face mask outdoors where you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

I am in a high-risk group – can I volunteer?

If you are in a high-risk group, you can volunteer, however, consider minimising the number of different people you interact with. 

High-risk groups include people aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50.

Study and education

Can my child go to school?

Yes. All school students have returned to on-site learning.

Can my child go to childcare or kindergarten?

Yes. Childcare and kindergartens are open.

Can my child go to playgroup?

Yes, in-person playgroups can operate indoors or outdoors with up to 10 participants per group. A total venue cap of 150 applies including no more than 75 participants indoors (babies under 12 months are not counted in this cap). A density requirement of 1 person per 4 square metres applies.

Do students at schools need to wear a face mask?

Students aged 12 years and over who are learning on-site at a secondary school must wear face masks indoors, unless an exception applies. Students are also recommended to wear a mask when outdoors if they cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

Children who are aged 12 or over and are attending on-site primary school do not need to wear a face mask at school. The Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that it is not practical to require some primary school students to wear face masks while others are not required to.

Students who attend a special school are not required to wear a face mask but may do so if they or their family choose to. Students are not required to wear a face mask where their disability means it would not be suitable.

Reviewed 19 June 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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